Neponset River Reservation
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:Hallett Street, Dorchester, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:; 617-727-5290

Bathrooms: Portable toilets along the trail
Water/Snacks: Water fountain near the playground

Biking or walking through the Neponset River Reservation offers urban dwellers a respite from the city.

Neponset River is a peaceful oasis where you can paddle alongside water birds.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

The Neponset River Reservation covers a lot of ground. Along the 3-mile Neponset River Greenway Trail following the river, you’ll find picnic tables, soccer fields, playgrounds, paths for walking and biking, and a restored salt marsh.

The Pope John Paul II Park, where this trip originates, is a 65-acre park with walkways, fields, and a playground. It’s on the site of a former landfill, which makes the spot even more special since the Department of Conservation and Recreation was able to restore this formerly contaminated site. This urban green space is actually a bit underutilized, so don’t be surprised to have areas all to yourself.

Biking through the salt marsh is enjoyable, because it’s so different from its urban setting. The marsh offers a diverse habitat for plants and animals, including a number of threatened and endangered species. If you’re lucky, you might spot a snowy egret or a great blue heron. The marsh has the distinction of being the first salt marsh in the commonwealth to be publicly owned.

Remember: You can paddle your own canoe or kayak on the river if you have one.

Plan B:

Head to Quincy Quarries Reservation (Trip 61) for rock climbing and to see where stone for the Bunker Hill Monument came from.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Along Gallivan Boulevard and Granite Avenue in Dorchester, you’ll see several spots to dine.


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