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Guided Walks - Fall 2009

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 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 fall migrants, as well as resident species .Last year's Conservators fall bird walk was busy with migrants. Included in the sightings were an indigo bunting, a red eyed Vireo, a red bellied woodpecker, numerous palm warblers, several Nashvilles, a very bright black throated green, and loose flocks of yellow rumped. Also many sparrow species were spotted, including song, swamp, white throated, savannah, chipping, and Lincoln's.

Enter the 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. Steady rain will cancel trip. Call trip leader if in doubt. Trip Leaders: Alison Leary Mooradian (617-821-5619) and Jane Zanichkowsky


Preserving History and the Environment in West Newton

This walking tour will begin at the historic (1781) West Parish Burying Ground at River and Cherry Streets in West Newton. We will see the grave sites of characters in early Newton history, gravestones recently conserved through the Community Preservation Act (CPA), and burial tombs that need restoration. From there, we will walk a short distance to the renovated Dolan Pond Conservation Area. In this hidden treasure of Newton, we will traverse the accessible trails and boardwalks past vernal pools to the Forte estate that was acquired with CPA funds. This project has resulted in a 10% open space addition, the preservation by the Newton Housing Authority of the 1925 homestead, and the creation of two additional Habitat for Humanity housing units. We will return to the starting point via the Webster Park Historic District, which contains many fine examples of mid-19th century houses. This tour is offered in collaboration with Historic Newton.

Park on Cherry Street north of River Street. Trip Leaders are Sheila Donahue and Ted Kuklinski (617-332-7753 or


Tree Walk at Newton Cemetery

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.)

The Tree Conservancy sponsors an annual guided tree walk through Newton Cemetery, home of large, century-old specimen trees. Join leader Cris Criscitiello and our tree expert Marc Welch for a tour of this beautiful site.


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. Parking is available at the entrance.

Trip Leader: Peter Kastner (617-244-6094).


Newton-Wellesley-Needham Aqueduct Bike Ride

Meet in front of the Starbucks at Waban Square for a scenic 15 mile bike ride along the Sudbury and Cochituate aqueducts and connecting roads. The bike route is mostly flat, unpaved path. There are some narrow more challenging trail sections which can be walked. The route is about 75% off-road and 25% connecting roads. This is a very interesting and pretty route. Participants should be in good enough shape to keep up with the group at a reasonable (not fast) pace. Helmets must be worn.

Trip Leader: Henry Finch (617-964-4488)


Kennard Park

A walk along the trails of the Kennard properties, where a 32 acre post-agricultural forest has grown up on 19th 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 throughout, a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and ferns. Meet at the main entrance, 244-246 Dudley Road

Trip Leader: Larry Burdick (617-584 4633)


Cutler/Millennium Park Hike

Starting at Cutler Park, we will explore Cutler Park, Millennium Park and complete the tour by the way of the Helen Heyn Riverway. These areas have been improved 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.

Trip Leader: 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
Spring 2009 (complete list)

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