This is one of my favorite short hikes in Newton, MA. A forested peninsula juts out into the marsh at a bend in the Charles River. The trail can be accessed from the Solomon Schechter parking lot off of Wells Avenue or from the end of Sawmill Brook Parkway. You can follow the trail into the marsh and right out to the river (be careful, this section may be wet in early spring). This is a great spot to cross-country ski. Sometimes you can see Common Mergansers and other waterfowl on the river. I have also seen Leopard Frogs here. The Leopard Frog is relatively uncommon in Massachusetts and can be easily mistaken for the more common Pickerel Frog.
This is a side spur of the Charles River Path, which can be taken to Nahanton Park, Millenium Park in West Roxbury, and beyond. The trail system also links to the Cutler Park trail system in Needham. This large block of open space along the Charles is a real gem. Other noteworthy species which can be found here include the Spotted Turtle, Blue-spotted Salamander, Ribbon Snake, and American Woodcock. If you hike here in March you may hear Red-Winged Blackbirds singing. In May, you may hear Common Yellowthroats and Yellow Warblers, as well as Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. During winter, Golden-crowned Kinglets. I've also seen Bald Eagle and Rough-legged Hawk in winter.