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Newton Park and Conservation Lands

  Crystal Lake

LOCATION: Newton Highlands

Crystal Lake photo

Newton Conservators trail map   (Buy a copy of our trail guide)

Location and driving directions on Google Maps for entrances at:

Rogers Street  Lake Avenue

MBTA: from the Green line, a 0.4 mile walk from the Newton Center station, or 0.2 miles from the Newton Highlands station

Other maps and aerial photos:   Newton Assessor   Bing   

SIZE: 33 acres

LONGEST WALK: 0.8 miles (including some walking on Lake Avenue)

ACQUIRED: 1894 and 2007-2009

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Parks and Recreation


People come here to swim, fish, boat, and ice skate. The bathhouse is open during the summer. Shoreline path and sidewalks allow for walks along three sides of the lake. Because Crystal Lake is a "great pond" (a pond that's larger than ten acres), it is state owned.


Crystal Lake has had several names. Its colonial name was Wiswall's Pond. The lake was used for ice harvesting in the 19th century, as was Bullough's Pond and Chandler Pond. Ice dealers who sold the ice for refrigeration renamed it Crystal Lake to sound appealing to customers. Read this 1911 booklet for more history of the lake.

Crystal Lake and Lake Avenue in a 1905 postcard

1863 The wall and gas lights at Cronin's Cove were erected.
1880s The lake was named Baptist Pond because First Baptist Church in Newton used the lake for baptisms.

Two small parcels were acquired, one donated by Moses and Emeline Crane.

2006-2007 The City of Newton used CPA funds to acquire by eminent domain the property at 20 Rogers Street, to expand the Crystal Lake swimming area.
2008-2009 The city purchased the shoreline portion of the adjacent property, 230 Lake Avenue, and built a lakeside path from the Crystal Lake beach to the existing parkland at Levingston Cove. The Newton Conservators entered into two conservation restrictions which permanently establish public access to the lakeside path.


Crystal Lake Conservancy logoCrystal Lake Conservancy


Swimming Information

Proposal to expand the Crystal Lake swimming area

A Stroll Around Crystal Lake, by Lucy Caldwell Stair

Birding reports

A Comprehensive Historical Sketch of Crystal Lake (1911)

King's Handbook of Newton (1889)

Old postcards

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Gene Mackles painting

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