Neponset Greenway

Neponset River Greenway, on the Boston and Milton shore of the Neponset River, is a miles-long, waterfront multi-use trail.

Strolling the Neponset Greenway in Dorchester, along Neponset Estuary, October 2012. Photo by Tom Palmer.

The Neponset River Greenway on the Boston and Milton shore of the River is a miles-long, multi-use trail that, when the one “missing link” is completed (see below), will extend from the mouth of the Neponset River in Dorchester (Port Norfolk neighborhood) to the Martini Shell in Hyde Park.

Uniting the communities of Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan and Milton, the trail connects a series of parks and provides an exciting opportunity to appreciate the outdoors in an otherwise urban area.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) owns much of the shoreline, including the abandoned railway line which was transformed into the Greenway trail  from the mouth of the Neponset River Estuary through Pope John Paul II Park (paralleling the trolley line), and onward.

Since Pope John Paul II Park opened in 2001, it has been busy with dogs, kids, kites, joggers, walkers and bikers. The park contains 1/4-mile of the Neponset Trail. The rest of the trail, downstream to Port Norfolk and upstream to  the Central Ave. Bridge between Milton and Dorchester, had to be cleared of arsenic-contaminated soil. Arsenic was a key ingredient in an herbicide that railroads used until the EPA banned it in 1980.

Parks and reservations in the Greenway include the Neponset Reservation, Dorchester Shores Reservation, Pope John Paul II Park, Neponset II, various parcels of marshland, meadow and hills, and more. Learn more.

As of August 2015, work has begun on the 1.3 mile section between Central Avenue in Milton and Mattapan Square. This section will include a new pedestrian bridge where the trail will cross the river from Milton to Mattapan. The design has won nearly universal plaudits from people in Milton and Mattapan (and from NepRWA).  Click here to see images of the construction.