With the legendary Boston Marathon and a multitude of other local road races, Boston is truly a runners mecca where enthusiasts of all ages and abilities love hitting the pavement. No matter the time of day or the weather, you’ll see runners everywhere doing what they do best. Whether you’re new to the city or just thinking about running for the first time, this guide to Boston running will help you find the best local spots and open spaces.
Before You Hit the Pavement
While running is a great way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors, proper clothing and footwear is a must. Many local athletic stores offer great selections of footwear along with recommendations for the best shoes for your frame and gait.
Charles River Basin Bike Path
The Charles River Bike Path offers 17.1 miles of paved trails including the Esplanade, Massachusetts (Mass) Ave bridge, Boston University Bridge, and Longfellow Bridge offers a popular space for running all with spectacular views of the water and Boston skyline. Runners should be weary of heavy foot and bike traffic during peak hours.
Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall
Another popular spot – and an easy one if you’re located downtown – is the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. This route is particularly great on sunnier days, as much of the route is tree covered. Great sights also abound including the State House, Public Garden Lagoon, and the Frond Pond, which offers restrooms, water fountains, and concessions – if you need a pit stop.
Boston Harbor Walk
Extending 46.9 miles from Chelsea to the Neponset River in Quincy, the Boston Harbor Walk offers plenty of space for runners in the Boston area and along the coast to find paved spaces to fun near the water. A popular route takes many runners from Columbus Park in Boston’s North End to the Fort Point Channel in South Boston. Conveniences abound along this path including water fountains in Columbus Park and restrooms in Faneuil Hall.
Chestnut Hill Reservoir
The Chestnut Hill Reservoir sits between Beacon Street and Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton. If you live nearby, it is a runner’s mecca offering great views of the Boston skyline, gentle breezes, and trees galore. You can also get a great view of the Boston Waterworks Museum, which runs adjacent to the reservoir on the other side of Beacon Street. Pumping stations are still viewable along the trail. If you’re keeping track of your mileage, one lap around the reservoir is estimated to be 1.5 miles.
Located in Jamaica Plain, the Pond is a local hot spot for outdoor activities including running. The pond is a gemstone in the larger Emerald Necklace park system, which begins on the Boston Common and extends into Roxbury. The trail is 1.5 miles long and offers restrooms and water fountains for runners needing a break.
Beginning in Concord, Massachusetts, the Minuteman Trail is the historical trail that passes through the area where the American Revolution began. The trail, approximately 11 miles in length, passes through Bedford, Lexington, Arlington, and Cambridge. Runners looking to log serious miles can definitely do so here.
Cristy Maldonado is a Boston-based blogger in constant pursuit of fun activities in the city. Read more of
her work at bostonurbansafari.blogspot.com