Hemlock Gorge Reservation
|Hemlock Gorge Reservation|
|Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston|
View through Echo Bridge
|Municipality||Needham and Newton|
|Location||Hamilton Pl, Needham|
|- elevation||79 ft (24 m)|
|Area||23 acres (9 ha)|
|Management||Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|Website: Hemlock Gorge Reservation|
|U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Hemlock Gorge Reservation|
An original part of the Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston designed by landscape architect Charles Eliot in the 1890s, Hemlock Gorge Reservation is a small 23-acre (9.3 ha) wild area which protects the banks of the Charles River where it passes through the corners of Needham and Newton Upper Falls. The park takes its name from a gorge through which a side branch of the Charles River once passed, whose ledges were, according to Eliot, "clothed with hemlocks". The side channel was cut off in the 20th century by the construction of nearby Interstate 95, and water flowing through the gorge now enters a holding pond, from which water is returned to the river when water levels are low.
The main features are the steep Hemlock Gorge, the river, and Echo Bridge, a carrier of the Sudbury Aqueduct, which now forms part of backup systems of the Boston area water supply. The bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982. A platform under the bridge's central arch lets visitors hear the echo that earned the bridge its name. There is direct access to the top of the bridge from the parking area. At the northern end of the park, just before the river flows under Route 9, it flows over a horseshoe-shaped dam constructed in the early 20th century at a site that housed a mill as early as the 18th century.
Activities and amenities
Picnic benches and trails for hiking are maintained. The park is open year round from dawn to dusk.
- Friends of Hemlock Gorge
- Hemlock Gorge Reservation Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Park Location Map Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Hemlock Gorge Reservation Newton Conservators
- Hemlock Gorge Map Newton Conservators