Walkers in Webster Conservation Area and Hammond Pond Reservation should now have an easier time finding their way, thanks to a collaborative effort of the Newton Conservators and Jennifer Steel, Chief Environmental Planner for the City of Newton. The new wayfinding system has three elements:
1. Intersection Markers have been installed at major trail junctions throughout the conservation area and the DCR reservation. Intersections on city conservation land are marked with letters. Intersections in DCR’s Hammond Pond Reservation are marked with numbers, to match the marking style that DCR uses in other reservations, such as Cutler Park.
2. Plastic Blazes mark three color-coded trails as well as two short connecting trails:
- The Green Trail is a 0.8 mile loop that can be reached from trailheads at the end of Elgin Street and Warren Street. (If you park on either of these streets, please observe all no-parking signs, and don’t block private driveways.) The Warren Street trailhead is a 10-minute walk from the Newton Centre station on the MBTA Green Line.
- The Red Trail is also 0.8 miles long. The trailhead is a few feet from the DCR Parking Lot next to the garage of the Shops at Chestnut Hill. MBTA bus Route 60 provides infrequent service to the Chestnut Hill Mall stop, which is close to the DCR Parking Lot.
- The Blue Trail is a 1.4 mile loop that begins at the Hammond Pond Reservation Parking Lot, behind The Street Chestnut Hill.
- Two short red-green connector trails follow paths between the Red Trail and the Green Trail, allowing walkers to follow a 1.4 mile loop around the west side of Webster Woods.
Detailed descriptions of these trails, written by Conservators Director Dan Brody, are included in the 11th edition of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Massachusetts Trail Guide. The descriptions can also be found here.
3. New Online Maps, now under development, will show the locations of the intersection and trail markers. Walkers who call up one of these maps on a smartphone will be able to see their current location on the map. (The existing online mapping system can show users their locations along the trail system, but doesn’t display the intersection number or the color-coded trails.)
We expect that the new maps will be completed in 2022. For now, this rough map shows the trail routes: