Bikeways and Trails
Existing Metro Boston Bikeways
Battle Road Trail
Bay Circuit Trail
Bedford Narrow-Gauge Rail-Trail
Fitchburg Cutoff Bikepath
Minuteman Commuter Bikeway
Mystic River Reservation
Red Line Linear Park Bikepath
Upper Charles Reservation
Wompatuck State Park
Future Metro Boston Bikeways
Cape Cod and the Islands
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Last updated April 4, 2003
by Doug Mink
- Battle Road Trail
- This multi-use 6-mile interpretative, stone-dust surfaced trail is part
of the Minute Man National Historical Park
in Lincoln and Concord. It provides cycling/walking access to the park's spectacular historical and natural resource areas.
Free bike tours
are led by park rangers are offered every other Sunday afternoon (Jun-Oct). This is for pedestrians, wheelchairs and bikes; if you
are trying to get somewhere fast, use either Route 2A,
or Virginia Road and Route 62.
- Bay Circuit Trail
- Focused on a 200 mile corridor of 50 cities and towns, the Bay Circuit
Trail is an outer "Emerald Necklace" of metropolitan Boston, linking Plum
Island and Newburyport on the North Shore to Duxbury on the South Shore.
Over 120 miles of multi-use, passive recreational trail have been dedicated,
Bay Circuit Alliance
is working to build the rest. Some, but not all, of the trail is open to
cyclists. Most is unpaved and will remain so.
- Bedford Narrow-Gauge Rail-Trail
- This three-mile-long stone-dust right-of-way runs from the end of the
Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford to Billerica. This
bikeway is believed to be the only rail-trail in the country constructed
over a two-foot narrow-gauge railroad right-of-way. The route was built
in 1877 by the Billerica & Bedford Railroad, America's first two-foot
common-carrier railway. In 1885, the line was rebuilt into the
standard-gauge Lexington Branch. It was abandoned in 1962.
- Fitchburg Cutoff Bikepath
- This little-known rail-trail conversion runs for about a mile west from
the northwest corner of the Alewife MBTA station to Brighton St. near the
Cambridge-Belmont line. The surface is crushed stone, but it can be quite
rideable. A useful bypass to Concord Avenue in Cambridge and Lake Street in
Arlington, it is maintained by the Metropolitan District Commission as part
of the Alewife
Brook Reservation. The Mass. Highway Department is planning to cover it
with an ADA-acceptable soft surface, and the MDC is thinking of building a
bridge to connect it to the Alewife MBTA station. The Town of Belmont is looking
at ways to connect their end to Belmont Center, possibly along the unused
third track right-of-way of the MBTA's Fitchburg line.
- Lexington Bike Routes
- Bob Sawyer of the Lexington Bicycle Advisory Committee has put together
eleven bicycle routes in Lexington. This site has cue sheets with mileages
for all of them.
Minuteman Commuter Bikeway
- This MBTA-owned railroad right-of-way runs from the Alewife station
in Cambridge through Arlington and Lexington to Bedford. The first hundred
yards, from the northwest corner of the Alewife station, under Route 2,
and across a field to the original start of the bikeway is being
in 1998. At the Alewife end, the bikeway connects to the previous two bikepaths.
At the Bedford end, where the Bedford
Depot Park is being built, it connects to an unpaved path to Billerica,
the proposed Bedford Narrow-Gauge Rail-Trail. While
it was built by the state, maintenance and policing is by the towns of
Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford.
Menotomy Vintage Bicycles
online maps of the original railroad.
- The MDC has a system of bikepaths along the Mystic River in Medford and
Somerville. It could be connected to the Minuteman Bikeway
by a spur along parkland along Alewife Brook, to Boston Harbor with an extension
through Charlestown, and to points north..
- Red Line Linear Park Bikepath
- When Red Line rapid transit was extended from Davis Square in Somerville
to Alewife Brook in Cambridge, it was covered with a surface-level linear
park. A wide, paved path runs through this long, narrow park, with only one
awkward street crossing at Massachusetts Avenue. There is bicycle access from
Cambridge and Somerville to the Alewife MBTA station, where connections can
be made to the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway and the
Fitchburg Cutoff Bikepath. The park was built by
the MBTA and is maintained by the cities of Cambridge and Somerville. An 0.8-mile
paved extension of this path from Davis Square to Cedar St. in Somerville
was opened in 1995.
- Upper Charles Reservation
- The Charles River Bikepaths have been extended upstream
by the Metropolitan Distric Commission from Watertown Square on both sides
of the river to Bridge St. and on the Newton side of the river from Farwell
to Spring St. (almost to Moody St. There is a further segment on the north
side of the river upstream from Moody St. This is one of the newest bikepaths
in Boston and a model of environmentaly sensitive design. It is not a high-speed
path, but provides many beautiful views of the river and its wildlife. It
is not to be confused with the Upper Charles Trail,
which is many miles upstream, near the headwaters of the same river. Eventually
these paths could be extended upstream to the MDC's Cutler Park, Brook Farm,
and Mother Brook Reservations.
Wompatuck State Park
- Miles of paved paths crisscross this former ammunition depot in Hingham.
The terrain is rolling with very little elevation change.