Open year round dawn to dusk. The Neponset River, unlike the Charles and Mystic Rivers, remains a natural estuary with extensive marshlands at its mouth and significant freshwater wetlands along much of its upstream length. It provides an unusually rich and diverse habitat for both plants and animals including a number of threatened and endangered species. The estuarine portion of the Neponset River upstream of Granite Avenue is characterized by extensive tidal marshes. Granite bound for Boston from Quincy was transferred by early railroad to boats at a pier on the Milton Shore. This segment of the river offers interesting canoeing and nature study opportunities.
My Faithful Hound Luke and I went on this walk in early January; much of the path was under snow and there were patches of perilous black ice on which we nearly came a cropper several times. It was nineteen degrees and terribly chill.The trail was signposted as being closed for reconstruction at several points, with suggestions that one traverse at ones own risk! However, we were walking in the wake of two elder people who were familiar with the trail and wholly unperturbed by these dire warnings! As it was, the un-constructed parts were differentiated only by not being tarmac, but rather compacted sand and shale - under ice, it made not one jot of difference.
The frozen conditions were a large part of the fun of this walk. The river was often frozen, and there were peculiar, geometric ice sculptures. The frosted river grass was papyrus-y and beige, and made for a most surreal landscape.
At the end of the walk, we went a little awry, and found ourselves near Tenean Beach. On Saturdays, there is wine tasting here at the winery, so might provide a welcome detour if you don't have a Little Yapper in tow. Also, one could end the walk in the Adams Inn - the terrace overlooking the river is most charming on a summer's afternoon.
Maura E. on Neponset
Really nice trail. Bridges, trains, tunnels, river, lots to look at. Out and Back starting at John Paul II park is about 5 miles. Great for a family bike ride.