Newton, Massachusetts is a destination community for people who enjoy outdoor exploration and exercise with their dogs. The City’s Conservation Commission owns 20 parcels of land, with more than 280 acres of woods, ponds, & marshes. 14 of the parcels have trails available to the public for passive recreation. Other open space owners include the Parks and Recreation Commission (510 acres) and the Mass. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (330 acres).
This article provides information and resources for people to enjoy walks, jogs, and hikes with their dogs in Newton. Leashed dogs are generally welcome on all conservation parcels and in most other open spaces, with a few exceptions depending on each property owner’s rules. The Newton Conservators web page, Dogs in Newton Parks and Conservation Areas, provides links to guidance about off leash dog areas, as well as dogs in conservation areas and state reservations.
Parks and trails are the main types of spaces in Newton for dogs and their owners to explore. This article explores many of Newton’s trails and walking paths; however, you can discover some of Newton’s popular recreational parks in our article, The Complete Resource Guide for Dog Owners in Newton, MA.
NORTH SIDE – Along the Charles River
- Distance: Approximately 2 miles (loop)
- Location: Loop from Watertown Square to Bridge Street
- You can start your walk or run at any point along the loop. Parking is available on side streets parallel to Bridge St.
- Click here for route directions, and photos from along the route
- Click here for a PDF map of the route
- Distance: Approximately 7 miles (loop)
- Almost all of the route follows the Charles River Path; there are a few sidewalk detours
- Start your walk at any point along the loop. Parking is available on side streets parallel to Bridge Street
- Click here for route directions and photos from along the route
- Distance: Approximately 12 miles (loop)
- Start your trip at any point along the loop. Parking is available on side streets parallel to Bridge Street
- Click here for route directions and photos from along the route
- Click here for a map of the route
- Distance: Approximately 4 miles
- This trip begins (or ends) with an MBTA bus ride from Watertown Square to Moody Street in Waltham
- The walking portion of this trip includes the trails described below
- Galen Street to Bridge Street (Eastern section) – Approx. 1.0 miles
- Bridge Street to Moody Street (Western section)
WEST SIDE – Along the Charles River
- Features: This loop includes several unofficial trails; some of them over a brush-covered former railroad bed
- Location: Along the Charles River in the West side of Newton
- Distance: Approximately 4 miles, out-and-back. Part of this walk follows the abandoned railroad right-of-way that runs from Riverside Park south to the Lower Falls Footbridge
- This route avoids walking near the Martin golf course, which is not open to walkers from April through November
- Distance: Approximately 3 miles
- Location & Features: This route is only for December through March, since it crosses the Martin Golf Course, which is not open to walkers during the golf season
- In winter, the golf course becomes the Weston Ski Track; walkers are cautioned to avoid groomed ski tracks
EAST WEST – Hiking Routes through Newton
- Distance: A 4.5-mile, one-way hike from Waban to Chestnut Hill along the aqueduct and through several parks; This walk takes about 2 hours at a leisurely pace. (Return is by MBTA trolley*)
- Directions: Begin at the Waban MBTA station* on Beacon Street just west of Woodward Street; End at the Chestnut Hill MBTA station
- Click here for printable walking directions
* According to the MBTA web page, Pets on the T: During off-peak hours, non-service dogs are allowed at the discretion of MBTA vehicle operators. Dogs must be properly leashed and are not allowed to annoy riders or take up a seat. For safety and convenience during rush hours, small domestic animals must be carried in lap-sized containers and out of the way of exits.
- Distance: An 8-mile loop beginning and ending in Newton Centre
- Features: The loop covers both the Cochituate and Sudbury aqueducts, and makes the connection between them by walking on the trail and road shoulder along Quinobequin Road
- The route can be walked or jogged in either direction; Many shorter variations are also possible
- Click here for details and maps
- Click here for PDF map of the full route
NORTH-SOUTH – Hiking Route through Newton
- A 7-mile one-way hike from the Charles River in South Newton to Newton Center. (Return is by MBTA bus*)
- Features Brook Farm, Sawmill Brook, Kennard Park, and more
- The trip starts and ends at an MBTA bus stop in Newton Center
- An alternate approach involves leaving one car in Newton Center and driving to the start of the walk in a second ca
- Click here for map of the route
- Begin your trip at the MBTA bus stop* on the southbound side of Centre Street, in front of the First Baptist Church. Take the number 52 bus. (Be sure to check the bus schedule. There is no Sunday service, and the bus runs less than once an hour on Saturdays.)
- Alternately, you could leave one car in Newton Center, and drive in a second car to the start of the route, or get to the trailhead by taxi or other ride service.
The Dept. of Conservation provides Guidance and Rules: Dogs on Conservation Lands
- Guide: Off Leash Recreation Program
Published by the City of Newton Recreation Department
This guide contains answers to questions that dog owners frequently ask about the off-leash program, as well as how to obtain an off-leash permit/medallion.
- Facebook Page: The Newton Off-leash Area Working Group (OLAWG) This social media page is an interactive way to learn about the city’s off-leash program, and share questions and answers regarding recreation opportunities with dogs.
- Printed Guide: Walking Trails in Newton’s Park & Conservation Lands
Published by the Newton Conservators
This 70-pg. guide (available for purchase) contains detailed trail maps and other information about 34 conservation areas in Newton. It also contains photos, driving directions, historical details, and an overall map of showing the locations of the 34 natural areas.
- Book: WalkBoston: Walking Tours of Boston’s Unique Neighborhoods
Published by AMC Books
This book (available for purchase) describes walking tours in Boston and many surrounding communities, including three walking trips in Newton.
- Brochure Series: Discover Historic Newton
Published by Newton Planning Dept.
This series of brochures describes historic walks through Newton neighborhoods.