Neponset River Greenway


15 Reviews

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Neponset River Greenway Facts

States: Massachusetts
Counties: Suffolk
Length: 8.2 miles
Trail end points: 1339 Brush Hill Rd (Milton) and Tenean Beach (Boston)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015996

Neponset River Greenway Description


The Neponset River Greenway is a south Boston jewel, utilizing the best in design and construction standards as it winds through the Neponset River valley, offering a low-stress, high-quality experience for 8.2 miles.

About the Route

To locate the western endpoint of the Neponset River Greenway at Mattapan Station, trail users can go to the corner of River Street and MA 28 and look for a restored old transportation building decorated with several murals located next to MA 28. The trailhead is behind this building on a boardwalk suspended along the Neponset River, with the river on the right.

Immediately, trail users will be able to feel the difference from the busy streets adjacent to this tree-lined river valley. In 0.3 miles, the trail crosses a new bridge that takes the trail over the MBTA tracks. On a sunny day, the reflective colored discs and tree imagery of the fence will reflect onto the bridge’s concrete deck. It’s worth stopping for a bit to take in this creative art, as well as the orange and yellow trolleys zooming underneath as they approach the station’s turnaround point. The bridge has a ramp connecting to another parking lot to the right of the bridge, which makes for an alternate starting point.

The trail’s canopy is very dense in this southern section. The asphalt path connects to adjacent recreation fields and businesses now located in repurposed brick manufacturing buildings along this once-busy industrial corridor. The building that housed the first chocolate factory in America—Baker’s Chocolate—opened in 1765 on what is now the trail corridor (it eventually became General Foods Corporation and later Kraft and is now based out of another location). The trail corridor was also home to America’s first commercial railway, the Granite Railway Company, which supplied granite to the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston. Many of the retaining walls and underpasses along the corridor feature walls that have been beautifully painted by the Boston Natural Areas Network.

At the halfway point, the trail goes under the MBTA tracks and spills out to the river’s marshes, providing a wonderfully dramatic experience. This portion of the trail is considered a rail-with-trail, as it meanders alongside an active rail line. From here to the end of the route, trail users might share the trail with some fishermen as they pass through the Neponset River Reservation, which extends from Milton to the Boston Harbor.

The path hugs the Neponset River before passing Joseph Finnegan Park on the right. The city is creating several other adjacent parks like this one, with short trail loops of their own. As Taylor Street comes to an end, turn left onto Water Street for three short blocks on residential streets to the endpoint at Tenean Beach, where trail users can enjoy views of downtown Boston as well as the ocean.

Trail History

Indigenous peoples used the Neponset (meaning “harvest river”) for fishing and as a fur trading route with settlers arriving in the 1600s. The river played an important role in the development of Milton and Boston, though it was an early obstacle to settlers. There are several well-designed access points to the river if you decide to explore this riparian corridor by kayak or canoe, both excellent choices. If you prefer to run, walk, or skate—or if you have a foldable bike—you can take one of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) trolleys that run along the trail’s southern stretch every few minutes.

Parking and Trail Access

Neponset River Greenway runs between 1339 Brush Hill Rd (Milton) and Tenean Beach (Boston), with parking at both ends.

Parking is also available at:

  • Francis D. Martini Memorial Shell Park and Moynihan Recreation Area, 1015 Truman Pkwy (Boston)
  • 16 Blue Hills Pkwy (Milton)
  • Neponset River Reservation, 2 Granite Ave (Milton)

Please see TrailLink Map for all parking options and detailed directions.

Neponset River Greenway Reviews

perfect park

This park is huge and has a ton of space for any outdoor activity! I go for hikes here all the time, bring my kids and my dogs here, and we all love it! It’s clean and safe and has the longest trails!

nice trail

Though a little confusing to navigate this is a very nice trail. All paved on the Quincy side. Gets a little strange in the Milton side. There is plenty to see and is kinda a quick ride, but fun.

Great first time on the NRT!

We had a delightful mid-Labor Day ride, with warm sunshine and many others the closer we went from Readville to John Paul Park, and then few again as we returned to our car. The southern portion along Truman Parkway, mostly on sidewalks, was our least favorite, and I think we’d park at the Neponset Esplanade Park next time, and brave further north to the JFK Museum, and beyond?.

love it!

