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Guided Walks - Spring 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

Vernal Pool Day

Join Newton Community Farm and the Newton Conservators as we celebrate Spring and Newton's vernal pools. Vernal pools are incredibly diverse ecosystems, supporting a wide array of amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. Join us as we explore vernal pool life, and discuss conservation issues facing Newton Vernal Pools.

10am - Noon -- Vernal Pool Walk. Meet at west end of Sawmill Brook Parkway, at trailhead to Charles River Path. We will visit several vernal pools (different than last year) Flat terrain, fairly easy walk. Adults & children welcome.

Noon - 1 pm Take a break, or picnic at the Newton Angino Community Farm (please bring your own picnic).

1pm - 4pm --Vernal Pool Extravaganza back at Newton Community Farm. Come and see vernal pool critters under the microscope, learn to identify frog & toad calls by ear, check out the turtle display, read maps of Newton's vernal pools, and more! Adults & children are welcome.

This event will be canceled by heavy rain - to receive cancellation notice, or for additional information, contact Jon Regosin at berkowitz.regosin (at)

Mothers Day Bird Walk

The mix of woodlands, wetlands and meadows along the Charles River make Nahanton Park a wonderful place for catching spring bird migration. Wood warblers should be abundant and those who would like to learn some "birding by ear" will not be disappointed. Enter the park at the Nahanton Street entrance next to the river and meet at the Nature Center. Parking is available inside the park. Bring binoculars if you have them - beginners as well as established enthusiasts are welcome! The walk is weather dependent - call if in doubt. The trip leader is Ted Kuklinski (617-969-6222, dolanpond (at) ), a long time birder with the Newton Conservators

BikeNewton Rally and Ride

Imagine a Newton with safe and convenient routes for bicyclists, bike lanes, "Share the Road" signs, smooth shoulders, where folks could safely bike to school, sports, and visit friends. Come and join other bikers with this vision at the BikeNewton Rally and Ride at Newton City Hall's War Memorial Steps (Commonwealth Ave). Get full information and pre-register (encouraged) at Onsite registration is at 12:30 PM with free bike safety checks, bike displays and demonstrations, healthy snacks and water, and raffles of bike equipment and services. A Bike Rally is scheduled for 1 pm with Dr. Anne Lusk of the Harvard School of Public Health and some other special guests! The 2.5 mile Friends and Family Ride starts at 1:30 PM and loops back to City Hall. Each participant must have a bicycle in good working condition and be wearing a helmet. This event is cosponsored with the Green Decade Coalition.

Check out the other great events the same day in Newton:

Newton Open Studios
Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18, Noon-6 pm
200 artists & craftspeople invite you to locations all across Newton. Browse and shop. Meet the artists, find exciting paintings, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, photography, watercolors, and more.

Newton Historical Society's Open House Tour
Sunday, May 18, Noon-5 pm
This 26th annual self-guided House Tour takes you inside eight historic Newton homes, spotlighting the work of local architects, contractors, and designers.


Riverside Park

Visit the little-used Riverside Park, which holds wonderful views and access to the Charles River as well as hidden wooded areas. Even few Auburndale residents know this area and this walk is a rare opportunity to learn about this development-ringed open space. The Riverside Park area was the home of Norumbega Park and the north-south rail loop. Due to its proximity to mass transit this area has been threatened by development. Trip leader, Bob Persons (rpersons (at), has had a long-term interest in making this open space area more accessible to the public. We will meet at the parking lot of the Department of Conservation and Recreation's building at 107 Charles Street, Auburndale.


Sudbury and Cochituate Aqueduct Hike

Henry Finch will be leading a hike of between 4 and 6 miles through parts of the Sudbury and Cochituate Aqueducts in Newton. This is a steady (not fast) hike which has grown in popularity over time, and serves as a way to introduce new and old residents of Newton to this wonderful resource. You will pass by paths, pinewoods, meadows and hills. Parts of the paths traverse close to backyards, and hikers need be respectful of homeowner privacy.

Meet in front of the Starbucks coffee shop near the Waban MBTA Station. See the loop map. (There are cutoffs for those who wish to shorten the hike). For more info, call Henry Finch (617-964-4488).


to be announced


Cutler Park/Millennium Park Hike

Starting at Cutler Park, we will explore Cutler Park, Millennium Park and complete the tour by way of the Helen Heyn Riverway. These areas have been improved over the past several years and now provide a wide variety of trails, river landings and playing fields. This is a long walk (5.5 miles, 2.5 hours) and the leader has advised that the pace will be steady (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. Henry Finch (617-964-4488), Newton Conservators board member, will lead the hike.


Charles River Lakes District

Come on a walking tour of the Charles River Lakes District where we will visit Ware's Cove, the Waltham Watch Factory Building, Mount Feake Cemetery, Brandeis University, the Duck Feeding Area, the Charles River Canoe Service, Norumbega Park, and Lyons Field. Meet at the parking lot for Auburndale Park ("The Cove") off of West Pine Street. The walk will last about 2 -3 hours. Wear comfortable walking shoes. This is a long loop so call ahead in case of poor weather. The leader is Peter Kastner (617-244-6094).

This walk covers a portion of the route described on this page.


Lakes District Canoe Trip on the Charles

This trip is a leisurely paddle that explores the Charles River Lakes District. Starting at Charles River Canoe & Kayak Service, off Commonwealth Avenue, you will pass along the DCR duck feeding area and park land and go though the narrow channel at Norumbega Park. The trip continues to the Lake District, including Fox Island, the views of the Islington Peninsula and Mount Feake Cemetery, and views of the Waltham Watch Factory. This lake is well populated with ducks, geese, blue herons and the occasional hawk. You will also look at the small creatures that inhabit the waters, using portable field microscopes. Bring binoculars and a lunch or snack for a stop along the river.

If you would like to join the trip, need a canoe, or could loan a canoe, call the trip leader, William Hagar (617-964-2644).

Canoes and kayaks are available to rent at the Charles River Canoe & Kayak. Park across the river at the Duck Feeding Area.



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

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