RECREATION IN THE MYSTIC RIVER WATERSHED

 Credit: Paul Marotta

Credit: Paul Marotta

SWIMMING

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

BOATING

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. Use our paddle map 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. You can check our real-time boating advisory before you go out.

Fishing

There are many great fishing opportunities both on the saltwater Lower Mystic, as well as the freshwater river and the many lakes and ponds.  For the Upper Mystic (upstream of the Amelia Earhart Dam) it is catch and release--see more information here. For the Lower Mystic River (Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, and Somerville), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has just issued a fish advisory to provide guidance on fish consumption. More information can be found here.The advisory says:

  • Children under 12, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and women that may become pregnant should not consume any fish in the area
  • Everyone else can eat bluefish and striped bass
  • Nobody should eat any other fish caught in this area

PARKS & NATURE TRAILS

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!

BIRDING OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Naturalist OPPORTUNITIES

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!