Fall Boating on Boston’s Charles River


A few years ago, I took a tour of Boston’s lower Charles River, guided by Larry Russo Sr. of Russo Marine. Russo’s lifelong passion for boating began here as a boy, and he’s a font of Boston Harbor and Charles River information, as you’ll see in the accompanying video.



Our day started in Charlestown, where we launched a Boston Whaler 250 Outrage at a public ramp just off the Mystic River. Ten minutes later, after a brief tour of the inner harbor, we passed through the locks of the Gridley Dam as downtown traffic roared and rumbled around us. After passing below the Zakim Bridge and the Amtrak bascule bridge, we made our way upstream through the old locks near the Science Museum and into the peaceful Charles River Basin.

Read an article and watch a video on fishing the Lower Charles River!

Aside from a flock of amphibious Duck Boats, we were the only powerboat in sight—remarkable considering the beautiful weather. The rest of the trip was spent meandering upriver all the way to the Newton Yacht Club, with Russo pointing out various historical and architectural landmarks along the way.

Eventually, we came to the Newton Yacht Club, where we ran out of water and were forced to turn around just shy of the Watertown Dam. You can see the whole adventure by watching the video above. Hopefully, it will inspire you to check out the Charles by water, too!