Detailed River & Facility Information at our Waltham Location
Charles River Canoe & Kayak’s Waltham location at Moody Street Dam is a wonderful location for your outing! We’re conveniently located adjacent to Moody Street Dam and Margaritas Restaurant, close to parking and restaurants in vibrant downtown Waltham, and the Charles River Lakes District offers 6 miles of flatwater to explore.
Like all our locations, we offer group discounts during non-peak hours to groups renting eight boats or more. If you’re renting fewer than eight boats, just come down — it’s rare that we run out of boats. During our peak hours, reservations require pre-payment of the first hour of rental and an additional reservation fee.
What to Expect on the Water
Our location in Waltham is on the Charles River Lakes District, an area with more than 100 years of canoeing history. This scenic 6-mile stretch of flatwater runs from Moody Street Dam to Rt. 16/Newton Lower Falls Dam in Wellesley. There is abundant wildlife along the river, including herons, otters, turtles, cormorants, muskrats, ducks, geese, and swans. Powerboat traffic is generally light and slow, and rowing shells also ply the waters.
At our Waltham location the river is open and wider. As you head upstream (though there is usually little current), the river narrows and passes the historic Waltham Watch Factory. Beyond that point, the origina of the name Lakes District becomes apparent, with numerous bays to explore. The river here is mostly tree-lined with some houses.
After three miles you reach the historic Auburndale Boathouse, formerly a police station. Beyond the boathouse the river is narrow, tree-lined, and passes the Leo J. Martin Golf Course (site of our winter home, the Weston Ski Track). The current becomes stronger closer to Rt. 16, but you can simply turn around and ride the current back whenever you want.
Where to Stop While Paddling
There are a number of locations where paddlers can stop to eat, rest, or walk. State-owned Forest Grove Park is a small peninsula with a sand beach and short, informal walking trails located about a mile upstream.
The City of Newton’s Auburndale Park is located about 1.5 miles upstream, and offers a sand beach, playground, ballfields, picnic area, and seasonal restrooms (learn more below). See our Paddling Map for other locations.