Charles River Path – Galen Street
Guidebook Section: North
The Riverwalk features vestiges of one of the oldest dams on the Charles River, with remains of raceways built by David Bemis in 1778, and scenic views of the Charles River. The path from Galen Street in Watertown Square, improved by the MDC in 1998, offers scenic overlooks, a fish ladder at Watertown Dam, falls, fishing areas, and boat launches.
Forte Park, formerly Allison Park, features a soccer field, basketball courts, children’s playground, and restrooms. On summer evenings, herons roost on the Charles River bank next to the park.
Size: About 1 mile long
Longest Walk: 2 mile loop
Along the Charles River Path: Loop from Watertown Square to Bridge Street
Along the Charles River Path: Loop from Watertown Square to Moody Street
Along the Charles River Path: Loop from Watertown Square to Auburndale
Along the Charles River Path: Moody Street to Watertown Square (by foot and bus)
Owner & Administrator Websites
First three photos shown here. Click a photo to view the complete slideshow or click here to browse the complete gallery.
David Bemis bought 37 acres surrounding the river.
Bemis Mill and Millrace built.
Raceway built by David Bemis on 1/2 acre.
Rolling stone dam built
Breached rolling stone dam built to power textile mills owned by the Bemis family on both sides of the river.
Aetna Textile Mill Building constructed.
MDC was persuaded not to rebuild dam and to leave the breach as a passage for anadromous fish to lay eggs upstream, the fry returning to the ocean.
Riverwalk built from Galen Street to Bridge Street.
Charles River Path – Galen Street Map
Accessible Trails, Biking, Birding, Boat Launch, Charles River Walk, Cross Country Skiing, Historic Site, Picnic Tables, Playground, Scenic View, Sports Fields, Woods Trail
Newton Assessor’s Map ID: [many separate parcels]
Walks and Maps:
Boston Globe article
Forte Park is a small city park on this route.