WELLESLEY TRAILS:

WELLESLEY, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      April 24, 2010

Length:                Brook Path; 3.4 miles

                              Charles River Path; 3.3 miles

                              Crosstown Trail (Cochituate Aqueduct); 5.6 miles

                              Sudbury Path (Sudbury Aqueduct); 6.2 miles

                              Morses Pond Loop Trail; 1.2 miles                                          

Difficulty:            Brook Path; Easy. Paved & stone-dust trail. 

                              Charles River Path; Moderate. Difficult for kids on bikes. Combination of hard packed dirt w/hilly, single track Mt bike trails. Some paved sections.

                              Crosstown Trail; Easy. Wide hard packed dirt trail w/some on-road sections, including downtown area.

                              Sudbury Path; Moderate. Wide, single track dirt and grass trail w/some hills. Some on-road sections.

                              Morses Pond Loop Trail; Moderate. Combination of dirt, single track Mt bike trails w/some paved sections.

Directions:

To start from the northern end of the Charles River Path; From I-95 take exit 21 to Route 16 (Washington St) and travel west. 

    To park in town; Just after crossing the Charles River into Wellesley, take a left onto River Street. A parking lot is located on your right across from the river. Metered, but free on weekends & holiday's.  

    To park at the northern end of the trail; Continue along Route 16 (Washington St) for 0.2 miles from the Charles River and take a right on Ledyard St. Turn right on Greenlawn Ave which becomes Boulevard Ave. Continue straight to the end of the road next to a town/brick building. A parking area is on your left.

To start from the western end of the Crosstown Trail; From I-95 take exit 21 to Route 16 (Washington St) and travel west into Wellesley. Bear right onto Route 9 west (Worcester St). After passing Weston Rd, a major road, look for the large parking lot of Saint James Church on your left. Park near the western end of this lot by Route 9. Then follow the sidewalk west along Route 9 to access the trailhead.

To start from the eastern end of the Sudbury Path; From I-95 take exit 20 to Route 9 (Boylston St) and travel east. Immediately bear right along an access ramp that parallels Route 9 above. Take your second right up Chestnut St. The trail starts on your right across from Summer St. Park along Summer St. 

To start from the center of the Brook Path at the Wellesley High School Stadium parking lot; From I-95 take exit 21 to Route 16 (Washington St) and travel west into Wellesley. Just past the Wellesley Shopping Center along your left, turn left down State St. Just after crossing the trail, turn left into the parking lot.

You may also access the Crosstown Trail and Brook Path from the MBTA Commuter Rail Line's Wellesley Hills Station & Wellesley Square Station. See; MBTA for more information. For information about taking your bike on the train. See; MBTA/BIKES .

The Wellesley Trails are five bikable trails located in the towns of Wellesley, Newton and a pinch of Needham. For more information check out; WELLESLEY TRAILS . All trails are marked with colored arrows along their routes, which helps a lot with the many detours. Two of these trails follow the paths of the Sudbury & Cochituate Aqueducts, both of which travel through other Mass towns, although not always passable. See; Cochituate Aqueduct Trail & Sudbury Aqueduct Trail . For more information visit; AQUEDUCT TRAIL NETWORK .

Here's a quick overview of each Trail:

Brook Path: A level and partially paved path along the Caroline and Fuller Brooks. This trail parallels Washington St. from Wellesley Hills to Dover Rd. but avoids the congestion and traffic of the downtown area. Trail is marked with pink arrows.

Charles River Path:  Explore the banks of the Charles River and climb eskers in the Town Forest. The trail starts in Lower Falls, crosses the Charles River into Newton to the Mary Hunnewell Fyffe Footbridge at the Cordingly Dam. It crosses over the footbridge back into Wellesley, and snakes along the Charles River to Ouellet Park. It enters the Town Forest and proceeds over an esker to Longfellow Pond. It then climbs steep eskers along Rosemary Brook, ending at the Sudbury Aqueduct. Trail is marked with red arrows.

