For residents of the North-East of Moscow, the main city river is the Yauza, not the Moskva. It starts in the suburban parts of Losiny Ostrov Park in the Yauza water-and-swamp complex, a unique natural monument, then flows through Mytishchi, crosses Moscow Ring Road to the east of Ostashkovskoye Highway, heading on down to Bogorodskoye Highway and the former Krasny Bogatyr factory.
The Yauza River's floodplain consists of several areas. Some are interconnected, while others are separated by streets and bridges. Some have already been landscaped, and some are yet to be renovated. So, this year, the riverbank improvement works along Zapovednaya Street are to be completed for Moscow to have a single route from Moscow Ring Road to Prospekt Mira and Losiny Ostrov.
The Yauza's floodplain and adjacent parks and squares are a unique natural complex and a site for recreation and walks. Besides, the valley boasts rich flora and fauna, with some of its inhabitants red-listed in Moscow.
We will take a walk along the Yauza River from Moscow Ring Road to Rostokino and get acquainted with the main attractions of the valley.
Olonetsky Proyezd Public Garden, walks around Sukhonskaya Street
You will find a landscaped bank of the Yauza right beyond Moscow Ring Road. This is a very popular promenade among the residents of Severnoye Medvedkovo located near Severodvinskaya Street. After Yeniseiskaya Street, the Yauza has improved and landscaped recreation areas on both banks. On the left bank, you will find Olonetsky Proyezd Public Garden, with district holidays and citywide festivals regularly held. The Park has one of the 46 Healthy Moscow pavilions for everyone to check up. There is also a volleyball court, a tennis court, a skate park, a go-karting track, Yauza Sports and Recreation Centre, and a dog training ground. It also has specially equipped grounds for workout fans. Garden boasts plenty of walking paths, comfortable benches and beautiful art objects. Opposite you will find a large landscaped walking area along Sukhonskaya Street with children's playgrounds, pergolas and places to have a rest.
The Yauza is not wide here, you can cross it over several pedestrian bridges. There is an unusual bridge among them. Babushkinskaya — Medvedkovo section metro trains cross the river on the cased bridge. Passengers do not notice this, as it looks like a regular tunnel from the inside. Pedestrians like this crossing, as it is convenient to get from Severnoye Medvedkovo to Babushkinsky district.
Landscaping of floodplain grounds at the site after intersection with Dezhnyova Proyezd in is full swing now. Having passed under the 1st Medvedkovsky Bridge, you will see a big amphitheatre — Pevcheskoye Pole stage. But right now it is under a reconstruction and closed for visiting. But the major works are expected to complete in the early September. The whole territory along Zapovednaya Street is being upgraded. Soon, it will have modern comfortable recreation area covering 34.5 ha.
The landscaping design was based on local residents' requests. So, the amphitheatre area will remain the same, 1,700 sq m. It will have additional removable stands to house performances by students of Vesna children's music choral school https://vesna.music.mos.ru/ located nearby.
The unfinished ski complex grounds will soon have a quiet recreation area arranged, with a rotunda and a 100m long walking gallery to become part of a long eco-trail with four observation decks on the hills, with the most spectacular view opening from a 10m high observation point.
Kids and older children will enjoy one large 900 sq m playground and 5 smaller ones. Landscaped Park will have a bike lane and a sports ground with workout equipment. Old rink will be upgraded.
Medvedkovo Estate, Polissky's sculptures and former railway bridge
Behind the 2nd Medvedkovsky Bridge, in Kolskaya Street, you will find the grounds of the former village of Medvedkovo and the same-name estate, once owned by the Pozharskys, Golitsyns, Naryshkins and other noble families. The building of the estate, unfortunately, was lost in the Soviet era, with only the Church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary built in the early 17th century survived. It is one of the last one-pavilion temples. In the mid-17th century, this sort of churches was forbidden to build.
Prince Dmitry Pozharsky was the first estate's owner, the one who arranged Moscow militia in 1612 to fight against the troops of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1685, the last member of this family died, with the estate transferred to Vasily Golitsyn, a favourite of Princess Sophia. Six years later, the estate was given to the Naryshkins. They owned it until 1809, until it was sold to Karl Jacob Schmidt.
Today, this place features a comfortable city park with a pond, paths, benches and children playgrounds. Healthy lifestyle fans are welcome to workout on modern sports grounds. There is also a BBQ area, Sviblovo stadium and Paintball Centre in the Park.
