Helen Heyn Riverway


This section of the Blue Heron Trail runs along the border of wetland vegetation through a wooded floodplain. It was constructed through a cooperative effort involving the Parks and Recreation Department, the Conservation Commission, the state, the Newton Conservators, and Newton Knights of Tunsion.


Size: 30 acres    Longest Walk: 2 miles    



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Trail Map

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GPS Enabled Trail Map

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The land was part of the estate of Robert Gould Shaw II. During the Civil War, Shaw’s cousin, Col. Robert Gould Shaw, a young white officer from a prominent Boston family, volunteered for the command of the first black regiment to be recruited in the North. The family’s estate house is now part of the Mt. Ida campus of UMass Amherst, formerly the site of Mt. Ida College


Part of Shaw land developed as Wells Avenue office park.


Volunteers made the trail. Once a planned crossing over College Brook is built, the path will run continually through the floodplain without a detour through Wells Avenue parking lots.


Conservation area renamed in honor of Helen Heyn, a founding member of the Newton Conservators. Heyn served on the Newton Conservation Commission for 42 years as a member, executive secretary, and associate member.


Charles River Walk, Conservation Area, Meadow, Vernal Pool, Woods Trail

Additional Information

Newton Assessor’s Map ID: 84034 0001 and other parcels

A statue of Col. Robert Gould Shaw and his troops, designed by noted sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens, is on the Boston Common. Col. Shaw was played by actor Matthew Broderick in the 1989 movie, Glory.

The trail is part of the Blue Heron Trail

A walk along this trail was described in the Massachusetts Sierran in 2004.