Bikeways and Trails
Existing Boston Bikeways
Charles River Bikepaths
Forest Hills Cemetery
Logan Airport Bike Route
Melnea Cass Bikepath
Muddy River Path
Stony Brook Reservation
Future Boston Bikeways
Snow plowing reports
Metro Boston Bikeways
Cape Cod and the Islands
Last updated August 16, 2003 by
- Arnold Arboretum
- This 125-year-old Boston city park and Harvard research center was
designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and has a wonderful set of roads which
are mostly closed to motorized traffic. While they were once closed to
bicycles, that is no longer true.
Peters Hill, on which you now have to walk the last 200 feet to the summit,
provides the best grounded view of Boston from within its boundaries.
The Arboretum is both part of the
Emerald Necklace and a connector to other Boston
bikeways, such as Stony Brook Reservation.
While this is a Joni-Mitchell-esque "tree museum", it's free and not
"a dollar-and-a-half", and it's nice to be able to read the tags and
find out just what kind of tree you are riding past. There are many
pedestrians, but the roads are wide enough to share. It is especially
pleasant to ride through the Arboretum when the weather is less than
perfect and there are only a few dog walkers about. The roads are plowed
in the winter, but can be icy.
Paul Dudley White Charles River Bikepaths
- This 14-mile loop follows both banks of the Charles River from the
Museum of Science in Boston to Watertown Square, in--surprise!--Watertown.
The quality varies from 12 feet wide with center stripes to 4 feet wide
with 6-inch drops at the edges. In some places it is
barely wide enough for one bicycle to pass another safely; in others,
there are separate bicycle and pedestrian paths. Despite the
fact that Federal funds paid for the completion of this
bikepath, it remains a constant battle to preserve cyclists'
rights to use it in its entirety. The path can be entered at
any point on the Cambridge and Watertown sides, from all but the
Longfellow and B.U. bridges on the Boston side, and from the
footbridges over Storrow Drive. The Metropolitan District
Commission (MDC) (20 Somerset St., Boston, MA 02108) manages and
sort of maintains this path.
- Gary Smiley has
photos of the bad condition of some of this path.
- Ric Bayly's
Charles River Recreation page has some information, including a
- The MDC intends to extend the path upstream through its
Upper Charles Reservation,
which runs from Watertown to South Natick.
An upstream extension to Bridge St. in Watertown on both
sides of the river was completed in 1997, and a further extension almost
to Moody St. on the south side of the river was completed by early 1998.
The Cambridge side of the path is plowed when it snows.
- Forest Hills Cemetery
- Unlike the more famous local garden cemetary, Cambridge's Mt. Auburn,
Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston allows bicyclists to ride through. It
is well-landscaped and has many wide roads. During daylight hours, you
can usually exit at Walk Hill St. as well as the main Morton St. entrance.
- Franklin Park
- There are several roads which are closed to traffic in this terminus
of the Emerald Necklace which allow a cyclist to
circle the park past barriers which prevent cars from getting through.
The road to Scarborough Pond is especially beautiful.
- Pierre Lallement Bikepath
- Running through the Southwest Corridor Linear Park along the rapid
transit Orange Line are four miles of separate bicycle and
pedestrian paths. This path provides an alternative to the congested and
otherwise-inhospitable roadways between downtown Boston and its
southern neighborhoods. Built by the MBTA, the park is managed by the MDC.
It passes within blocks of the house where the inventor of the pedal bicycle,
died in the nineteenth century.
- Melnea Cass Bikepath
- This path was built at the same time as Melnea Cass Boulevard
and leads from the Southwest Corridor Linear Park at Ruggles
MBTA station toward South Boston. The surface is in horrible
shape, but it is better signed than most Boston bikepaths.
- Millenium Park
- This 350-acre park, opened on the former Gardner St. Landfill in
November 2000, contains several miles of paved bike/ped trails and
has great views of the Charles River and the MDC's giant Cutler Park
wilderness. There is a bridge over Sawmill Brook connecting the parks
paved paths to Brook Farm Reservation's unpaved ones. Drainage on
the Brook Farm paths is poor, and they should be walked when muddy.
- Muddy River Bikepath
- This path runs along the north bank of the Muddy River from Park
Drive in Boston almost to Brookline Avenue in Brookline. This
pleasant alternative to streets, maintained by the town of
Brookline and the city of Boston could be extended to Kenmore
Square along an unused railroad right-of-way. On the other end,
south of Route 9, Riverside Road has been grassed over and a separated
bicycle pedestrian path has been paved to Cypress St.
Connection of this path across Route 9 is part of the
Emerald Necklace Greenway Project.
The Muddy River
Restoration Project will affect the path's environment, but it
is not clear whether there will be a direct effect on the path itself.
- Jamaicaway Bikepath
- This path runs from Route 9 on the northwest bank of Leverett
Pond along the Jamaicaway to the southeast bank of Jamaica Pond.
Maintained by the Boston Department of Parks and Recreation, it
follows the bridle path of Frederick Law Olmsted's 1891 design.
Extension of this path across Rt. 9 and along the Riverway
to Netherlands St., where it can connect to Brookline's Muddy
River path, is part of the Emerald Necklace
- Stony Brook Reservation Bikepaths
- These little-known bikepaths wind through an MDC reservation
Boston's highest point, Bellvue Hill in West Roxbury to the
Mother Brook, which connects the Charles and Neponset Rivers, in
Hyde Park. Despite its location within Boston, it passes
through some very wild terrain and provides an interesting
alternative to the heavily traveled parkways which parallel it.
The MDC needs to be prodded into providing some maintenance.
- Bike to Logan International Airport
- Here is the text from MassBike's pamphlet on biking to
and from Boston's Logan International Airport, with hints on flying wth