Detailed River & Facility Information at our Somerville Location
What to Expect on the Water
The Blessing of the Bay Boathouse is just shy of one mile downstream to the Amelia Earhart Dam and Locks and entrance to the Boston Harbor. Upstream you can paddle about four miles to the beautiful Mystic Lakes area with public swimming at Shannon Beach and plenty of places for picnics along the way.
We are proud to share the 2016 water quality report. You can see the full Mystic River Watershed map and read more about the water quality monitoring program and efforts to keep the river clean and healthy by our friends at the Mystic River Watershed Association.
Where to Stop While Paddling
From the DCR’s Mystic River State Reservation:
Open year round, dawn to dusk. The banks of the Mystic River are almost entirely publicly owned, from the Amelia Earhart Dam at the mouth of the Mystic Lakes, making it one of the Commonwealth’s best protected streams. The river has been much altered since the 1800’s when its shores were largely salt marsh.
Draw Seven State Park
The Draw Number Seven Railroad Bridge, which once crossed the Mystic River, gave this park its name. Built in cooperation with the MBTA, this park provides much needed field game space for Somerville and adjacent communities. Draw Seven State Park offers 9 acres of parkland including two soccer fields, a bikeway/walkway, a picnic area with shelter and beautiful landscaping.
Mary O’Malley State Park
Acquired from the federal government after the closing of the historic Chelsea Naval Hospital, the park has striking views of the harbor and the Tobin Bridge over the Mystic River. A boat landing and shelter are located on an historic granite pier and a wind sculpture by William Wainwright enlivens the waterfront. Tennis courts and a large open lawn area for concerts and picnics are also available. The park is open year-round, dawn to dusk.
Mystic Lakes State Park
In 1893, when the Metropolitan Park System was established, large estates lined the shores of the Mystic Lakes. In part through generous gifts of land, the eastern became part of the park system. The western shores were never acquired and were subdivided into smaller house lots. Today the Mystic Lakes are popular for freshwater swimming at Shannon Beach. Special sailing programs are available at the Tufts University Boathouse. The Upper Mystic Lake is for non-powered boats only. The Lower Mystic Lake is for power boats with no wake. For information about Shannon Beach call (617) 727-5380.
Torbert Macdonald State Park
Macdonald State Park honors a United States Congressman who served the district for 21 years. The park was built on a reclaimed dredge spoiled area left after the construction of Route 93. The award-winning landscape design of the meandering paths, trees and open lawns provides space for rest and enjoyment as well as bicycling, jogging, walking and informal games in a riverside setting.