- Department of Conservation & Recreation
Media Contact for DCR Celebrates Trail Improvement Project Within Charles River Reservation
Olivia Dorrance, Press Secretary
BOSTON — Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Jim Montgomery today joined local officials at a ribbon cutting ceremony in the City of Newton to celebrate the completion of trail improvements to the Pony Truss Trail within the Charles River Reservation. The project enhances trail connections within the park along both sides of the Charles River and around the nearby Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Riverside Green Line Train Station.
“Massachusetts trail networks are priceless resources offering local residents and visitors the opportunity to get outdoors, exercise, and enjoy the natural world,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “With the completion of this project, visitors to the Riverside area of the Charles River Reservation can enjoy the Pony Truss Trail and the broader Reservation beyond.”
The project included regrading the trail, constructing an 80-foot boardwalk along the riverbank, and installing granite stairs over the Runaway Brook outflow. In addition, native shrubs were planted to enhance the quality of the surrounding ecosystem. The project was completed by the Riverside Greenway Working Group and the Newton Conservators and was funded through a $91,000 grant from the Baker-Polito Administration’s MassTrails Grant Program, as well as a matching grant of approximately $16,600 from the Solomon Foundation.
“The Pony Truss Trail is a gem here in Newton for a walk or a mountain bike. I’m so happy to recognize the opening with an official ribbon cutting. I look forward to continuing the process of restoring the historic Riverside area along the Charles River,” said City of Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller (D-Newton).
Prior to the Pony Truss Trail improvements, DCR completed multiple projects in an effort to enhance trail connectivity and improve public access to the Charles River Reservation in the Riverside area. From 2009 to 2013, DCR worked with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to restore the historic Pony Truss Bridge for pedestrian use. Restoration work included the replacement of bridge floor beams, panels, and railing as well as the installation of a storm water management system. In 2014, DCR invested approximately $150,000 to repave, restripe, and landscape the parking area on the Town of Weston side of the Pony Truss Bridge.
"The Pony Truss Trail is an important outdoor resource for Newton residents," said Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton). "I'm delighted that work has been done to restore and improve this community asset."
The Pony Truss Trail project was supported by the Baker-Polito Administration’s interagency MassTrails Team, which was established by Governor Charlie Baker in 2017. The MassTrails Team is composed of members from Governor Baker’s office, MassDOT, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and DCR. For more information about the MassTrails Team, trail funding opportunities, or trail locations, please visit the MassTrails webpage.
“This quarter mile hiking trail unlocks access to a gorgeous but hidden part of the Charles River that was forgotten after the construction of I-90 and Route 128 decades ago. It is a small but vital piece of the growing Charles River trails that will soon link downtown Boston all the way to the suburban communities of Newton, Weston, and Wellesley. We are proud to support the inspired citizen advocates, local business leaders, and city and state representatives who are moving this vision forward,” said Solomon Foundation President David Solomon.
“Newton Conservators has been delighted to be partnered with the Riverside Greenway Working Group, the Solomon Foundation, and DCR in bringing the restored Pony Truss Trail to fruition as the first completed component of the Riverside Greenway - one of the most exciting open space projects for the benefit of Newton and neighboring communities,” said Newton Conservators President Ted Kuklinski.
“The Riverside Greenway is a model for successful partnership between state, city, corporate (both profit and non-profit), and citizen advocates to restore access to the recreational legacy and transportation connections along the banks of the Charles River. The Pony Truss Trail restoration is the first step towards providing public access to a lost piece of our common wealth for tens of thousands of residents living in neighborhoods cut off from the river,” said Riverside Greenway Working Group Project Manager Ted Chapman.