5 of the Best Rivers to Row on in Boston

Boston is a city with a lot of history and culture. If you’re looking for a way to experience the city in a new way, consider rowing on one of its many rivers. Today, we will discuss 5 of the best rivers to row on in Boston. We’ll also tell you about rowing on these rivers and the history associated with them. So if you’re looking for a new river to row on in Boston be sure to start taking notes!

Charles River

Best Rivers to Row on in Boston
NewtonCourt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rowing on the Charles River in Boston is an unforgettable experience full of history and excitement. The river is wide and majestic, winding through Boston and its many communities, spanning a total of 80 miles. It was first used by Native Americans to transport goods and ideas, before becoming a focus for tourism, business, recreation and more after the American Revolution. Rowers who choose to explore the waters of the Charles River can enjoy sublime scenery as well as plenty of wildlife, from beavers and geese to skates and birds. The Cambridge Boat Club sponsors several rowing regattas throughout the year that attract rowers from around the world. The most notable one, however, is the Head of the Charles Regatta.

The Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR), held annually on the third weekend of October in Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the biggest rowing events in the entire world. The course spans three miles along the Charles River and is lined with thousands of spectators eager to see some incredible competitive rowing in action. The race, which is open to participants between 14 and 85 years old, attracts some of the best rowers from across America and beyond.

The competition is divided into different boat classes which vary depending on age, gender and type of boat used. Elite teams are often sponsored by universities or professional organizations and the regatta even includes international teams competing for the prestigious title of “Head Of The Charles”. All types of boats—from solo rowboats to full eight-person sculling boats—are raced in a series of heats throughout Saturday afternoon. Racing continues through Sunday afternoon when an awards ceremony, attended by thousands, honours all participants who achieved success on the water that weekend.

Mystic River

Best Rivers to Row on in Boston
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The Mystic River in Boston, Massachusetts is a beautiful natural resource filled with history and outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. Flowing through the towns of Everett, Medford, Somerville, Arlington and other inner-ring suburbs on its way towards the Atlantic Ocean – the Mystic provides an opportunity for all levels of rowers to enjoy their time out on the river.

Notable rowing clubs associated with the Mystic include Gentle Giant Rowing Club and Mystic River Rowing. All members of these clubs get to experience boating, social events and racing as well as take part in promotional activities such as clean-up days. Established almost 300 years ago, this body of water also has had several former uses, being utilized by Native American tribes for fishing before becoming a primary source of timber early on in colonial times.

Neponset River

Best Rivers to Row on in Boston
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The Neponset River in Boston is an iconic waterway that has attracted recreation of all kinds in the city for centuries. It is one of the largest rivers flowing into the Boston Harbor, and it is a favourite among those wanting to pursue activities such as rowing. The swift-moving currents around the marshy banks create an ideal environment for rowing, providing challenge and entertainment to those on board.

Interestingly, many of its channels date back more than 500 years and were used by Native American tribes prior to European settlement. Boats continued to be used extensively along this river throughout colonial times and recreational rowing clubs can still be found in abundance here today. In fact, there are multiple opportunities for experienced rowers or beginners alike to pick up a paddle and enjoy everything this historic waterway has to offer.

Looking further back in time reveals that while rowing has always been a popular activity along this particular tributary of Boston Harbor it was once also used for transporting materials during colonial times, thanks to its navigable nature across much of its length. As such, while today many people enjoy peacefully rowing their way through the Neponset more adventurous types may get a glimmer into the past by imagining what it must have been like before modern convenience changed its use drastically.

Concord River

Best Rivers to Row on in Boston
USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Concord River, which runs between the towns of Concord and Bedford in Boston, is a great destination for rowing enthusiasts. Dating back to colonial days, the river was commonly used for business purposes like transportation and fisheries. Today, it’s a popular spot for avid rowers, offering calm waters and beautiful surroundings on its 16.3-mile stretch. Rowing clubs based near the river make use of the waterway throughout the year for recreational purposes as well as racing events. The Boston Athletic Association is a prominent rowing association leading training programs for younger and older athletes throughout Boston and has been active on the Concord River since the 1800s.

It’s no wonder the area has several rowing clubs that take advantage of the majestic beauty the river provides – rowing on the Concord River is an experience unlike any other. With twists and turns, as well as multiple branches, visitors will find they have ample opportunity to explore by boat. A trip on the Concord River is definitely worth experiencing if you find yourself or your family in Boston.

Stony Brook

Best Rivers to Row on in Boston
NewtonCourt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stony Brook is an extraordinary waterway right in the heart of Boston. It provides beautiful rowing conditions that attract locals and visitors alike, who brave its strong currents while they enjoy the stunning views of the cityscape. The river has a long and celebrated rowing tradition, with Stony Brook Rowing Club located along the banks. For those looking to take their rowing skills onto open waters, this tributary of the Charles River is a great place to start – strong currents and thrilling scenery will surely make every venture out onto these waters worthwhile.

Taking a boat out on Stony Brook in Boston is a delightful way to spend an afternoon. This tranquil stream flows from the highlands of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain out through the heart of Boston’s parks. With trees whispering overhead and wildlife scurrying around, it’s easy to slip into a peaceful rhythm as you paddle along. As you make your way further downstream, you’re sure to find that there are plenty of exciting spots off the beaten path to explore. When done right, spending time rowing on Stony Brook can be both relaxing and rewarding for the mind, body, and soul.

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