About Charles River Peninsula
Surrounded on three sides by the river, this restored grassland field is accessible by either foot or boat.
What makes Charles River a special place?
Where the Charles River makes a nearly 180-degree twist in the valley, a wooded shoreline of birch, hemlock, and beech conceals an upland peninsula that rises gently to a 20-acre open field, which was farmed for more than a century.
A narrow footpath tracks the river along the reservation’s shoreline, while the field’s highest point offers views of the Charles River. An old wooden railroad trestle is visible at the western end of the Reservation.
Charles River Peninsula plays an important role in protecting the beauty and environmental value of the upper Charles River corridor.
Footpaths follow the edges of the upland field and trails pass through a part of the wooded shoreline. Easy walking.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1/2 hour.
State Department of Conservation and Recreation boat launch adjacent to parking lot. The reservation has two boat landings.
Regulations & Advisories
- Deer ticks may carry Lyme Disease.
Needham, MA 02492
Get directions on Google Maps.
From Points North: Take I-95/Rt. 128 South to Exit 19B onto Highland Avenue. Follow into Needham Center, then travel east on Rt. 135 for 1 mi. Turn left onto Central Ave., follow for 2 mi., and turn left onto Fisher St. At railroad tracks, turn right into the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Red Wing Bay canoe/kayak launch (10 cars). Paddle west upstream to landings on right or follow footpath from parking area toward open field.
From Points South: Take I-95/Rt. 128 North to Exit 17. Follow Rt. 135 West approx. 1 mi. Turn left at South St. Follow for 2.5 mi. Turn right at Fisher St. Follow directions above to launch.
When to Visit
Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of 1 hour.
FREE to al
Property Acquisition History
Original acreage a gift of William M. Austin, Henry R. Guild, Dr. James F. Powers, William B. Rogers, Jr., and George S. Weld in 1960. Additional land given by Elaine Lindy in 1994.
Conservation and Stewardship
Management Planning for Our Properties
Since 1891, The Trustees of Reservations have worked to protect special places in Massachusetts and maintain them to the highest standards. To ensure these standards are met, a program of careful planning and sound management is essential. Comprehensive property management plans are created for each reservation and are completely updated approximately every ten years. We often work with volunteers, property users, and members of the community to carry out this planning, which typically involves several steps:
- Describing in detail the site’s natural, scenic, and historical resources; identifying management issues related to the protection of those resources.
- Describing how visitors use the property; outlining the opportunities that the property provides for people to become involved in the work of conservation and caring for their community.
- Developing a detailed list of management recommendations, a work plan, and a description of financial needs for implementing the actions.
- Developing a prescribed routine management program for the reservation that will guide staff work plans, volunteer involvement, and the allocation of human and financial resources.
View Charles River Peninsula management plan.
Maps and Resources
A printed trail map is available for free in the bulletin board in the parking area. Please understand that supplies sometimes run out. We recommend that you download a trail map before you visit.
Planning Your Visit
Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.
Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:
- Protect wildlife and plants.
- Guard against all risk of fire.
- Help keep air and water clean.
- Carry out what you carry in.
- Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
- Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
- Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
- Enjoy and share the landscape with others.
Click on links below for further visitor information:
Before Setting Out
Enjoying Trustees Reservations
About Hunting on Trustees of Reservations Land
Tell Us What You Think
We’d love to hear about your visit! Here are three easy ways to let us know what you think:
Take our visitor survey. If you have a question for us, you can ask us in the survey and we’ll get back to you.
Post a comment about your visit on our Facebook page.
Share your experiences with other visitors on our website. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll post your comment right here on this page.