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Guided Walks and Activities - Fall 2011

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. Others are activities, especially removing invasive plants. These walks are a great way to get to know open space areas in Newton. Below is the current walk schedule.

Please note that walks meet at different times. Some trips are weather-dependent. Contact the trip leader if in doubt.

If you have questions or are interested in leading a walk, please contact the walks coordinator.

 

Canoe Trip at Nahanton Park

This canoe/kayak trip will start at the Nahanton Park area. This is a beautiful section of the Charles River from which you can go upstream to the far reaches of Needham, Dedham, and Wellesley. Interested nature lovers can bring their own canoe or kayak to use, or rent one at the Charles River Canoe & Kayak's new canoe/kayak/water stand rental that is now located at Nahanton Park.

The area up stream is a region of significant beauty with almost pristine conditions of local marshes and tree lines. Cutler Marsh is particularly impressive in depth with different patterns of wildlife overlapping the background tree line and marsh views. The fall is a good time to follow the massive numbers of turtles and other wildlife that have successfully been born to this unique stretch of water. We also will be observing the numerous birds that make their spring/summer/fall homes in this appealing habitat. We will pass by Powell's Island, Millennium Park, the large Dedham Ditch and then stop for lunch on Cow Island. The trip back will be similar except we will have the current helping to carry canoeists and kayakers back. Bring lunch/snacks, drinks, sunscreen, and a hat. Bring binoculars of you have them. Thunderstorms will cancel the trip.

Meet at the Nahanton Street entrance next to the river. Parking is available inside the park.

Trip leader is Bill Hagar (617-964-2644).

 

Saturday, October 1, 2011
8am


(Rain date Sunday, October 2)

Fall Birdwalk at Nahanton Park with Haynes Miller

Nahanton Park offers a mix of woodlands, wetlands, edge habitat and meadows along the Charles River, making it one of the best birding spots in Newton for fall migrants as well as resident species.

Meet 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. Walking shoes are recommended. Co-sponsored with Friends of Nahanton Park.

In case of steady rain, walk will be held on rain date: Sunday, October 2. If in doubt, call trip leader.

Trip leader is Haynes Miller (617-413-2419).

 

Webster Woods Walk

Webster Conservation Area is a jewel of open space in Newton. There are over five miles of well worn paths through this urban forest. This area was once an open field used for raising sheep and farming. (You can still find the remnants of stone walls.) You and your children can enjoy both the acres of woodland and rock formations of many types - including caves and Cake Rock (a formation of rock over 15 feet high used for practicing rock climbing). You can also visit Bare Pond, a vernal pond which in the spring has tadpoles and salamanders, but is now dry.

In 1862, the Atlantic Monthly published an essay entitled "Walking" written by H.D. Thoreau. The first sentences of this essay could be used as an introduction to this walk. "I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil -to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society. I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of walking, that is, of taking walks - who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering".

Join us in practicing Thoreau's art of such sauntering.  Park and meet at the end of Warren Street.

Trip Leader is Octo Barnett (617-969-6988).

 

Aqueducts Bike Ride

This very popular bike tour follows the Aqueduct Trail through Newton, Needham, and Wellesley. While mostly leisurely, it is sometimes strenuous. The tour is for ages 12 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and all riders must wear helmets and use bikes that are able to travel off road. The tour runs through established paths, pinewoods, meadows, and hills. You will travel near backyards, and riders should be respectful of the privacy of homeowners.

Meet in front of the Starbucks near the Waban MBTA Station .

Trip leader is Henry Finch (617-964-4488).

 

 

(Rain date Sunday, October 23)

Fall Birdwalk at Nahanton Park with Pete Gilmore

Fall is an excellent time to look for birds. We'll explore the various habitats at Nahanton Park in search of resident and migrating birds.

Meet 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. Boots are recommended. Co-sponsored with Friends of Nahanton Park.

In case of steady rain, walk will be held on rain date: Sunday, October 23. If in doubt, call trip leader.

Trip leader is Pete Gilmore (617-610-2477).

 

Newton Aqueducts Hike

This is a very 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. See the loop map. (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).

 

 

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

Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter

 

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
Fall 2009
Spring 2010
Fall 2010

Spring 2011 (complete list)

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