Hemlock Gorge and Echo Bridge
Guidebook Section: West
A National Historic Landmark, the handsome stone bridge contains the Sudbury Aqueduct, with a pedestrian walk on top. Visitors standing under the arch can make a fine echo and view the deep river gorge, waterfall, and steep hemlock-covered banks. Spectacular views atop the bridge.
Size: 23 acres
Longest Walk: 0.8 miles
A Loop Along the Aqueducts
Owner & Administrator Websites
First three photos shown here. Click a photo to view the complete slideshow or click here to browse the complete gallery.
English settlers knew the Ponkapoag Indians built a fish weir here to trap fish in the weir’s branches, catch fish from canoes, and smoke the fish on the river banks.
Grist mill, saw mill, fulling mill, snuff mills, and wire mill were built nearby.
Echo Bridge built by Boston Water Works as the second largest masonry arch in the U. S.
Acquired by the state for the Metropolitan Park System, one of its first purchases.
MDC water system, including Echo Bridge, taken over by newly created Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA).
Echo Bridge was briefly closed to pedestrians due to concern about safety of the railings. The bridge was soon reopened after temporary fencing was installed. The MWRA and city officials are seeking funding for permanent repairs. More info
DCR rebuilds dike and spillway
Hemlock Gorge and Echo Bridge Map
Charles River Walk, Geologic Features, Historic Site, Pond, Scenic View, Woods Trail
Newton Assessor’s Map ID: 51001 0001 and other parcels in Newton and Needham
Advocates & Caretakers:
Walks and Park Information:
An AMC book, More Nature Walks in Eastern Massachusetts, describes an easy 1-mile walk in Hemlock Gorge.
The park is described in the book, Walks in Wellesley.
A Walking Tour of Hemlock Gorge, by Kenneth W. Newcomb
Acoustics of Echo Bridge, including a video of a saxophone performance on the listening platform
Kenneth W. Newcomb’s neighborhood history has a chapter that discusses Echo Bridge and Hemlock Gorge.
Preserving Echo Bridge (President’s message)
“Echo Bridge” (a poem by Francis J. Ryan)
A book of poetry, Echoes in Hemlock Gorge, uses this park as a theme.
A new echo platform was opened in 2004 at the base of Echo Bridge. (more)