I’m from nyc so I LOVE walking and this park is definitely one of my top favorites! It’s not only the cleanest park, it’s also one of the most interesting and fun parks I’ve been to! The playgrounds are awesome! The view is incredible, it isn’t uphill, so it’s a steady paced path and it’s simply magical! Plus my dogs love it and dogs are welcomed!


nice trail.

Good bike path. Easy to access for a short ride. I saw bridges, streams, old chocolate factory, the non-stop old metro trains. Not too crowded.

Great bike trail; substantial length; in the city

I have done this trail several time; and come back to it as it is an enjoyable ride with some decent distance in the greater boston area. I park on the southern end in the Blue Hills, and go all the way up to Venezia restaurant.

Its mostly bike path, but there is one short stretch where I do the sidewalk (bike lane going back in the street but only on one side of the street). Midway there are a few coffee shops and convenience stores; which can make for a nice stop.

Give it a try; a little known gem!

great rail trail

This is a GREAT trail for biking. Goes all the way to Pope John Paul Park in Dorchester.

nice ride

We loved this bike ride with beautiful river views, old mills and even a section that was a raised bridge through lush green wooded area (The bridge was wooden and it felt a bit like you were flying through the jungle). Rode from 7:30 am - 9:00 so was not crowded. Good 15 mile ride!

Not for cyclists

This trail is good for walking and kid’s bike only. Not for cycling.

really hope for some expasion

as i live in this area and bike often as possible to reduce my carbon footprint, i like the newponset riverway but i feel its lacking one trail that could be very beneficial, its an unofficial hidden trail running parallel to President golf course that connects Harriet street to Granite street, currently its very rocky and borderline dangerous but im sure its public access road?..? anyway just my 2cents

i had a vision of a foot/bike bridge over to the Newponset river greenway from that unofficial trail would really sweeten the biking commute from east milton to greenway...oh the possibilities

The trail is now connected between Central Ave and Mattapan

It's a very nice stretch, with 2 bridges, the one over the river being particularly nice.

The gap near Hyde Park is still there, and the trail becomes less interesting at that point, but with one less gap it becomes much more inviting.

Lovely trail to ride and very close

We parked (as suggested by another reviewer) at the city park next to the draw bridge off Granite Street. The park is about the mid-point of the bike trail. We biked one way and then the other to do the whole trail. Our granddaughter is 7 yrs old and the trail was just right for her, not to long (5+ miles total) and interesting things to see. Afterwards our granddaughter played in the splash area in the park and we had a picnic lunch at the tables in the shade. There are port-a-potties there too, that are well maintained. We did find that the trail is all paved now, and it was an enjoyable ride.

Rollerblading trail

I tried to use inline skates on the trail with my daughter and there are a few things I would like to note:
-The street parking at the Milton end is limited and has a two hour max.
-After the first mile, the trail becomes packed gravel for a distance until you reach Granite St, then it becomes paved again.
-For rollerbladers,the best thing to do is park in the lot just off Granite St., near the drawbridge. There is no time limit and you can skate to the bay end and back. There is also a loop around a soccer field near the Neponset River Bridge that you can use to add more mileage to your trip.
-The alternative is to park at the bay end and skate to Granite St. and back.

Other than that, it was a nice little trail to skate near the water on a beautiful day!

Neponset Trail offers a pleasant ride in the heart of the city

I rode the trail in August, 2010 for the first time. I thought it was going to be too short for a good ride. I was pleasantly surprised by all the interesting scenery and the beauty of the trail in this area. The trail is paved for all but a short (0.3 mile) section between Granite Ave and the MBTA Red Line overpass. This short section is hard packed and could be ridden by road bicycles. The rail-with-trail section is quite busy, we saw half a dozen MBTA trolleys pass by during our ride. There is only one busy street crossing at Granite Ave, but it is protected by a pedestrian crossing signal. There are additional paved trails in Pope John Paul II Park. Parking was available at Hallett Street, which also serves as the entrance to Pope John Paul II Park where additional parking is available.

A great trail

The Neponset Trail takes you through an amazing variety of settings: a former chocolate factory, salt marshes, river banks, public parks, etc. It's far less crowded than other bike paths around Boston. Both the people and the wildlife are diverse and friendly. And if you're willing to tough out an unpleasant stretch alongside Morrissey Boulevard, you can extend this path all the way to Castle Island. The Port Norfolk, Tenean Beach, U Mass, Kennedy Library, and Carson Beach stretches are fun (although the sidewalks get a little crowded in Southie on warm summer days). Stop and talk to the fishermen along the Neponset and on the harbor at U Mass.

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