Crosstown Trail: A trail that takes you on a journey across Wellesley following the Cochituate Aqueduct. Start near the Saint James Church. The trail goes along the aqueduct bordering Morses Pond and through Wellesley College's North Forty. The trail then runs to Post Office Square, goes behind Town Hall to Morton Park, and then along Washington and State Sts. to the Wellesley High School stadium parking lot. It continues along the Cochituate Aqueduct across Hunnewell Fields to Washington St. and Woodlawn Ave., where it rejoins the Cochituate Aqueduct. The trail continues along the aqueduct past Indian Springs Park and the Warren Building. It rejoins the aqueduct, and ends at the intersection with the Charles River Path. You have the option of using an on-road detour to explore more of the aqueduct in Newton. Trail is marked with green arrows.  

Sudbury Path:  Follows the Sudbury Aqueduct from Newton to Wellesley College. From Newton, the trail follows the aqueduct over Echo Bridge, near Hemlock Gorge, into Wellesley, past the Town Forest and joins Wellesley Ave. at the Wellesley Country Club. The trail then meanders through Babson College and Olin College before rejoining the aqueduct. The trail crosses the historic Waban Arches and ends at the Wellesley Centers for Women - Cheever House on Washington St. Trail is marked with blue arrows.

Morses Pond Trail: This loop trail travels through a Pine grove, along a ridge, then down past Morses Pond, Ice House Pond and the Town Beach. Half Mt bike trail/half paved trail. Trail is marked with purple arrows.

Trail Descriptions:

Note; You may check out each trail individually or combine trails for longer trips, as they all interconnect. We completed a loop the first time we biked these trails; Starting from the northern section of the Charles River Path, heading south to the Sudbury Path, then west to Washington St and detouring to the southern end of the Brook Path where we headed north to connect to the Crosstown Trail and finally heading east back to the Charles River Path. Total trip; 14.3 miles.

 

Starting from the northern end of the Charles River Path; The trail starts from the Boulevard Ave parking area. Head back out along Boulevard Ave and you'll spot red arrows on your left where the trail picks up. This section of trail is narrow and contains tree roots so you may wish to continue along Boulevard Ave. When the road curves right rejoin the trail, travel into the woods and over a small bridge. The trail turns to stone-dust at 0.3 miles as it opens up with views left of the Charles River. This brings you down to an intersection.

Note; Left takes you over the river via an old RR bridge and out to Concord St after 0.1 miles. Future plans call for continuing the trail north along the old rail bed as either the Lower Falls Greenway or Newton Rail Trail.

Head right after checking out the bridge via either the stone-dust trail or paved parallel trail. This brings you past another parking lot (metered) and past two granite columns to Route 16 (Washington St) at 0.5 miles. You'll find a map board located here. Turn left to pick up a crosswalk over this busy road, then head left along Washington St. Cross River Street and you'll come to the Finley Dam & fish ladder, all part of the Charles River Reservation

Note; There are some picnic tables & benches located alongside the river if you follow the paved trail alongside River St.

Continue straight across the Charles River via the Washington St bridge into Newton. Just past an old historic stone building on your right and before a small parking lot the trail turns right and crosses over the Mary Hunnewell Fyffe Footbridge at the Cordingly Dam and back into Wellesley. Another fish ladder is located on the other side. 

Note: This is also the start of the CHARLES RIVER LINK TRAIL .

