Mystic Valley Parkway

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Mystic Valley Parkway, Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston MPS
ArlingtonMA MysticParkway.jpg
Mystic Valley Parkway is located in Massachusetts
Mystic Valley Parkway
Location Arlington, Medford, Somerville, and Winchester, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°25′47″N 71°7′49″W / 42.42972°N 71.13028°W / 42.42972; -71.13028Coordinates: 42°25′47″N 71°7′49″W / 42.42972°N 71.13028°W / 42.42972; -71.13028
Area 22 acres (8.9 ha)
Built 1936
Architect Charles Eliot; Olmsted Brothers
Governing body State (Department of Conservation and Recreation)
MPS Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston MPS
NRHP Reference # 05001529[1]
Added to NRHP January 18, 2006

The Mystic Valley Parkway is a parkway in Arlington, Medford, Somerville, and Winchester, Massachusetts. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and forms part of Route 16.

Mystic valley parkway.png

The parkway runs roughly north-south from the Middlesex Fells in Winchester, down the Aberjona River valley, and along the east side of the Mystic Lakes into Medford. This section follows the path of the old Middlesex Canal. It then crosses the Mystic River into Arlington (sharing a bridge with Massachusetts Route 60), and curves to follow the river as it runs east-west through Arlington. A short branch also runs along the southern shore of the Lower Mystic Lake from Route 60 where it ends at a junction with U.S. Route 3 and Massachusetts Route 2A. It meets the Alewife Brook Parkway (and joins with Massachusetts Route 16) at a rotary near where Alewife Brook empties into the Mystic, and then continues to generally follow the course of the Mystic River downstream, crossing it several times before ending at the Revere Beach Parkway where both meet Massachusetts Route 28.

The Olmsted plan of the original parkway, 1895.

The parkway, with surrounding landscape, forms part of Boston's Metropolitan Park District, established in 1893. The parkway itself was designed in 1894-1895 by the Olmsted Brothers, the noted landscape architects, with Charles Eliot taking a lead role. It was originally created as one section of a web of pleasure roads designed for their aesthetics, as part of a comprehensive plan for green spaces in and around Boston.

Lantern slides in the Library of Congress collection, Courtesy of the Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, offer views of the Parkways in published in 1895.[2][3][4][5]

It now forms part of the Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston, and on January 18, 2006, was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district.

See also[edit]


  • Charles Eliot, "The Boston Metropolitan Reservations", The New England magazine, Volume 21, Issue 1, September 1896.
  • William B. de las Casas, "The Boston Metropolitan Park System", Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 35, No. 2, Public Recreation Facilities (March, 1910), pp. 64–70.
  • Charles William Eliot, Charles Eliot: Landscape Architect, Houghton, Mifflin, 1902.