• The Emerald Necklace Conservancy

Guided Walking & Bike Tours

From May through October, the Conservancy offers a series of free, guided walking and bike tours led by Emerald Necklace Conservancy docents. Visitors can stroll among scented blooms, take a walk into history, discover the hidden gems of the Back Bay Fens landscape or ride along the bicycle paths to explore more of the Necklace.

Tours start from the Shattuck Visitor Center unless otherwise noted. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a refillable water bottle. Check the Conservancy’s website for weather-related cancellations or schedule changes.


Historic Treasures of the Back Bay Fens
Saturday, May 5, 2018 and Sunday, May 6, 2018 || 11 am – 12:30 pm

What do a 17th-century Japanese Temple Bell, a bridge made of Roxbury puddingstone, and a tree once thought extinct have in common? They all reside in the Back Bay Fens. Learn about these and other treasures on a guided walking tour of the Back Bay Fens that is sure to bring out the history detective in you!

Meet at the Shattuck Visitor Center, 125 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.
Free and open to the public. No registration required. Bring a refillable water bottle and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Walk: Useful Plants Among Us 
Saturday, May 5, 2018 || 1 – 2:30 pm

There are helpful and even edible plants all around us, especially in springtime. Learn how to identify and use helpful plants that grow in the Emerald Necklace with Pam Kristan, author and wild food practitioner. Note: This tour is educational. No plants will be harvested or eaten. Plants in public parks are not for harvesting.

Meet at the Shattuck Visitor Center, 125 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.
Free; donations to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy gladly accepted. Limit of 15 participants; contact Kent Jackson to register.

Hello Muddy! 
Saturday, May 19, 2018 || 11 am – 12 pm

After decades spent underground beneath a parking lot, a portion of the Muddy River has been uncovered to see daylight once again. Hear the story of how river and parkland were reclaimed and how the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted’s is being restored for the 21st century.

Meet at REI, Landmark Center, 401 Park Drive, Boston, MA 02215.
Free and open to the public. No registration required. Bring a refillable water bottle and wear comfortable walking shoes. Call 617-522-2700 for more information.

Shattuck Visitor Center

125 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115

Open year-round Monday-Friday:
9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday and Sunday (May-October only):
11:00am – 4:00pm

About the Shattuck Visitor Center

Current Exhibit

Docent Programs
From May through October, docents lead 90-minute tours of the Back Bay Fens every weekend and one-hour evening garden strolls on selected Tuesdays.

During the winter months, docents lead guided walks and offer a variety of programs at the Shattuck. Check calendar for schedule and details.

History and Landscape of the Fens
A walk through the centuries of a historic landscape. Hear the story of how Frederick Law Olmsted transformed an area of polluted waterways and mudflats into a scenic fens and the later 20th century revisions that resulted in the landscape we see today.

Hello Muddy! Guided Walk along the Restored Muddy River
You’ll traverse the footprint of the restored Muddy River in the Back Bay Fens on this docent-led tour and hear the story of the uncovered river and how a piece of Olmsted’s landscape was reclaimed as parkland after spending decades paved over and used as a parking lot. 

Emerald Necklace Bike Tour
The best way to see the Emerald Necklace is to breeze through it by bike with a Conservancy docent! Join us for a tour of the parks from the Fens to the Arnold Arboretum. Must be 14 years or older.

Evening Garden Stroll
Enjoy a leisurely walk through the gardens of the Fens. You’ll take in the sights and scents of the historic Kelleher Rose Garden with its more than 1,500 roses and recently reconstructed fountain, and meander the paths of the oldest continually operating Victory Garden in America.