There is great wildlife on the Charles River, it’s hard to miss you’re looking for it. I’ve seen turtles, great blue herons, deer, eagles, beavers, muskrat, mink, and way more. There is even a seal that likes to spend time in Boston and Cambridge every spring.
Nahanton Park in Newton if your best bet for wildlife sightings and has a small nature center with some of the resources below, which are great for kids.
- Bug Scientists! Scavenger Hunt and Info Sheet
- Nahanton Park Bird Map (extra credit if you know all the commonly found river birds that are not on this list)
- MassWildlife Pocket Guide to MA Animal Tracks this works especially well when there is snow on the ground, but worth a shot in the summer too.
Here are some other links that will help you impress your friends and family by being able to identify all of the birds, fish, turtles, and animals you see.
- Did you know there are more than 80 kinds of freshwater fish in Massachusetts?! Here are some of the most common fish you may see, and you can pick up a brochure of all freshwater fish in MA at the Nahanton Park Nature Center (resources are extremely limited) or at any MassWildlife office. We totally recommend fishing from a kayak, ask us about options for rental and purchase.
- Mass Audobon Society has a list of common birds and all the turtles in Massachusetts and why you can’t take them home.
- Two pages just about river otters and beavers, although muskrats are most common on the Charles River.
- Also, did you know that the Massachusetts state bird is the Black-Capped Chickadee? They are small, energetic, and mate for life.
If you’re interested in seeing the wildlife from land instead of water, you can pick up the Blue Heron Trail from Nahanton Park and enjoy a scenic stroll along the Charles River.
The photos were taken at Nahanton park (we’d love to see yours! tag us #paddleboston or @paddleboston on instagram)