Paved Trails

Monatiquot River Walk

Gordon Rd, Braintree, MA 02184, USA

Town of Braintree: 781-794-8000

Owned By: Town of Braintree, Town of Weymouth

The Monatiquot River Walk is a 1-mile pathway in Braintree and Weymouth with numerous river views. It extends from the Weymouth Landing Access Ramp, along and across the Fore River, then up Quincy Avenue to the Monatiquot River at Braintree’s Watson Park and Smith Beach. Most of it is crushed stone. The middle section is pavement.


The half-mile section of this path that runs through Watson Park to Smith Beach is also known as the Francis Toland Memorial Trail, and Lee’s Way. It is suitable for cross-country skiing.

This land is within the region of the Massachusett (or Massachuseuk).

According to “Mills and Muskrats on the Monatiquot” by Abigail E. Franklin, there were three major Native American settlements along the river — the east bank of the lower Monatiquot, the upper Monatiquot, beginning at the Moore’s Farm and Blue Hill Rivers, and the Upper Cochato River. Twenty campsites along the Monatiquot and Cochato have been documented. To learn more about local Native American tribes, we encourage you to interact with their members. The Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag shares information on its website.

Also according to Franklin, the Monatiquot’s name has Native American origins. Translations vary, but include “the river of many villages,” “at the deep tidal stream,” “lookout place,” and “abundance.”

Trail Description

Park in the 30-car lot at Watson Park and turn toward the water. To the left, you can walk about a half mile along the Monatiquot River to Smith Beach. The section of the River Walk known as Lee’s Way winds through Watson Park. The next section, known as the Francis Toland Memorial Trail, connects to Smith Beach. Dogs and bicycles are not permitted on the Francis Toland Memorial Trail, nor at Smith Beach.

An alternative is to turn to the right. You can walk a short distance along the river to the edge of the property, which borders the Braintree Yacht Club. Then follow the trail uphill to Gordon Road and continue along the sidewalk to Quincy Avenue. Turn left and follow the sidewalk across the bridge. Just behind the bus stop shelter at the MBTA parking lot, look for the concrete/paved trail that winds downhill, past the East Braintree/Weymouth Landing train station. It continues along Smelt Brook and the Fore River for about 0.2 miles, with benches and additional river views, to the Weymouth Landing Access Ramp.

Habitats and Wildlife

Watson Park is an open, grassy athletic complex with some shade trees around its perimeter. The path toward Smith Beach extends through a more natural area, with oaks and sumac and views of the salt marsh. Smith Beach is an open sandy area at the edge of the Fore River.

The Weymouth Landing Access Ramp is a small grassy spot bordered by trees. It offers a steep concrete access ramp to the Fore River, suitable for canoes, kayaks and other car-top boats.

Please do not feed the waterfowl!

The Monatiquot River rises in Braintree, at the confluence of the Farm and Cochato Rivers, within the Braintree Municipal Golf Course. It flows northeast for 4.9 miles before merging with Smelt Brook to form the Fore River.

The Fore River serves as the boundary line between the towns of Weymouth and Braintree. It flows for about 3 miles, into Quincy, where it meets Town River, and then flows for another 2 miles into Hingham Bay. In its final few miles, the Fore River is nearly a mile wide in some places.

Follow the Fore River Watershed Association more information about the Monatiquot and Fore Rivers.

  • A photograph of an unpaved trail through a grassy area beside a river, with scattered trees.
  • A photograph of an unpaved trail beside a river. There are boats on the river.
  • A photograph of an unpaved trail beside a river, with a bench and scattered trees.
  • A photograph of a wide path beside a river, with boats on the water and scattered trees.
  • A photograph of a wide trail through a green woodland.
  • A photograph of a wide trail beside a river with towers in the distance.
  • A photograph of a beach area on a river, with boulders in the foreground.
  • A photograph of a wide trail beside a river, lined with trees and grass.
  • A photograph of a trail beside a river with a layer of snow.
  • A photograph of an unpaved trail beside a river, with grass along its edges.
  • A photograph of a river with the sky reflected on its surface, plus a concrete structure to one side.
  • A photograph of an unpaved trail alongside a river.
  • A photograph of a bench overlooking a river.
Gordon Rd, Braintree, MA 02184, USA

Historic Site: No

Park: Yes

Beach: No

Boat Launch: No

Lifeguards: No

Size: The River Walk is about a mile in length. Watson Park is 22 acres.

Hours: Dawn to Dusk.

Parking: Limited on-site parking (30 cars) at Watson Park. Additional parking on Gordon Road. Parking at the Weymouth Landing Access Ramp is reserved for car-top boat access.

Cost: Free

Trail Difficulty: Easy


At Watson Park: benches, trash receptacles, seasonal concession stand and restrooms, plus Watson Park baseball fields, tennis courts, a basketball court, a playground and a seasonal splash pad.

At Smith Beach: benches, trash receptacles, picnic tables, seasonal restrooms.

At Weymouth Landing Access Ramp: benches, trash receptacles, picnic tables, access ramp for car-top boats.

Dogs: Dogs are permitted in Watson Park but not at Smith Beach, nor the walkway to Smith Beach.

Boat Ramp: No

ADA Access: Yes

Scenic Views: Yes

Waterbody/Watershed: Fore River

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