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The Charles River[1][2] is a major river running through the New England in 2287.[3][4] It separates Charlestown and Cambridge from the rest of Boston.


The Charles is a winding river running through the New England Commonwealth. The river stretches from the southeast corner of the Glowing Sea to Boston Harbor, where it then reaches the ocean. Near the river's mouth, the city of Cambridge and the neighborhood of Charlestown in the north are divided from the rest of Boston in the south. Before the year 2285, the Battle of Charles River occurred, in which settlers from University Point played a significant role.[5] As of the year 2287 the river runs through 5 of the 12 major districts of Boston. A sign near CIT mentions the Charles River Launch is nearby.

Prior to the Great War, the USS Riptide was in the process of hauling military equipment to an unknown location upstream. It lays there in 2287, occupied with raiders. The Commonwealth Coast Guard also had a detachment located along the river, which had just intercepted a shipment of smuggled chems when the bombs fell.[6][7]


The Charles River appears only in Fallout 4.

Behind the scenes

The Charles River is based on the real world location of the same name.



  1. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition pp. 428-429: "[5.12] CUTLER BEND
    A boggy mess of rusting boats, tires, and other debris forming a makeshift bridge across the Charles River. This has long been infested by Mirelurks, and the pickings are good for those with quick wits. The caravan on the east shore of the river is locked (Advanced). There's a shack on the west shore of the river."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  2. Egret Tours Marina terminal entries; Phyllis's terminal: "Egret Tours: Exploring the Charles River since 2042."
  3. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p. 422: "ZONE 8: NEIGHBORHOOD: CHARLESTOWN
    West of Cambridge and north of the Charles River, Charlestown is the oldest of the Boston Neighborhoods, and the old wooden row houses reflect this past. Separated from Cambridge by the elevated freeway, this offers excellent exploration possibilities without feeling overwhelmed. It is primarily a Raider territory, with (sometimes hostile) Scavengers to the south and along the river. The neighborhood is dominated by two ancient monuments—Bunker Hill, which could be an exceptional settlement if your alliance with the locals is strong, and the U.S.S. Constitution, a prewar battleship that has been illegally moored for quite some time."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  4. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition pp. 428-429: "ZONE 9: NEIGHBORHOOD: THE FENS
    This is perhaps the friendliest neighborhood in all of Boston. The giant green walled-off enclosure welcomes all travelers without ghoulish tendencies, and the threats to your life are manageable if you keep near the huge green walls. Venture farther afield and you may stray into danger: You'll run into Zone 3 if you keep heading west. Go up to Cambridge if you cross the Charles River, and journey east to Esplanade and Back Bay. South is Zone 6. Most of the outskirts of this neighborhood feature closed-off Raider camps, which have been decimated recently by the even-more carnage-hungry Super Mutants. But you're here for the trading, the questing, and the camaraderie offered here, in the great green jewel of the Commonwealth."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  5. Deacon: "A very long time ago, Mass State was one of the big players in the Commonwealth. Without them we'd have lost the Battle of Charles River. Look at it now..."
    (Deacon's dialogue) Note: This line is spoken just inside the gate.
  6. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition pp. 369-370: "[6.02] COAST GUARD PIER
    The Coast Guard station along the Charles River had intercepted a shipment of smuggled chems. Now it is overrun by Super Mutants. The outside trailer (Advanced) allows access to an armor workbench and first aid. Another of Eddie Winter’s Holotapes is on top of the main floor safe (Advanced). The upstairs restroom (Novice) contains first aid. The downstairs cell (Expert) holds a magazine and can be more easily opened at the adjacent lockup terminal. The evidence room terminal (Expert) is a trickier hack, but the room itself houses a good amount of ammo and chems, as well as two more safes (Novice, Expert)."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  7. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p. 300: "ZONE 3: WESTERN COMMONWEALTH
    Dominated by Fort Hagen to the west and the Greater Boston Neighborhoods to the east, this zone is mostly wilderness, with its inhabitants getting increasingly tough and unpleasant the farther south you venture. As you reach Fort Hagen relatively early in your Main Quest adventuring, it is worth exploring the locations north and east of the fort, venturing to the more soggy southern Charles River and back into Boston when you're ready for a breather at Diamond City. Follow the roads and the rail tracks to avoid getting lost. For the settlement wrangler, there's only two possible alliances to make, and one of those is with some gardening robots."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)