Dams, Bridges, and Locks Walking Tour

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Take a journey of discovery exploring the new open spaces along the lower Charles River. A hub of transportation and recreation, this area has experienced several cycles of dramatic change resulting from the construction of bridges and dams, the expansion of Boston, and the Big Dig project.

From the tidal estuary of the Charles through the mudflats of Millers River, this unique tour traces the evolution of the lost half-mile and the reshaping of Boston. Dams, railroads, bridges, and highways have closed off this area until the recent efforts to create new public parks and recreation space.

On this tour you will discover the artifacts left behind, examine up close the bridges and dams spanning the Charles River, and see the reclamation of land once dominated by the railroads of the 19th century while the upper basin developed in the tradition of Frederick Law Olmsted with Charlesbank, the Cambridge Esplanade, and the Boston Embankment. The views on this tour are unique and spectacular. We will see all the nooks and crannies people drive past, but never get out and explore.

This tour is not for the faint of heart. For two hours we will walk over bridges, under bridges, under expressways, over railroads, along prisons, over dirt & gravel, through grassy fields, and on top of movable locks. And it would be a Boston By Foot tour if we didn't find an excuse to toss in a touch of Charles Bulfinch and catastrophic fire along the way. Whether you are an explorer at heart, a fan of landscape architecture, a history buff, or have an interest in engineering, there's something on this tour for everyone.

This tour is offered June 8 at 3 PM, July 6 at 10 AM, August 10 at 3 PM, and October 12 at 3 PM.