Elm Bank Reservation

Wellesley, Massachusetts 02482

Elm Bank Reservation

Elm Bank Reservation Professional Review and Guide

"Don’t let the soccer fields fool you; this reservation has miles of hiking trails through a forest that borders the Charles River. The fact that up until recently these wild acres could have been lost to development only makes the property that much more special. Elm Bank passed between various private owners until the 1970s when the state took over. The property still was not safe from bulldozers and concrete until ownership was passed to the Metropolitan District Commission in 1991.

An exciting new development at Elm Bank is the leasing of land and buildings by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, which is working on a master plan for planting gardens on the property. Besides viewing the gardens, other activities at Elm Bank include soccer in the ball fields, canoeing in the river, picnicking, cross-country skiing, and, of course, hiking. Highlights: Riverside hiking trails, canoeing, flower gardens."

More Elm Bank Reservation Professional Reviews and Guides

"Located in an area that has maintained a charmingly rural character despite its proximity to Boston, Elm Bank’s well-tended 182 acres offer miles of hiking both along the wooded banks of the Charles River and over landscaped grounds.

This is more of a walk than a hike. The trail follows a gentle path through stately forest and along the banks of the Charles River. Starting at the parking lot located beside the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, follow the paved road northwest. Much of the grounds of the Elm Bank estate are wheelchair traversable; however, depending on condition, several sections of the hike described are not."

"Elm Bank Reservation consists of 182 acres of woodlands, fields, and an old estate. The property is surrounded on three sides by the Charles River and provides a home for a variety of wildlife, including deer, which you might spot in the upland habitat near the river.

Like the deer, your dog will greatly enjoy the northern section of the property, where numerous trails weave through the woods and along the river."

Elm Bank Reservation Reviews

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This is such a beautiful area with walking trails right by the Charles River and large soccer fields (if you like soccer venues, this is really cool). It is also a lovely facility for rent for events and, of course, the gardens are naturally stunning in season. In June there are beautiful Lady Slippers, my favorite! The pretty, hilly landscape and the trails in the wooded area, designated with names like “Meander,” “Marsh” and “Horseshoe” are a respite for weary souls seeking solace, beauty, fresh air, and tranquility. The gardens are indeed wonderful but don't miss the paths in the woods along the Charles River. Great views of the Charles, lots of birds, and friendly dogs make this a favorite spot for me to stroll around, enjoy the peace, savoring nature. Yes, dogs are allowed here (mine love it), but not in the cultivated gardens. The flowers are fantastic in the spring, canoeing is great in the summer, walking in the woods in the fall is sublime. If you are into winter sports activities, there are also a couple of good sledding hills that make this place delightful even in winter.

Elm Bank Reservation Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Trail Type
Skill Level
0.75 to 1 hour
Best spring thru fall

Activity Feed

Oct 2018