COCHITUATE AQUEDUCT TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 16, 2023
Length: Cochituate Aqueduct Trail; 14 miles
Wellesley Section; 5.6 miles
Natick Section; 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Wellesley Section; Easy. Wide hard packed dirt trail w/some on-road sections, including downtown area.
Natick Section; Moderate. Narrow dirt & grass trail w/tree roots. Mt bike a must.
Starting from Huron Drive in Natick [Western End]; From I-90 take exit 117 to Route 30 E. Take your first right on Speen St and follow to Route 9 E. Travel 2.2 miles and turn left on Oak St. Follow for 0.7 miles and turn left on Erie Dr. Take your next left on Huron Dr. Pass by the 2nd industrial building on your left where you can access the trail down the driveway. Park along Huron Dr.
Starting from Route 9 in Wellesley [Northwestern End]; From I-90 take exit 117 to Route 30 E. Take your first right on Speen St and follow to Route 9 E. Travel 2.9 miles and turn right into a large parking lot (across from Lexington Rd). Then follow the narrow paved path west a short distance along Route 9 to access the trailhead.
The Aqueduct Trail System is an ongoing collaboration between the Mass Water Resources Authority and Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The focus is to identify and develop a connected trail system along the four aqueducts (Cochituate, Sudbury, Weston, Wachusett). As currently proposed, the trail system, when complete, will total 67 miles along three main corridors running roughly east west between Chestnut Hill and the Wachusett Reservoir in Berlin. Sections of the Cochituate Aqueduct Trail, Sudbury Aqueduct Trail, Weston Aqueduct Trail and Wachusett Aqueduct Trail have been opened to the public throughout various municipalities. See; Sudbury Aqueduct Trail , Wachusett Aqueduct Trail & Weston Aqueduct Trail .
The Cochituate Aqueduct Trail follows the path of the old Cochituate Aqueduct. Opened in 1851, the now closed 14 mile long aqueduct travels from Lake Cochituate in Natick to Brookline Reservoir in Brookline passing through Natick, Wellesley & Newton before disappearing underground.
NATICK SECTION; WESTERN END:
Starting from Huron Drive in Natick [Western End]; You can access the Cochituate Aqueduct Trail at the end of the driveway. Come to an intersection.
Note; Straight ahead leads to the Pickerel Pond Trail (See Map).
Note; Heading right, the Trail is inaccessible.
The narrow, dirt & tree root, Cochituate Aqueduct Trail Heads left (Southeast). This trail follows the Aqueduct alongside the marsh of Pickerel Pond. Emerge onto Erie Dr and head right out to Oak St where you'll pick up a BIKE LANE heading right.
Note; The 1.2 mile Oak Street BIKE LANE starts from Route 9 and travels North to Winter St.
A narrow sidewalk is available. You quickly come to Rathbun Rd across the street on your left. (Caution no crosswalk) Follow Rathbun Rd until it turns left. The Aqueduct continues straight ahead. Again, a narrow dirt & tree root trail which follows a ridgeline. You then travel through wetlands w/some boardwalks before crossing Oxford St followed by Overbrook Dr at 1 mile. Here the trail crosses into Wellesley. The trail emerges at Route 9 after 1.2 miles. The Aqueduct continues across the road, however, you'll need to detour to cross this busy road. Travel right on-road (wide shoulder/narrow paved path available) to Overbrook Rd where you'll find a cross-light. Then head left back along Route 9 (wide shoulder/narrow paved path available) to the trail head on your right. [0.4 mile Detour]
WELLESLEY SECTION; CENTRAL SECTION:
Note; This section of the Cochituate Aqueduct is also part of the Wellesley Trails Crosstown Trail.
