|Cutler Park Reservation|
|Massachusetts State Park|
The southern end of Cutler Park, showing a boardwalk through the marsh
|Elevation||89 ft (27 m) |
|Area||739 acres (299 ha) |
|Management||Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|Website: Cutler Park Reservation|
Cutler Park is a 700-acre (280 ha) state park in Needham, Massachusetts that lies between Route 128/I-95 and the Charles River. It contains the largest remaining freshwater marsh on the middle Charles River, with parts of its major trail running directly through the marsh via boardwalks, and thus over 100 species of birds have been sighted there. At the north end, a trail goes around Kendrick Pond (also called Cutler Pond). The park is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and it is part of a plan by the Town of Needham to connect 18 public areas by 35 proposed trails.
Along the west side of Kendrick Pond remains the imprint where soil was removed in the 19th century to fill the area now known as the Back Bay in Boston. An extension of the railroad was added so the soil could be transported into Boston. Some of the old tracks are visible near the north entrance of the park on Kendrick Street. The large marsh in the park is not natural, but rather was created by flooding from the Silk Mill Dam in Newton Upper Falls in the 1890s. These wet areas were used in the past for wells and irrigation, and remains of filter ponds, ditches, and water systems are still present.
The bulk of Cutler Park falls within the borders of Needham, Massachusetts. The southern end is part of Dedham; and the park also holds the strip of land on the Newton/Boston side of the Charles River running from Nahanton Street, Newton, south to the City of Boston's Millennium Park (part of West Roxbury). Much of the park's area is marsh or wetland, while forest makes up the rest and bears most of the trails. In two sections the Blue Heron Trail bears foot or bicycle traffic through the marsh on wooden boardwalks. The current railroad, used primarily by the MBTA Commuter Rail, runs roughly east-west on a raised right-of-way through the southern half of the park. A trail runs adjacent to the right-of-way the entire width of the park, and a tunnel under the railroad provides access across it.
Activities and amenities
The park contains trails suitable for walking, hiking, bird watching, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. Challenging singletracks for mountain bikers are found between the pond and Route 128. Fishing and canoeing are also options.
- "Cutler Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "2012 Acreage Listing" (PDF). Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "31: Cutler Park". Newton Park and Conservation Lands. Newton Conservators. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "Town of Needham Trails Master Plan". Needham Trails Advisory Committee. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
- "Cutler Park". Places to Ride. NEMBA (New England Mountain Bike Association). Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "Cutler Park Reservation". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- Cutler Park Reservation Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Cutler Park Reservation Trail Map Department of Conservation and Recreation