ESTUARY_RAINBOW SWASH GAS TANK (1).JPG

Towns in the Neponset River Watershed:

Neponset River_metroS.png
  • Canton

  • Dedham

  • Dorchester

  • Dover

  • Foxborough

  • Hyde Park

  • Mattapan

  • Medfield

  • Milton

  • Norwood

  • Quincy

  • Randolph

  • Sharon

  • Stoughton

  • Walpole

  • Westwood

Major Tributaries:

  • Beaver Brook

  • Mill Brook

  • Mother Brook

  • Pine Tree Brook

  • Ponkapoag Brook

  • Purgatory Brook

  • School Meadow Brook

  • Spring Brook

Organizations that work in the Neponset River Watershed:​

What's happening in the

Neponset River watershed ?

Find events >>

Learn More

Environmental Concerns for the Neponset


  • The biggest environmental concerns for the Neponset River include outdated dams, low streamflow, sewage contamination, climate change, and invasive species. Learn more about these issues >>
  • When the watershed experiences low in-stream water levels (due to drought and the diversion of water for human consumption), water temperatures increase, aquatic pollutants become more concentrated, and dissolved oxygen (DO) levels decrease, creating conditions that threaten aquatic life. Learn more from NepRWA >>




Additional Facts


History:

  • The Neponset River Watershed has been home to humans for 10,000 years and has experienced more than 375 years of industrialization (source: NepRWA).

  • There are areas along the Neponset designated as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), including the Fowl Meadow and Ponkapoag Bog ACEC (designated in 1992) and the Neponset River Estuary (designated in 1995), which give those areas extra protections.

Did You Know?
  • A drinking water source to 120,000 people. ( NepRWA).
  • One of the three major tributaries into the Boston Harbor
  • The Neponset River Greenway Trail has been voted “best neighborhood diversion in Dorchester” by the editors of Boston Magazine.





What Are People Saying?

Canoe_Neponset River_Canton_Palmer photo.JPG

"I walked along the Burma Rd Trail beginning in Milton, MA by the Neponset Valley Parkway. It was a narrow trail that weaved alongside the river. Most of the trail was easy footing, but the ground is uneven and you will encounter fallen tree branches, not making it very suitable for those with a mobility handicap. However, there is a nice open section at the entrance of the trails where you can sit and relax by the water. The entire trail is 1.5 miles, making it a 3 mile out and back (the trail is a dead end). Even though you can sometimes hear the sounds of trucks and cars on the nearby roads and highways, the trail offers a nice repose as you find yourself surrounded by towering trees and the crossfire of birdcalls above. Be advised that the trail is lined with poison ivy, so be careful where you step!"

- Rachel, Mass Rivers Intern 

Photo: Canton Palmer

Neponset River Activities
2.png
Swimming
1.png
4.png
Walk, Hike, Bike
Paddling
5.png
Boating & Sailing
6.png
Fishing
Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 11.40.15 AM.pn

Swimming

 

There are no swimming beaches along the river and it is not consistently safe to swim.

Untitled design - 2021-05-14T111017.816.

Walk, Hike, Bike

 

Walking, hiking, and biking locations:

  • Neponset Greenway Trail (Dorchester) an 8.2 mile asphalt rail-trail from Neponset Valley Parkway in Mattapan to Port Norfolk in Dorchester.

    • There is free parking at the mid-way point of the trail at DCR Neponset Park, at the corner of Granite Ave. and Hilltop St. (Entrance to the park is on Hilltop St.).

    • Click here for a Neponset Greenway Trail Map that shows public parking, carry-in boat launches, and paths.

  • Quincy RiverWalk (Quincy) a 2 mile-long public walkway along the Neponset River shore from Squantum Point Park to the Adam’s Inn. [Map pdf]

    • Park on Miwra Haul Rd in Quincy, MA 02171.

    • Park near the Neponset Landing Pier and Hancock Street (Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02171).

  • Fowl Meadow in the larger Blue Hills Reservation provides the most expansive wildlife habitat in Greater Boston. The Burma Road Trail (Milton) is a 1.5 mile dirt path along the Neponset River in Fowl Meadow.

    • There is a small parking lot by the entrance that can park several cars.

  • Lower Neponset River Trail (Dorchester)

    • Hallet Street, Boston, MA 02124.

    • Parking is available at Pope John Paul II Park.

    • The paved bike path is an accessible trail.

More opportunities across the watershed, courtesy of the Neponset River Watershed Association >>

Screen Shot 2020-01-13 at 3.19.03 PM.png

Paddling

 

Paddling locations:

  • Neponset River Reservation (Boston) This river extends from Milton to the Boston Harbor. In addition to hiking and boating, you can also find a playground and spray decks throughout the reservation.

    • Neponset Park, Hilltop Street, Dorchester

  • Pope John Paul II Park (Boston) Once a landfill, Pope John Paul II Park now offers picnicking, trails, athletic fields, and more. This is also a good place to look for birds and wildlife.

    • Park at Hallet St in Boston, MA 02124 or on Pope John Paul II Park in Boston, MA 02124

    • Or take the Red Line to North Quincy, then walk 1.1 miles.

  • Tenean Beach (Dorchester) This sandy spot features a playground, a boardwalk, and various picnic areas with shade shelters and seating.

    • Park at Tenean Beach, in Joseph Finnegan Park (141-147 Walnut St, Dorchester, MA 02122).

  • One that is near Billings Creek (Quincy)

    • Park along Seaport Drive in Quincy, MA 02171

  • Launch from Signal Hill (Canton) You can either paddle upstream or downstream.

    • Park at 99 University Rd in Canton, MA 02021.

  • Launch from Paul’s Bridge (Milton) You can paddle upstream.

    • Park at the Burma Trail Parking (1339 Brush Hill Rd, Milton, MA 02186).

  • Launch from Milton Landing (Milton) or DCR Neponset Park in Dorchester and go to the Neponset Estuary.

  • Lake Massapoag (Sharon) This is a 353-acre, natural, springfed lake. The name Massapoag is Algonquin, meaning "large water".

    • There may be parking at the Recreation Department located at 219 Massapoag Ave in Sharon, MA 02067.

Untitled design - 2021-05-14T114258.114.

Boating & Sailing

 

We have no information for this activity; please contact us if you have any information we should include here.

Untitled design - 2021-05-14T115111.162.

Fishing

 

You can fish on the Neponset River, but you should first consult the Freshwater Fish Consumption Advisory List before eating any fish that is caught in the watershed.

 

Pollution warnings for the Neponset River watershed >>