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Guided Walks - Spring 2007

Each spring and fall, the Newton Conservators organizes a series of walks to local open space areas. These walks are led by knowlegeable leaders and are open to the public. They normally last for an hour or two. Some events are for bicycle or canoe. These walks are a great way to get to know open space areas in Newton. Below is the current walk schedule.

If you have questions about a walk or are interested in leading such a walk in an area that you know, please contact the walks coordinator.

Open a printable walk list

Webster Woods:
Use of compass and GPS in map reading

Webster Woods is the woodland on both sides of Hammond Pond Parkway just north of Route 9. We will visit the woodland on the west side of the Parkway, which has over four miles of paths, with ponds, streams, wetlands, a variety of trees and plants, and large outcroppings of Roxbury Puddingstone (most notably Gooch's Cave and Cake Rock - used for rock climbing practice). In the center of the woods is Bare Pond, which is a vernal pond (one of the few in Newton), where we will discuss what is characteristic of a vernal pond and how one is certified. Thompsonville Brook runs through the western edge of the woods and is the only known headwaters of a stream in Newton. You can see remnants of stone walls left over from centuries ago when the land was used for farming. We will discuss the use of the area by the New England Orienteering Club and the characteristics of this sport. Octo Barnett will lead a walk though the woods and discuss the use of the compass and GPS to find locations on a map.

Meet at the end of Warren Street (take Langley Road or Beacon Street to Glen Avenue to Warren Street) - there is ample parking.



Nahanton Park - Spring Bird Walk

The mix of woodlands, wetlands and meadows adjacent to the Charles River makes Nahanton Park a wonderful place to seen the spring bird migration. Enter the park at the Winchester Street entrance in order to reach the upper parking area located a short way down the road on the left opposite an open field. This entrance is off Winchester Street between the Charles River Country Club golf course and the Jewish Community Center. Please gather at the upper parking area at 8:00 a.m. Bring binoculars if you have them. Beginners as well as established enthusiasts are welcome!

Call ahead - walk dependent upon weather! Call Cris Criscitiello (617-244-6397).



No walk May 19th-20th

Newton Open Studios are May 19th-20th
Newton History Museum House Tour is May 20th



Civil War Tour:
Memorial Day Tour of Newton Cemetery

The Newton Cemetery, created in the 19th century, after the naturalistic style pioneered by Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, holds Newton's monuments to the Civil War as well as the final resting place for many of the city's civil war veterans. Newton Cemetery is beautifully landscaped and is a wonderful open space treasure. Peter Kastner will lead this tour honoring the city's contribution to the Civil War and the history of the cemetery and view the variety of specimen trees that have been planted there. Meet by the administrative building just inside the main entrance on Walnut Street.


Walking Tour of the Aqueduct Trail

If hiking is more your speed than biking, Henry Finch will lead a walking tour of parts of the Sudbury and Cochituate Aqueducts that go through Newton. This walk introduces residents to this wonderful resource. As with the biking tour held in previous years, you will travel near backyards and we ask that you respect the privacy of homeowners. Meet in front of the Starbucks near the Waban MBTA Station.



Ferns in Cold Spring Park

This large park where the aqueducts meet is a good compromise between an accessible park with developed trails and a wild conservation area with interesting native plants. We will see nearly a dozen different ferns and one horsetail, and discuss how to identify each one. Bring a hand lens if you have one. The Land Management Committee has been systematically surveying the open spaces in Newton to document the existing biodiversity. In terms of ferns and related plants (pteridophytes), we have found 28 species and hybrids. Some occur infrequently and are very difficult to get to, and some are very subtle to distinguish. We will provide an introduction to some that are quite common and rather easily recognized with a little practice.

The walk will be led by Don Lubin, who leads field trips for the New England Wild Flower Society. Visit his website at We will try to limit the crowd to 15 people; to reserve a place, phone Don at 617-254-8464 (617-A-LIVING) or email Meet at the Plymouth Rd. entrance in the southwest corner of the Cold Spring Park. You should be able to park on Plymouth Rd. between Cochituate Rd. and Kingston Rd.



Charles River Lakes District Canoe Trip

The canoe trip through the Charles River Lakes District, a mixture of residential, commercial and wetlands, starts from the Charles River Canoe Service on Commonwealth Avenue. The trip goes past Norumbega Park, Fox Island, Auburndale Park, Weirs Cove, the Waltham Watch building, Mount Feake Cemetery, Purgatory Cove and stops (we trust) just short of the Moody Street dam. The river and surrounding wetlands are well populated with ducks, geese, blue herons and the occasional hawk or egret, so you might want to bring your binoculars. Park across the river from the canoe service. Rental canoes and kayaks are available, or bring you own (and required life jackets) and put in from the parking lot. The trip leader is Bill Hagar.


Crystal Lake Walk

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 were Bullough's Pond and Chandler Pond. Ice dealers who sold the ice for refrigeration renamed it Crystal Lake to sound appealing to customers. The Crystal Lake area is home to a significant number of historical residences and is Newton’s only opportunity for swimming in a natural body of water. Crystal Lake is a "great pond" (a pond that's larger than ten acres). It is state-owned. This walk is co-sponsored with the Newton History Museum.

Lucy Caldwell-Stair will lead the walk around Crystal Lake. The walk will start on Rogers Street at the front of the bathhouse.




Weather: When in doubt check with the group leader.

Upcoming trips: Sign up for our monthly email newsletter to be informed when the next walk schedule is posted. The newsletter also will tell you about other Newton conservation news.

Prior walks:

Fall 2003
Spring 2004
Fall 2004

Spring 2005
Fall 2005
Spring 2006
Fall 2006

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