SUDBURY & COCHITUATE AQUEDUCT TRAILS:

NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

The Cochituate Aqueduct brought water to Boston, MA during the years 1848-1951. The aqueduct formed a key link in Boston's first major water supply system. Its genesis dates to 1845, when a Sudbury River tributary was impounded to form Lake Cochituate in Natick. This artificial lake, with 17 miles of watershed became the cornerstone of Boston's public water system. The aqueduct was built in 1846-1848 to convey water from Lake Cochituate to the Brookline Reservoir. Its route was 14 miles long, and passed through Natick, Wellesley, Newton & Brookline. From there pipelines ran to small distribution reservoirs throughout Boston. By 1951 four major aqueducts were delivering water to Boston. The Cochituate system was unnecessary and its water declining in quality. It was thus abandoned, and portions were purchased in 1952 by the City of Newton for sewer lines. 

The Sudbury Aqueduct Linear District is a 16-mile long historic district in Massachusetts along the Sudbury Aqueduct from Farm Pond at Waverly Street in Framingham to Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Boston. Going east from Framingham, it runs through Sherborn, Natick, Wellesley, Needham and Newton. It ends at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir on the Newton-Boston line. The Sudbury Aqueduct dates to about 1900, and was in use for about 80 years.

 

I haven't biked the aqueduct sections in Newton, except from Echo Bridge into Wellesley. However, the Newton Conservators have provided directions and a map for both aqueducts that pass through Newton. See; NEWTON CONSERVATORS for directions from Newton Centre or below for directions from Wellesley.

 

From the eastern end of the Cochituate Aqueduct (Crosstown Trail) in Wellesley; Turn left and follow the Charles River Path (marked by red arrows) out to Walnut St. Turn right and travel on-road down to an intersection. Head right on Quinobequin Rd traveling underneath I-95. Take a left on East Quinobequin Rd and enter the aqueduct behind the brick MWRA building. See directions below from the Newton Conservators:

Just before Quinobequin passes under Route 128, turn right onto East Quinobequin Road. At this corner is an MWRA building. (Near here, the Cochituate Aqueduct enters Newton via a bridge over the Charles River.) Turn right just past the building, and walk up the hill.

The aqueduct crosses Varick Road, and then turns right, entering a woodsy strip of land between the two roadways of Waban Avenue. Continue on the aqueduct until the strip of woods ends at Nehoiden Road. The aqueduct passes under roads and the MBTA tracks now, so another detour is needed.

Continue on Waban Avenue, then bear left next to the Union Church at the corner of Beacon Street.
Keep right on the Beacon Street sidewalk, crossing the MBTA tracks. Turn right and go down the stairs to the MBTA parking lot.
Cross to the far corner of the parking lot, and cross the street next to the Post Office. The aqueduct resumes between the Post Office and an apartment building.
After carefully crossing Woodward Street, pick up the aqueduct as it enters a woodsy area between houses.
Continue, crossing Chestnut Street (heavy traffic) and several other streets. After crossing Beethoven Avenue, the aqueduct is in a trench dug into a hillside. At one point, the path you follow rises sharply. At the top of this rise, do not continue straight ahead (that path ends shortly). Instead, turn right, and then turn left along the edge of the trench.

The path soon drops down to join the aqueduct at Plymouth Road, where it enters Cold Spring Park. Continue straight along the aqueduct until you come to the driveway that leads to the softball field. As you cross the driveway, do not take the wide walking path that bears slightly to the left and down off the aqueduct. Instead, go straight ahead as the aqueduct continues on the flat, narrower path into the woods.

Follow the aqueduct until it leads you onto a driveway. Walk down the driveway to Carthay Circle. Turn right and walk a few steps to Walnut Street. A slight detour is needed here, as the aqueduct passes under the Whole Foods Market parking lot.  
Walk along the Walnut Street sidewalk to Beacon Street, and cross both streets to the far corner. Your goal is to turn right onto the far (north) sidewalk of Beacon Street. Walk down Beacon Street past Garland Road. The aqueduct is in the grassy land on your left. Turn left onto it.  

The strip of land you're walking on includes both aqueducts. When you get to the next street, the aqueducts divide. After crossing the street, Greenlawn Avenue, walk a few steps to your left and enter the woods.

 

 

From the western end of the Sudbury Aqueduct in Newton; Travel south (left) down Chestnut St and underneath Route 9. Head right and just past Richardson Rd you'll spot a grassy area on your left.

Continue past what might be the smallest single-family house in Newton.
Turn left onto a grassy area where the Sudbury Aqueduct meets Route 9.
Continue on the aqueduct to Arlo Road, where you need to ignore two fences and a "No Trespassing" sign to continue.
As you near the MBTA tracks, another detour is needed. Turn right down a well-worn path that crosses the aqueduct.

Turn left on Cragmore Road, which immediately becomes Canterbury Road. Follow Canterbury until it reaches Meredith Avenue. Turn left and enter the Eliot MBTA station.

 

Cross the tracks and the station parking lot, and turn left onto Harrison Road. At the end of Harrison, turn right and rejoin the aqueduct.
Cross several roads (including busy Woodward Street). When the aqueduct reaches Kingman Road, it appears to continue. But it quickly dead-ends in a private back yard. So, another detour is needed. Turn right on Kingman.
Cross Walnut Street and turn left on the sidewalk. Turn right onto the aqueduct just after passing a row of pine trees.
Continue as the aqueduct turns into a driveway and reaches Beacon Street. Cross Beacon, and continue on the grassy area that contains both aqueducts.

 

HH

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WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

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