Straight ahead is the old stone Eaton-Moulton Mill building. Head left through the parking lot and out across Walnut St. No cross-walk. A narrow paved path takes you through Benjamin Mills Park and along the river. More picnic tables and benches are located here. When the trail takes a sharp right turn, just before a parking lot, continue straight along a narrow, hard-packed dirt trail. After 1.2 miles you'll come to the intersection of the eastern end of the Crosstown Trail which comes down from the right. Continue straight, down a short set of stairs and soon the trail heads into the scrub. You emerge on a gravel road. Turn right up Charles St and you'll pass by Ouellet Park at 1.6 miles, where a map board and parking lot are located. At Cedar St turn left and follow the paved path. When the road splits, continue along the path if hiking (stairs involved). However, if biking, bear right and follow cedar St up a short ramp and over Route 9. Use the cross-lights over Worcester St, then right across Cedar St. The paved path then heads down alongside Worcester St and then along Route 9 before turning left back into the woods at 2.3 miles. Follow the arrows carefully as you travel through the Town Forest along a hard packed dirt trail, as their are many turns. A right up a steep knoll brings you to an overlook of Longfellow Pond. The trail weaves up & down through the woods and contains some roots and rocks. After 2.8 miles you come to the Longfellow Pond parking area. Head right through the parking lot and exit out and across Oakland St where a small boardwalk directs you up a steep knoll. You travel along a hilly berm before descending down to the intersection of the Sudbury Path after 3.3 miles.

 

Starting from the eastern end of the Sudbury Path; The trail starts from Chestnut St across from Summer St and heads west.

Note; The Sudbury Aqueduct travels east through Newton, however, it is very fragmented and not really worth the effort.

A narrow, fenced in, paved path leads from Chestnut St to Echo Bridge

Note; Stairs to your right lead down to Ellis St where you can check out the stone arches of Echo Bridge, as well as, HEMLOCK GORGE RESERVATION. If biking, you can access Ellis St from Chestnut St.

A short set of steps lead down to the bridge with black iron railings high above the Charles River. Another set of stairs on the opposite side take you up to the dirt and grass trail along the aqueduct. At 0.3 miles you'll need to take an on-road detour to by-pass I-95. Head left down Reservoir St (residential), then right along Central Ave passing underneath I-95. Turn right up Saint Mary St and pick up the aqueduct again on your left at 0.6 miles. Here, the trail travels along a berm out in the open before crossing Cedar St and along the entrance to Eliot School. Bear right to pick up the trail again along the right and follow the aqueduct through the woods to Hunnewell St at 1.6 miles. USE CAUTION as their is no cross-walk here. Continue along the wide grassy berm via a single-track dirt trail and you'll come to a brick "Intake" structure. You can feel the cool air from the aqueduct flowing through the bars in the windows. The trail heads downhill and comes to the intersection of the southern end of the Charles River Path at 1.8 miles. After crossing Brookside Rd a short hill leads you up to another "Intake" structure with marinates on top. The trail then comes alongside Wellesley Ave where you'll need to travel on-road (narrow shoulder) past the Wellesley Country Club. Just past the pool house on the right is an historical monument to the town and the Minuteman. When you reach the Forest St intersection, you'll need to turn left into Babson College and then take an immediate right up a service road next to the main building (with the college name on it). A wooden post located at ground level near the roads entrance lets you know your on the right path. Travel around the backside (look for arrows on light poles) and bear left along a paved path which weaves through the campus. You'll pass by the Olin School of Business before heading left over College Dr, then traveling right up along this road. After passing by the athletic center follow the green cross-walk right away from the campus. Just before you exit the campus the trail heads left over Woodland Hill Rd and back into the woods along a wide, hard packed dirt trail. At 3.4 miles you'll come to a paved path. Turn right, then head back into the woods past a green "emergency phone". Here the dirt trail is narrow and hilly before emerging at a large parking lot in Needham. 

Note; You can check out Olin College by heading straight and then turning left into it's courtyard surrounded by glass fronted buildings.

From the parking lot, turn right and follow the grassy path along the gas line to the bottom of the lot where the trail re-enters the woods. This dirt trail winds through the woods and comes to a T-intersection where it heads right. You come to another T-intersection and head right back along the aqueduct. When you come to a berm the trail bears left alongside it before exiting out to Great Plains Ave. Head right along the wide shoulder.

