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Guided Walks - Fall 2008

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.

printable list of all walks


Nahanton Park
Early Morning Migratory Bird Walk

Nahanton Park offers a mix of woodlands, wetlands and meadows along the Charles River, making it a good place to observe a variety of migratory songbirds, as a well as resident species.

Enter park at the Nahanton Street entrance next to the river. Parking is available inside the park. Bring binoculars if you have them. Beginners as well as experienced birders are welcome. The walk is weather dependent. Call if in doubt. Trip Leader is Ted Kuklinski (617-969-6222).


Kennard Park

This is a walk along the trails of the Kennard properties, where a 32 acre post-agricultural forest has grown up on 19 th century farmland that became an early 20th century gentleman’s estate, and finally a Newton park, adjacent to Brookline’s 58-acre Lost Pond. Explore South Meadow brook, the mixed conifer woodland with colonial stonewalls, a red maple swamp with century-old trees, and a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and ferns.

Meet at the main entrance on Dudley Road at 2:00 pm. Trip Leader is Larry Burdick (617-584 4633).


Ferns near Hammond Pond

The Webster and Cohen Conservation areas, together with the DCR reservation, form a large wooded expanse that stretches from the shopping malls of Route 9 almost to Newton Centre. They extend on both sides of Hammond Pond Parkway and are home to at least 20 kinds of ferns and related plants. We will visit the southeast corner near the large Hammond Pond, and try to find about a dozen types of ferns. So late in the season some of them may not be looking their best, but a few are evergreens and will stand out more clearly as the other plants fade in the fall. Wear long plants to protect against poison ivy, but bugs should not be a problem so late.

Meet at the trail entrance from the small parking lot at the southwest corner of Hammond Pond, between General Cinemas and the Hammond Pond Parkway at noon. Trip Leader is Don Lubin (617-254-8464).


Newton Cemetery Tree Walk

The Newton Tree Conservancy is a new conservation organization, a private non-profit dedicated to provide better stewardship for Newton's urban forest and funds for tree plantings. (See articles in our Fall 2008 newsletter.) Its kickoff event is at City Hall, 12 to 5 pm. Part of the event is a guided tree walk through Newton Cemetery, home of large, century-old specimen trees. There will also be tree plantings and children's activities. Find details at the Tree Conservancy website.


Oakdale Woods

The Oakdale Woods are typical of the many small open space parcels in the southern part of the city that were developed after World War Two. This small space has been used by neighborhood children (including the tour guide), for winter sledding, acorn fights and informal camping for many generations and was left undeveloped due to its geological features, including a substantial deposit of Roxbury Puddingstone and glacial boulders, as well as a steep cliff running the length of the woods. Old maps going back to at least 1917 show a paper street continuing Oakdale Road through the woods, but for a combination of factors, the road was never built, and the land never developed.

While walking through the woods, using old maps, Peter Kastner will talk about the development of the surrounding area and the specific geological formations that made the woods hard to develop and now make a wonderful, small conservation area.

Meet at Oakdale Woods’ entrance (near old bottling shed) at the eastern end of Oakdale Road at 2:00 pm. Parking is available at the entrance. Trip leader is Peter Kastner (617-244-6094).


Newton Aqueducts Hike

This is a popular 4-6 mile hike through woods, meadows and fields along the Newton sections of the Sudbury and Cochituate aqueducts. Parts of the paths traverse close to backyards, so hikers do need to be respectful of private property. This is a steady, but not fast, hike. Participants should be in sufficiently good shape to keep up with the group. (There are cutoffs for those who wish to shorten the hike).

Meet in front of the Starbucks coffee shop near the Waban MBTA station at 2:00 pm. Trip leader is Henry Finch (617-964-4488).


Cutler/Millennium Park Hike

Starting at Cutler Park, we will explore Cutler Park and Millennium Park and will complete the tour by way of the Helen Heyn Riverway. These areas have been improved for recreation over the last several years and now provide a wide variety of trails, river landings and playing fields. This approximately 5.5 mile hike will be steady but not fast, and participants should be in sufficiently good shape to keep up with the group. Hiking boots or heavy all weather shoes are recommended.

Meet at the Cutler Park entrance, a quarter mile south of the Charles River Bridge on Kendrick Street in Needham, at 2:00 pm. Trip leader is Henry Finch (617-964-4488).


More listings of upcoming local walks and programs:

Appalachian Mountain Club

Mass Audubon Society

Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation

Organization for the Assabet River

Sudbury Valley Trustees

Trustees of Reservations

Walden Woods Project

Wellesley Conservation Council bird walks

Weston Forest and Trail Association




Weather: When in doubt check with the group leader.

Upcoming trips: Sign up for our 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
Spring 2007
Fall 2007
Spring 2008
Fall 2008 (complete list)

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