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Welcome to the Mystic River! Here are some fun facts and some great resources to help you explore and enjoy this great river.

Towns in the Blackstone River Watershed:

  • Arlington

  • Belmont

  • Boston

  • Burlington

  • Cambridge

  • Chelsea

  • Everett

  • Lexington

  • Malden

  • Medford

  • Melrose

  • Reading

  • Revere

  • Somerville

  • Stoneham

  • Wakefield

  • Watertown

  • Wilmington

  • Winchester

  • Winthrop

  • Woburn

Major Tributaries:

Alewife Brook, Chelsea Creek, Malden River

Relevant River Information

Environmental Concerns for the Mystic

As of 2020, the biggest environmental concerns for the Mystic River include Stormwater Pollution, and two invasive plants (water chestnuts and Oriental bittersweet). To learn more about environmental challenges currently facing the Mystic river, click here.

Additional Facts

History: During the 1630s, european colonists began using the Mystic as a launching point for their newly developing ships. Over a hundred years later, during the American Revolution, the Mystic was a source of travel for the British while rowing from Boston to Somerville. Additionally, the notorious Battle of Bunker took place at the confluence of the Charles and Mystic. Did You Know?: Each spring more than ½ million river herring migrate from the ocean up the Mystic River to the Mystic Lakes and to Horn Pond! A volunteer-run brigade have helped to restore the presence of these fish. Learn more here.

Here are some great organizations that help keep this river clean, healthy and fun to enjoy:

Click an icon below to learn more about Mystic River activities
Hiking, Walk & Run
Boating & Sailing

To learn more about the Mystic River’s events, click here.

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Where to go Swimming

  • It is safe to swim in the Mystic Lakes, although it is not safe up to 48 hours after a storm. Many areas of the Mystic Watershed are not safe to swim in due to high levels of Bacteria. 

  • To check daily safely, click here

  • Where can you swim?  When can you swim?  What organization has information about this?

    • Medford: Shannon Beach

    • Winchester: Wedge Pond

    • Arlington: Arlington Reservoir

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Hiking, Walking, Running

Where to go on a walk, run, hike, or bike ride

  • Where are there nice walks along this river?  

    • Medford: Brooks Estate. For directions, click here. 

    • Medford: Torbert Macdonald State Park. State park with trails for biking and walking. Learn more here. 

    • Medford: Medford Dog Park, overlooks the Mystic River

    • Medford: Station Landing Park, paved paths along the Mystic.

    • Medford: Mystic River Path travels alongside Upper Mystic Lake, breaks off while next to Lower Mystic Lake, and then restarts for around a mile along the Mystic.

    • Somerville: Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park, trails, boardwalk and playground alongside the Mystic River.

    • Chelsea: Mary O'Malley Park. This park is along the Mystic River, and provides views of the Boston Skyline and the Tobin Bridge. There are bathrooms, parking, and paved paths. For directions, click here. 

  • Other parks without trails: 

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Where to go paddling (listed in direction of upstream to downstream)

  • Winchester: Shannon Beach 

  • Medford: Bacow Sailing Pavilion, 12 spots, no fee. 

  • Medford: Medford boat club, public entrance.  for directions, click here. There are 8 spots and no fee. 

  • Medford: Fisherman’s Boat Ramp. North of Rt 60 in Medford. Look for the Medford Boat Club and Fisherman’s Boat access sign. Access to Upper Mystic Lake, not gas engined boats.

  • Medford: Codon Shell is run by Paddle Boston. Directions here

  • Medford: Mystic River RD & Harvard AVE. Grassy banks, unload and then park near courts on Harvard Ave? 

  • Medford: Medford Condon Band shell. small boat access, parking lot available. Near rt 16 and rt 38. Next to Veterans memorial park? 

  • Medford: Next to Mystic Riverbend Park and near Hormel Stadium. Has canoe launch and parking. 

  • Medford: Public Boat Ramp with 2 hour parking. Directions here

  • Sommerville: Blessing of the Bay is run by Paddle Boston. Rentals of canoe and kayaks are available. There is walk-in access to the water, with limited parking and no trailer parking. Directions Here

  • Charlestown: Schrafft Center, near Sullivan Square. Offers public boat mooring and parking, no trailer access. River is tidal here with large ships, use caution. 

  • Charlestown: Little Mystic Access Area. Grassy Area with boat ramp, be careful for tidal rips under bridge. 

Information about Rowing?

  • Gentle Giant Rowing Club, located in Somerville, provides many opportunities to learn and practice rowing on the Mystic. 

  • Information about Rentals

Medford: Codon Shell is run by Paddle Boston. Directions here

  • Sommerville: Blessing of the Bay is run by Paddle Boston. Rentals of canoe and kayaks are available. There is walk-in access to the water, with limited parking and no trailer parking. Directions Here

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Boating & Sailing

Where to go Boating
  • There are many places to Canoe, Kayak, Paddleboard, or even Row on the Mystic River! For Paddling put-ins, click on this link.

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Where to go Fishing
  • Lower Mystic: For Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, and Somerville, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a fish advisory, providing guidance on fish consumption. The advisory states that children under 12 or pregnant women should not consume any fish. Everyone else can consume the bluefish and striped bass ONLY. Fish are contaminated with PCBs, Chlordane, DDT. (more here) More info here.  

  • Upper Mystic: (upstream of Amelia Earhart Dam). Fishing is catch and release on the upper mystic. See more info here

  • Where can you fish? 

  • Somerville: Draw Sevens State Park 

  • Chelsea: Mary O’Malley State Park