Newton Conservators logo fall photo
 

Newton Park and Conservation Lands

21
  Hemlock Gorge Reservation

LOCATION: Newton Upper Falls and Needham

 
New Pond shoreline in the fall
 

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

Location and driving directions on Google Maps for entrances at:

Ellis Street  Hamilton Place (Needham)

Other maps and aerial photos:   Newton Assessor   Bing   USGS

Connects to: Sudbury Aqueduct

SIZE: 23 acres

LONGEST WALK: 0.8 miles (a longer walk that passes near this park) (more)

ACQUIRED: 1895

ADMINISTERED BY:

Hemlock Gorge: DCR

Echo Bridge: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

FEATURES: A National Historic Landmark, the handsome stone bridge contains the Sudbury Aqueduct, with a pedestrian walk on top. Visitors standing under the arch can make a fine echo and view the deep river gorge, waterfall, and steep hemlock-covered banks. Spectacular views atop the bridge.

HISTORY:

1600s English settlers knew the Ponkapoag Indians built a fish weir here to trap fish in the weir's branches, catch fish from canoes, and smoke the fish on the river banks.
1700s Grist mill, saw mill, fulling mill, snuff mills, and wire mill were built nearby.
1877 Echo Bridge built by Boston Water Works as the second largest masonry arch in the U. S.
1895 Acquired by the state for the Metropolitan Park System, one of its first purchases.
1984 MDC water system, including Echo Bridge, taken over by newly created Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA).
2006 Echo Bridge was briefly closed to pedestrians due to concern about safety of the railings. The bridge was soon reopened after temporary fencing was installed. The MWRA and city officials are seeking funding for permanent repairs.
2012 DCR rebuilds dike and spillway (photos)

Painting by Linda Christian-HerotADVOCATES & CARETAKERS:

Friends of Hemlock Gorge
1094 Chestnut Street
Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464
Friends@HemlockGorge.org

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

DCR website

An AMC book, More Nature Walks in Eastern Massachusetts, describes an easy 1-mile walk in Hemlock Gorge.

Another AMC book, WalkBoston, describes a 3-mile walk that includes Hemlock Gorge and Newton Upper Falls. See a map of this walk.

The park is described in the book, Walks in Wellesley.

A Walking Tour of Hemlock Gorge, by Kenneth W. Newcomb

KMZ file for use in Google Earth and GPS devices

 

"Then and now" photos

Old postcards from the Newton History Museum

Discover Historic Newton Upper Falls brochure

Kenneth W. Newcomb's neighborhood history has a chapter that discusses Echo Bridge and Hemlock Gorge.

 

Photo gallery

Photos on Flickr ... and more photos ... and more ... more ... and still more

 

Preserving Echo Bridge (President's message)

"Echo Bridge" (a poem by Francis J. Ryan)

A book of poetry, Echoes in Hemlock Gorge, uses this park as a theme.

A new echo platform was opened in 2004 at the base of Echo Bridge. (more)

Boston Globe article on Echo Bridge

Wikipedia entries:

Hemlock Gorge

Echo Bridge

Echo Bridge photo

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