It is here that the Chermyanka River flows into the Yauza River, with Yurlovsky Park laid on its banks. This place is popular among residents of Otradnoye and Sviblovo districts. As you walk from Otradnoye, you will see the Park with unusual sculptures by artist Nikolai Polissky. The Yauza has some attractions as well — for example, a small dam raching the neighbouring district. And, surely, a former railway bridge of Beskudnikovo — Losinoostrovskaya branch, now pedestrianised. This branch line was opened in 1900. In the Soviet times, it ran commuter trains. It was closed in the 1980s, with the last train running on the bridge in 1987. After that, it had rusted for a long time before it was revived in the 21st century.
Lazorevy Proyezd Square
The Yauza River's downstream locations are also very beautiful. Convenient pedestrian walkways under the former railway bridge lead to a comfortable walking area near Sviblovo river band. Nearby you will find former Sviblovo Estate, once owned by the Golitsyns, Pleshcheevs, Ignatievs and Naryshkins, with the church, bell tower and two ponds survived. In 2017, the grounds around the estate were landscaped and improved.
The Park near the river has now wooden floorings with sun loungers and garden sofas, as well as pedestrian bridges. There are sun loungers along Sviblovo ponds. The area near the river now has gazebos and pergolas, with the Temple of Air rotunda renovated. The river crossings have ramps.
Now you can get to Sviblosky Spring climbing a convenient staircase. Everyone can play street chess. Shell-shaped stage hosts concerts. Bookcrossing spot welcomes book lovers.
Tented artificial ice rink operates now. There are four sports grounds, including two workout ones. 3.7 km long bike lane has been laid. There are drinking fountains throughout the territory. Children enjoy four playgrounds.
Garden of the Future
After Serebryakova Proyezd, the Yauza runs under the railway bridges, through the Botanical Garden's reserve and past a small forest, Leonovskaya Grove. If you go a little further, you will get to the Garden of the Future Park. It is located on the site of the former Leonovo Estate, which belonged to princes Khovansky. It is easy to get here, as it is located at the one of the exits from Botanichesky Sad metro station having a lot of ongoing paths and walkways. If you follow the Yauza's bank, you can get to Leonovsky Pond. The Park has sports and playgrounds. Also, it features the oldest and the biggest oak tree in the Garden of the Future. The river has one more attraction here, the rowing slalom track located between Sobachy (Dog) Island and a pedestrian bridge Rostokino's residents can observe training athletes from.
Cable-stayed bridge and Rostokinsky aqueduct
Near Prospekt Mira, next to the landscaped the Yauza sports park, you will find another unusual structure — the first cable-stayed bridge in Moscow. It was built in 2006 using French technology. And on the other side of Prospekt Mira is the main historical landmark on the Yauza River banks, Rostokinsky aqueduct — the only surviving part of the old Mytishchi water pipeline, built in 1779-1804.
One million roubles were spent on the aqueduct's construction — an enormous amount at the time, so contemporaries called it a 'million worth bridge'. Rostokinsky aqueduct was built of white limestone in the Roman style. 356 m long and almost 15 m high, it used to be the largest stone bridge in Russia of the 18th century.
Mytishchi water pipeline was the first in Moscow. Before, citizens took water from wells and ponds. Rostokinsky aqueduct functioned until 2004. From 1902, it served as a support for the water main, and between 1962 and 2004 it supported heating mains. Today, it is one of Moscow's attractions, a cultural heritage site of federal significance.
The aqueduct has been restored, it has now a railing and a hinged roof, a perfect place to take a walk or a photo. Surrounding area turned into a park with paths, benches and playgrounds. Location near Rostokinsky aqueduct is often chosen for filming and photo shoots.
After the Rostokinsky aqueduct, there is only one way along the Yauza, along one bank, as the other one has industrial enterprises. Further, flowing under the railway bridges of Yaroslavl railway direction, the river returns to the Losiny Ostrov National Park in the place where it borders Sokolniki Park. This area of Losiny Ostrov is also called Yauzsky Forest Park.
Losiny Ostrov houses the Yauza Ecological Centre offering various ecology-related activities. Next to it are picturesque ponds, including two large ones — Bogatyrsky and Kazyonny. There is also the Yauza stable yard, where everyone is welcome to ride horses. Residents of surrounding areas love this quiet and landscaped place.
Near Bogorodskoe Highway, the Yauza crosses the former Krasny Bogatyr factory. This is where the walk usually ends. Further, the Yauza flows out of the factory's grounds in Sokolniki area and turns into an urban river with granite embankments and other sights.