July 4: Boston to Walpole, Massachusetts
0.0 Start at the Boston Common Parkman Bandstand
0.3 L. on Beacon St. at corner of Charles St.
0.5 R. across Storrow Drive on Feidler Footbridge
(just past Arlington St.)
0.6 L. on Charles River Bikepath
The Charles River Esplanade was originally filled in at the turn of
the century A bikepath was added in the 1960's and extended into a
14-mile loop on both sides of the river by the Metropolitan District
Commission (MDC) with an EPA grant in 1980. Running from Newton,
Watertown, Cambridge, and the Allston and Brighton neighborhoods of
Boston to downtown Boston, this path is a major bicycle corridor.
1.6 R. up ramp at Massachusetts Avenue
This bike ramp up to Mass. Ave. was opened in 1990 and provides a
connection from the bikepath to Cambridge as well as Boston's Back Bay.
1.7 R. on Beacon St.
2.0 L. on Charlesgate West
2.1 Cross Commonwealth Ave.
Bear L. up ramp
2.2 Straight onto path toward Victory Gardens
The Fenway Victory Gardens date from World War II and are the oldest
continuing public garden plots in the country. Watch for pedestrians!
2.6 Follow path to R. past Rose Garden
2.9 Bear R. on Park Drive
3.3 L. on Muddy River Bikepath
This is a surviving section of Frederic Law Olmsted's Emerald Necklace.
Originally this was the pedestrian path, with a bridal path on the Boston
side of the river and a carriageway (now the Riverway) beyond that. The
Green Line trolley was added later, with a buffering berm. There is some
unused right-of-way under the bridge you just passed which may become a
bikepath to Kenmore Square with quiet street connections to the Fenway.
The section between Netherlands and Brookline Ave. has steps, so the
street must be used.
4.2 R. on Netherlands
4.2 L. on Parkway immediately
4.3 R. on Brookline Ave.
4.4 L. on Washington St. (at light)
4.5 R. on Jamaicaway ramp
4.5 R. on Jamaicaway Bikepath
This is Boston's newest bikepath, completed in 1990 by the Boston Parks
and Recreation Department. It is paralleled by pedestrian paths for much
of its length, allowing higher speeds for bicycle riders. The pavement
markings indicate that there have been several muggings along this path.
4.9 Straight across Willow Pond Rd.
5.3 Straight across Perkin St.
5.8 Stop at Jamaica Pond Boathouse
Watch for pedestrians at rough pavement by Jamaica Pond boathouse.
6.0 Bear L. on bikepath at fork at south end of Pond
6.1 Cross Francis Parkman Drive
6.2 Merge into the Arborway
6.3 R. on Pond St. (at light)
6.4 L. on May St. (at next light)
6.7 Cross Centre St. on crosswalk
The Arnold Arboretum is shared by the City of Boston and Harvard University.
The grounds were laid out by Frederic Law Olmsted before he did the Emerald
Necklace of which this is now part. Bicycling is illegal, but tolerated.
Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way.
6.9 R. into Arboretum at entrance
7.4 R. at fork
7.9 Water fountain at top of hill
7.9 Bear L. on main road down hill
8.3 R. at fork at bottom of hill
8.7 L. on Walter St.
Peters Hill, on the left, is the second highest point in Boston and offers
excellent views from its summit, which accessible by a road which is
closed to cars.
8.9 R. on Weld St.
The wooded area on the right is part of the Arnold Arboretum, but is
closed to the public.
9.2 Straight across Centre St.
9.8 L. on West Roxbury Parkway
This road has two very wide lanes, which make bicycling easy. There are
frontage roads and smooth sidewalks, but they are not continuous. The MDC
owns this good example of a motorized greenway.
10.3 Straight across rotary at Centre St.
10.4 Straight across Belgrade Ave. at light
11.4 Straight across Washington St. at light
11.5 L. on Blue Ledge Drive
11.5 R. on Stony Brook Bikepath
Stony Brook Reservation is one of the three original parks of the
Metropolitan Parks system set up by Charles Eliot, Olmsted's successor,
100 years ago. This bikepath was built by the MDC in the mid-1970's
along one of Eliot's original fire roads and has fallen into disrepair.
12.0 Bear R. at fork towrd Turtle Pond
12.9 R. off path and cross Enneking Parkway
at bottom of hill
13.0 Straight on Smithfield Rd.
13.2 L. on Reservation Rd.
13.3 R. on bikepath after playground
13.9 L. at first parking lot
14.0 Straight on sidewalk next to bleachers
14.3 Cross River St.
14.3 Cross dam over Mother Brook
Mother Brook was enlarged in the 17th century to channel some of the
flow of the Charles River into the Neponset River to provide water
power for mills such as the one on the left. The mills are now
apartments and condominiums, but the brook remains as a linear
greenway through the city.
14.4 Straight on Readville Ave.
14.5 Cross Neponset Valley Parkway
14.8 L. on Chesterfield St.
14.9 R. on Neponset Valley Parkway
14.9 L. on Milton St.
15.0 R. on Hyde Park Ave.
Under Amtrak main line railroad tracks
15.2 L. on Neponset Valley Parkway
15.7 Cross Truman Parkway at light
15.8 Cross Neponset River
15.9 R. on Brush Hill Rd.
16.0 R. onto Burma Road trail
This trail is on top of a sewer line which, by slowing drainage to
the Neponset River, increased the water level of the wetland to the east
creating an excellent wildlife habitat. The Great Blue Hill, beyond the
wetland, is the highest point within 10 miles of the Atlantic Ocean
between Maine and North Carolina and is the centerpiece of the MDC's
Blue Hills Reservation, also celebrating its centennial this year.
17.8 Over Rt. 128 on "Bridge to Nowhere"
This bridge was built in anticipation of the construction of Interstate
95 into the center of Boston. The highway was stopped in the 1970's, and
the greenspace and communities you have just traversed were preserved.
17.9 Go down embankment to Green Lodge Rd.
(may require climbing)
17.9 L. on Green Lodge Rd. (unmarked)
18.2 R. on Elm St. (first R. after I-95 overpass)
19.5 L. on Dedham St. (at end of Elm St.)
20.6 R. on Chapman St.
21.9 L. on Neponset
22.2 R. on Walpole
23.2 Becomes Edge Hill in Sharon
25.5 Straight on High Plain in Walpole
26.3 Stop in Walpole Center