Helen Heyn Riverway
Guidebook Section: South
This section of the Charles River Footpath 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
A Bike Loop Around the Charles in Needham, Dedham, Boston, and Newton
Owner & Administrator Websites
First three photos shown here. Click a photo to view the complete slideshow or click here to browse the complete gallery.
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.
Helen Heyn Riverway Map
Charles River Walk, Conservation Area, Meadow, Vernal Pool, Woods Trail
Newton Assessor’s Map ID: 84034 0001 and other parcels
The trail is part of the Blue Heron Trail
A walk along this trail was described in the Massachusetts Sierran in 2004.