Sailing on the Upper Mystic Lake by Ken Legler.

Sailing on the Upper Mystic Lake by Ken Legler.


Getting out on the river is one of the best ways to experience the Mystic. There are many places in the Mystic River Watershed for canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding including both official and unofficial places to put-in. Seasonal boat rentals are available at DCR's Blessing of the Bay Boathouse in Somerville and at Spy Pond in Arlington.


Swimming locations include Shannon Beach in Winchester and Wedge Pond in Medford.

View our map below to locate boat launches and swimming locations, and to find paddle routes starting from Blessing of the Bay Boathouse:

Safety first. MyRWA advises you to AVOID swimming and boating for 48 hours following a heavy rain storm as pollution levels can spike due to stormwater runoff and sewer overflows.  


Opportunities abound for exploration in the 22 community watershed! See the map for park locations and links to some of the community groups advocating for these parks and special places in the Mystic River Watershed. 

We also have new trail maps, courtesy of Wegmans. Stop by our office or the Wegmans in Medford to get your copy!


There are many great locations for birding within the watershed- check out these bird lists from the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and Friends of the Fells/Menotomy Bird Club:

You can also find another checklist of Massachusetts birds at the Mass. Avian Records Committee List. For additional birding information see MassBird.Org.


Explore and celebrate nature in an urban setting using an amazingly fun and powerful app called iNaturalist.  It's as easy as downloading an app to your phone, and then going outside to a naturalized space and photographing some living thing! You upload the picture attach an ID (if you know it) and add your observation to a huge, growing library of observations.  Other observers will look at what you've uploaded and attach their own identifications.  If three observers agree on a species, it gets raised to to a "research level" observation. 

We would especially love to document what's in the biggest green space on the Mystic River, namely Macdonald Park in Medford. But you can document biodiversity anywhere in the watershed!