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Cochituate and Sudbury Aqueducts

Guidebook Section: Central

Location

 

USGS map

The two aqueducts pass near three stations on the MBTA Green Line:

a 0.5 mile walk from Newton Centre Station, or

a 0.1 mile walk from Eliot Station, or

a 0.2 mile walk from Waban Station, or

Connects to:
Cold Spring Park
Hemlock Gorge
Charles River Path–Quinobequin Road

Overview

You can walk a 7 mile circuit within Newton on both aqueducts. Or, you can take a 5 mile walk (returning by MBTA) from Waban to Chestnut Hill that begins on the Cochituate Aqueduct.

Cochituate Aqueduct

Enters Quinobequin Road area in Waban at the foot of Varick Road, after crossing the Charles River from Wellesley over a low stone bridge. When the aqueduct was in active use, the water was pumped uphill at this point. The public path runs through Waban, Cold Spring Park, Newton Highlands, the Wilson Conservation Lands, and Newton Centre Playground before it disappears in a tunnel through Waban Hill. Woodlands, pine forest, meadows.

Sudbury Aqueduct

Enters Newton Upper Falls over Echo Bridge across the Charles River in Hemlock Gorge Reservation. Nearly joins Cochituate Aqueduct near Cold Spring Park, and disappears into a tunnel at Gray Cliff Road in Newton Centre.

Longest Walk: 7 mile circuit

Longer Walks that include this property:
A Loop Along the Aqueducts
From Waban to Chestnut Hill

Owner & Administrator Websites

City of Newton
MWRA

Photo Gallery

History

Cochituate

1846-1848

Built to bring water to Boston’s Chestnut Hill Reservoir from Lake Cochituate.

1952

City of Newton purchased aqueduct for sewer lines.

Sudbury

1867-1876

Built to bring water to Boston from the Sudbury Reservoir.

1978

Completion of Dorchester Tunnel allowed use of Sudbury Aqueduct to be discontinued. Aqueduct maintained by MWRA as backup source of water.

2012


MWRA opens aqueduct rights-of-way for public trail use

Cochituate and Sudbury Aqueducts Map


 

Features

Biking, Charles River Walk, Cross Country Skiing, Woods Trail
 

Additional Information

Newton Assessor’s Map ID: [many separate parcels]

Descriptions:

Exploring Newton’s Historic Aqueducts

Why We Care About Newton’s Aqueducts

Walking Newton’s Aqueducts

Boston Globe article

Public Use:

Petition for public use of Sudbury Aqueduct

Status of public use

History:

Cochituate Aqueduct (Wikipedia)

Sudbury Aqueduct (Wikipedia)

History of the aqueducts

Photos, Videos, and Art:

Photographs of Cochituate Aqueduct

Photographs of Sudbury Aqueduct

Environmental Show video

1993 art installation