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

Towns in the Neponset River Watershed:

  • Boston (Hyde Park, Mattapan, and Dorchester)

  • Canton

  • Dedham

  • Dover

  • Foxborough

  • 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, and Spring Brook

Learn More about the Neponset Rive

Environmental Concerns for the Neponset

  • As of 2020, the biggest environmental concerns for the Neponset River include the effects of old dams, low water levels, sewage contamination, climate change, and exotic, invasive species.
  • To learn more about environmental challenges currently facing the Neponset, click here.
  • 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.

Additional Facts


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

  • 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).

Did You Know?
  • The Neponset is a drinking water source to 120,000 people.
  • The Neponset is 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.

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

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

Neponset River Events - 

To learn more about Neponset River events, both virtual and in-person, click HERE.


What People Are Saying...

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!


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Where to go Swimming


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

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Hiking, Walking, Running

Where to go on a walk, run, or take a hike

  • Neponset Greenway Trail, 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, 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 and the Blue Hills together provide the most extensive area of wildlife habitats in Greater Boston.

  • The Burma Road Trail, a 1.5 mile dirt path along the Neponset River

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

  • Lower Neponset River Trail

    • Hallet Street, Boston, MA 02124

    • Parking is available at Pope John Paul II Park.

    • The paved bike path is an accessible trail

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

  • Neponset River Reservation

    • Neponset Park, Hilltop Street, Dorchester

  • Pope John Paul II Park

    • 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

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

  • One that is near Billings Creek

    • Park along Seaport Drive in Quincy, MA 02171

  • Launch from Signal Hill in Canton; go upstream or downstream

    • Park at 99 University Rd in Canton, MA 02021

  • Launch from Paul’s Bridge in Milton; go upstream

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

  • Launch from Milton Landing (Wharf St, Milton, MA 02186) or DCR Neponset Park in Dorchester and go to the Neponset Estuary

  • Lake Massapoag in Sharon

    • I assume there is parking at the Recreation Department located at 219 Massapoag Ave in Sharon, MA 02067

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Boating & Sailing

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Where to go Fishing

Can you fish on this river? Yes.
The NepRWA advises people to keep up to date on the Freshwater Fish Consumption Advisory List before eating any fish that is caught in the Neponset River Watershed. The NepRWA has a list of current pollution warnings on their website that is organized by location. At the moment (Summer 2020), the organization advises against consuming largemouth bass in many locations. Other types of fish are also listed.