Note; The aqueduct continues on the other side of the road, however, if your biking it's easier to continue along the road to the first road on the left. Head down this road, which is the entrance to the Recycling & Disposal facility, and you'll pick up the aqueduct again on your right.

Follow the wide, dirt & grass trail into the woods and soon you'll come to a "Gatehouse" at 4.3 miles. Note the brook that travels underneath. Cross Wildon Rd and then a plank bridge where you'll head up a narrow dirt trail to Cartwright Rd. Next, cross over to Beebe Meadow at 4.9 miles and follow a paved trail past wildflower meadows. You'll come to a map board next to Benvenue St. Cross over and follow the trail left alongside the street. Cross Grove St for a short on-road section along this residential road. You'll come to Dover Rd at 5.5 miles. Head left up a short hill and return to the aqueduct on the right past a gate. The trail travels along a high berm (be sure to watch out for square granite T's along the center of the trail) past the Nehoiden Golf Course on your right. You cross the Waban Arch Bridge at 5.8 miles. Built in 1876, this 9 stone arch bridge crosses Fuller Brook which feeds into the Charles River which you can spot down to your left. Check out the old black iron railings marked BWW, which stands for Boston Water Works. Continue over the bridge and back along the trail before you'll need to detour because of a privately owned section. A dirt trail heads right and brings you to the Wellesley Center for Women parking lot at 6.2 miles.       

Note; To connect with the southern end of the Brook Path, continue straight out to Washington St, cross over to a paved path and travel left down along the road. Spot a beautiful brick house on your left built in 1866 along the way. Very scenic route. Cross College Rd, then right back over Washington St using 2 cross-lights and head left. Turn right onto Dover Rd (low traffic) and follow until you cross a small culvert. Just past this on the left is the entrance to the Brook Path after 1.1 miles.  

 

Starting from the southern end of the Brook Path; The trail starts off of Dover Rd, just northwest of Benvenue St and the Sudbury Path. This stone-dust trail travels alongside Fuller Brook via a greenway with beautiful houses and gardens on either side. When you cross Cottage St you'll find a map board and bench. A cross-light will take you over Grove St where the trail becomes paved at 0.6 miles. After crossing Wellesley Ave, the paved trail becomes older & rougher. Crossing State St/Smith St brings you to the Wellesley High School Stadium parking lot at 1.2 miles. Here you'll find another map board, as well as the intersection of the Crosstown Trail . Continue through the parking lot and bear left around the fence and track. The trail now consists of stone-dust.

Note; (In October of 2016 this next section has been altered, but I havenít checked it out yet so Iím going by what they reported) 

[The trail no longer goes along the Rice St sidewalk in front of the high school, but instead cuts across Hunnewell Fields. New trail posts mark the trail from Rice St across the grassed area adjacent to Fuller Brook to Hunnewell Fields, and along the grassed space between the basketball courts and baseball field to the stone dust path back of the stadium.] 

Cross over to Paine St and follow the paved trail alongside Paine St to a sharp left. Keep straight as the trail now enters the Caroline Path at 1.7 miles. This is a wood chip & boardwalk path that takes you through the Caroline Brook wetland. The trail becomes hard packed dirt and then stone-dust again after you cross Forest St. At 2.2 miles the trail becomes paved as you travel alongside Phillips Park. The trail ends after 3.4 miles at Washington St. Another map board is located here and the Crosstown Trail  passes by as well.  

 

Starting from the western end of the Crosstown Trail; The trail starts from Route 9 (Worcester St), just west of Saint James Church. This hard packed dirt and grass trail heads into the woods along the aqueduct, passes by an old brick pump house and travels alongside Morses Pond. You pass by Pine Point after a 1/4 mile, a Pine grove overlook along the pond. The trail crosses Russell Rd at 0.5 miles and passes through a parking area where the trail widens. After 0.9 miles you cross Turner Rd and come to a map board. 