Starting from Route 9 (Worcester St) in Wellesley; The Crosstown Trail starts just west of Saint James Church. The hard packed dirt and grass Cochituate Aqueduct Trail heads into the woods along the Cochituate Aqueduct, passes by an old brick Aqueduct Pump House and travels alongside Morses Pond. You pass by Pine Point, a Pine grove overlook along the pond. The trail crosses Russell Rd at 0.5 miles and passes through a parking area where the trail widens. After 0.9 miles you cross Turner Rd and come to a Map Board. The trail heads back along the aqueduct through Wellesley College's "North 40". You emerge onto Weston Rd after passing by an electrical station. Turn right for cross-light, then right again over Linden St and travel left on-road down Linden St. Turn right when you reach Crest Rd, travel over the RR tracks and you'll pass by the Wellesley Square Station before coming to Central St. Places to eat & shop here. Turn left and travel past a small park to a Map Board at Grove & Central streets. Head left on Grove St towards the Post Office. Just past Wakelyn Way will be a narrow paved path. Follow this path through Morton Park, with it's benches and picnic tables up to Wellesley Town Hall. This is an impressive old stone building with turrets and stone balcony's. Travel around the right side to the front which overlooks a memorial and the Wellesley Library below. The old town hall bell is located here. Continue straight down the entrance and over a wooden bridge. Turn left right after the bridge along a woodchip path along a small pond. When you come to a bench the trail turns right and travels up a grassy hill to a small paved path. Head right out to Washington St. A quick right will bring you to a cross-light. Head left along Washington St to State St where you need to turn right. This will bring you to the Brook Path where you'll turn left into the Wellesley High School Stadium parking lot. Another Map Board is located here. Just past this map board the trail turns left over a small bridge and along a dirt trail. This brings you back up to the aqueduct where you turn right and follow the wide berm through Hunnewell Fields. Cross Rice St to a single track dirt trail. When you reach Forest St at 3.2 miles you'll head left out to Washington St. You now head right along Washington St, passing by the Wellesley Hills Station on your left. If you get a chance, check out the old brownstone station, especially the train platform. You'll come to another Map Board and the northern end of the Brook Path at 3.6 miles. Continue along Washington St passing by a tall monument on your left. When the road splits, use a cross-walk to head left over the on-ramp to continue along Washington St. You travel over Route 9 and pass by some beautiful stone buildings before coming to a cross-light that will take you left to Woodlawn Ave. Follow a paved path along Woodlawn Ave and just past Fuller Rd you'll come to a Map Board at 4.2 miles. Stairs lead down to the aqueduct, but if your biking you'll notice a "bike rail" along the left side of the stairs. This allows you to place your bike wheels inside the rail and walk your bike down the stairs. The aqueduct is a wide, hard packed dirt trail that travels through a gully and past an old granite gate house. Cross Croton St and you travel along a ridge through Indian Springs Park. When you come to Washington St, take a quick right to access a cross-light, then back down to the trail past Warren Park and a parking lot. When you reach Walnut St, you need to detour left down to River St at 5.4 miles. Cross River St and then head right over Walnut St, then right up Cedar St where the Cochituate Aqueduct continues on the left. An 1848 block of granite sits next to the trail here. Head up a grass & dirt trail which then heads back down to the intersection of the Charles River Path at 5.6 miles.
Note; Future plans to connect to the Newton Section of the Cochituate Aqueduct involve the possible use of the Aqueduct Bridge straight ahead across the Charles River. This brings you to I-95. The Cochituate Aqueduct continues across I-95 and Quinobequin Road in Newton.
Note; To continue East along parts of the Cochituate Aqueduct in Newton you'll have to Detour left along the Charles River Path, as the aqueduct continue straight ahead across an old aqueduct bridge over the Charles River and is blocked on the opposite side by I-95. Heading left along the Charles River Path 0.2 miles out to Walnut St and head right across the Charles River to Quinobequin Road. Next you'll need to head right on-road (Not recommended for novice bikers), crossing an on-ramp for I-95. Come to East Quinobequin Road in Newton on your left after 0.6 miles. Spot the brick Pump House. This is where the aqueduct was pumped uphill. The public path runs through Waban, Cold Spring Park, Newton Highlands, the Wilson Conservation Lands and Newton Centre Playground before it disappears in a tunnel through Waban Hill. The trail here is very fragmented and not worth the effort.
NEWTON SECTION; EASTERN END:
I haven't checked out this section yet. Starting from East Quinobequin Road in Newton; Spot the brick Pump House. This is where the aqueduct was pumped uphill. A gap exists West between the Charles River in Wellesley. The Cochituate Aqueduct Trail runs through Waban, Cold Spring Park, Newton Highlands, the Wilson Conservation Lands and Newton Centre Playground before it disappears in a tunnel through Waban Hill. The trail here is very fragmented and not worth the effort. See; Cochituate & Sudbury Aqueduct Loop Trail for route.
CLICK HERE FOR AQUEDUCT TRAIL SYSTEM MAP
CLICK HERE FOR WELLESLEY SECTION MAP
CLICK HERE FOR NATICK PICKEREL POND TRAIL MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT