Detailed River & Facility Information
at our Newton Boathouse
Boating in Boston's location in Newton is an ideal setting for your outing! We're just off the MassPike and Route 128, and the "Lakes District" of the Charles is a picturesque escape from the surrounding cities.
Like all our locations, we offer group discounts
during non-peak hours to groups renting eight boats or more. If you're renting fewer than eight boats, just come down — it's rare that we run out of boats. During our peak hours, reservations require pre-payment of the first hour of rental and an additional reservation fee.
What to Expect on the Water
Our location in Newton is on the Charles River Lakes District, an area with more than 100 years of canoeing history. Our rental center
is located in a historic boathouse adjacent to the site of the former Norumbega Amusement Park and Totem Pole Ballroom.
We have a scenic 6-mile stretch of flatwater between the Rt. 16/Newton Lower Falls Dam and the Moody Street Dam. There is abundant wildlife along the river, including herons, otters, turtles, cormorants, muskrats, ducks, geese, and swans. Powerboat traffic is generally light and slow, and rowing shells also ply the waters.
Upstream of our boathouse the river is narrow, tree-lined, and passes the Leo J. Martin Golf Course (site of our winter home, the Weston Ski Track
). The current becomes stronger closer to Rt. 16, but you can simply turn around and ride the current back whenever you want.
Downstream of our boathouse the river is wider, and is mostly tree-lined (see photo at right) with some houses. Closer to Moody Street, you pass the historic Waltham Watch Factory and the scenery becomes more suburban.
Where to Stop While Paddling
There are a number of locations where paddlers on this section of river can stop to eat, rest, or walk. The City of Newton's Auburndale Park is located about 1.5 miles downstream, and offers a sand beach, playground, ballfields, picnic area, and seasonal restrooms (learn more below). A bit farther down the river, state-owned Forest Grove Park is a small peninsula with a sand beach and short, informal walking trails.
A mile upstream, paddlers will find a small sand beach, high dock (with difficult access), and small field at state-owned Riverside Park.
Our Facility in Newton
Our historic boathouse boasts a small patch of waterfront green space to use for picnicking. We have a total of six picnic tables; each table can accommodate eight adults. Tables are normally available on a first-come, first-served basis, but can be reserved according to the pricing schedule in the next column. See the photo at right.
Larger groups who wish to picnic should consider Auburndale Park, located 1.5 miles away by water or by car. Learn more below.
We are also happy to host outdoor events on the covered deck of our boathouse. We offer two options: the front and side deck (facing the parking lot and river toward the Marriott — accommodates 50 people), or the front and side along with half of the back deck (facing across the river and extending to the benches on the back deck — accommodates 75 people). Advance reservations are required and pricing appears in the next column.
|Tent & Table Reservation Fees per Two-Hour Period
at our Newton Boathouse
|Picnic Table (accommodates 8 adults)
|Banquet Table (accommodates 10 adults, requires chairs)
|Chair (one per adult)
|Tent, 10' x 10' (accommodates one picnic or banquet table)
|Front & Side Decks
Auburndale Cove Park & Playground
is a multi-purpose recreation facility situated about 1.5 miles downriver from our boathouse. The park offers a sand beach, tennis and basketball courts, regulation baseball field, fitness trail, modular and free-standing playground equipment, four picnic sites with grills and tables, and a building with seasonal restrooms.
The park makes an excellent spot for picnics, birthday parties, or a relaxing break while paddling.
Picnic areas will accommodate groups of up to 50 or 100 persons. If your group rents eight boats or more and pays for two hours of rental, we will not charge you for one additional hour of rental while you picnic at Auburndale Park.
If you want to reserve a picnic area or use the grills at Auburndale Park, a picnic permit from the Newton Parks and Recreation Department is required. Learn more about picnic permits
Auburndale Park is about 1 mile by car from our boathouse. Simply turn left from our boathouse parking lot onto Commonwealth Ave (Rt. 30 East). Shortly after the baseball field on the left, turn left at a light onto Melrose Street. Take the third left onto West Pine Street, and continue to the parking lot. Click here for a driving map
Nearby Restaurants & Catering
While no eateries are located within easy walking distance of our Newton Boathouse, there are a large number of restaurants within three miles, including the amazing selection of restaurants on Moody Street in Waltham.
Paddling Store at our Newton Boathouse
Boating in Boston's Newton Boathouse is located at 2401 Commonwealth Ave (Route 30) in Newton, right next to the Newton Marriott. There is plenty of free parking, including bus parking. Click here for complete directions
Paddling Safety Information
In Cooperation with Mass. DCR