Note; You can check out the Morses Pond Loop Trail from here. See below.

The trail heads back along the aqueduct through Wellesley College's "North 40". You emerge onto Weston Rd after passing by an electrical station. Turn right for cross-light, then right again over Linden St and travel left on-road down Linden St. Turn right when you reach Crest Rd, travel over the RR tracks and you'll pass by the Wellesley Square Station before coming to Central St. Places to eat & shop here. Turn left and travel past a small park to a map board at Grove & Central streets. Head left on Grove St towards the Post Office. Just past Wakelyn Way will be a narrow paved path. Follow this path through Morton Park, with it's benches and picnic tables up to Wellesley Town Hall. This is an impressive old stone building with turrets and stone balcony's. Travel around the right side to the front which overlooks a memorial and the Wellesley Library below. The old town hall bell is located here. Continue straight down the entrance and over a wooden bridge. Turn left right after the bridge along a woodchip path along a small pond. When you come to a bench the trail turns right and travels up a grassy hill to a small paved path. Head right out to Washington St. A quick right will bring you to a cross-light. Head left along Washington St to State St where you need to turn right. This will bring you to the Brook Path where you'll turn left into the Wellesley High School Stadium parking lot. Another map board is located here. Just past this map board the trail turns left over a small bridge and along a dirt trail. This brings you back up to the aqueduct where you turn right and follow the wide berm through Hunnewell Fields. Cross Rice St to a single track dirt trail. When you reach Forest St at 3.2 miles you'll head left out to Washington St. You now head right along Washington St, passing by the Wellesley Hills Station on your left. If you get a chance, check out the old brownstone station, especially the train platform. You'll come to another map board and the northern end of the Brook Path at 3.6 miles. Continue along Washington St passing by a tall monument on your left. When the road splits, use a cross-walk to head left over the on-ramp to continue along Washington St. You travel over Route 9 and pass by some beautiful stone buildings before coming to a cross-light that will take you left to Woodlawn Ave. Follow a paved path along Woodlawn Ave and just past Fuller Rd you'll come to a map board at 4.2 miles. Stairs lead down to the aqueduct, but if your biking you'll notice a "bike rail" along the left side of the stairs. This allows you to place your bike wheels inside the rail and walk your bike down the stairs. The aqueduct is a wide, hard packed dirt trail that travels through a gully and past an old granite gate house. Cross Croton St and you travel along a ridge through Indian Springs Park. When you come to Washington St, take a quick right to access a cross-light, then back down to the trail past Warren Park and a parking lot. When you reach Walnut St, you need to detour left down to River St at 5.4 miles.

Note; If you parked on River St and did an all encompassing loop, turn left to return to your car. Parking lot is 0.3 miles down this road.

Cross River St and then head right over Walnut St, then right up Cedar St where the aqueduct continues on the left. An 1848 block of granite sits next to the trail here. Head up a woodchip path to a dirt trail which then heads back down to the intersection of the Charles River Path at 5.6 miles.

 

Starting from the Morses Pond Loop Trail; From the map board at Turner Rd head south along the sidewalk and you'll immediately come to a trail on your right heading into the woods. This trail requires a Mt bike as it is a narrow dirt trail with some roots. After passing through a Pine grove you'll head along a short ridge where the trail improves. A steep hill takes you down along the ponds edge to an open grassy area before you come to a paved path at 0.5 miles. Turn right and travel between Morses Pond & Ice House Pond. Right after crossing a bridge you'll need to head left through a black gate to Morses Pond Beach. The paved trail heads past two pavilions and out to a road. turn left and you'll return to Turner Rd. Cross over and follow the paved trail up a short hill and back to the map board for a 1.2 mile loop.

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CLICK HERE FOR MAP

CHARLES RIVER PATH MAP

CROSSTOWN TRAIL

 

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WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

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