Charles River Bike Path | Boston

Charles River Bike Path, Boston, Sightseeing Trail

The Charles River Bike Path, also called the Charles River Greenway, offers a paved path follows the banks of the Charles River from Boston to Watertown and beyond. A huge section of the trail from its eastern end and extends approximately 25 miles, is named after Dr. Paul Dudley White, a prominent cardiologist and proponent of preventative medicine such as exercise. This Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path holds both sides of the Charles River through Boston, Cambridge, and Watertown. This is a favorite path of many cyclists, walkers, and runners on either side of the river.

Most of the trail is in good shape, clear sight, but there will be a few rough spots, construction areas, and busy intersections. The Charles River Bike Path is an obvious choice of numerous cyclists in the city. The trail is best for riding from March to October. Dogs are also welcome on this trail. Note that the trail is clearly crowded on weekends, you probably want to leave early if you want to go on speed and avoid the crowds.



The trail has been well repaved and it is in a very good shape now.



If you want to start the trail at the Boston endpoint at the Museum of Science from I-93, take Exit 26 toward Storrow Dr. Then go about a half mile, turn to the left lane, go for MA 28 N./Leverett Circle/N. Station. Keep left onto Nashua St. toward MA 28 N./Charles River Dam Road. Then go onto MA 28 N./Charles River Dam Road; finally, you can turn left onto Museum of Science Driveway. Museum of Science provides a paid parking garage.

If you commence in Boston, using public transportation to avoid Boston’s heavy traffic is a clever choice. The Science Park (West End Green Line Station) of the MBTA Subway, or “T,” deposits passengers’ steps away from the trail and the Museum of Science. However, bikes (except folding bikes) are not permitted on the Green Line. Unfortunate, the Orange Line do welcome bike (except 7-10 a.m and 4-7 p.m on weekdays). Take it from the Orange Line’s Haymarket Station. Upon exiting Haymarket Station, turn right onto Congress St. toward Haymarket Square, then Merrimac St., and turn right onto Causeway St. Turn left onto Lomasney Way, then veer right to Nashua St./Red Auerbach Way. Go a little farther, and turn right onto Charles River Dam Road. You will see the Museum of Science on your left.

Food and drink

There are plenty of places for food and drink near the trail.


More details

Start the trail at the Museum of Science in Boston and head to Cambridge, you will be greeted with the Charles River on your left for the first half of the loop. You will see Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s campus on the right, followed by Harvard University. Continuing to Watertown, then cross the Watertown Yacht Club to your left as you curve around the river.

If you prefer extending your ride further, you may continue on the Charles River Bike Path beyond Watertown west to Waltham. Here is for you to take the opportunity to visit Waltham’s Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation. Otherwise, you can cross to the north side in Watertown and wind back to the Museum of Science. There are many athletic facilities, as well as the Northeastern University Boathouse, featuring impressive modern architecture. From the Galen Street Bridge, you will come to the Charles River Reservation. This stretch provides a quiet and natural experience with a dock set in the water, which may please you with an intimate view of the river as you curve around Soldiers Field Road.

The route has a lot of trees and green space as it run along the river. On the way, you can enjoy watching boats skim by and even give a try at a variety of water sports that are available to the public. Since you approach Boston, do not forget to enjoy beautiful views of the city skyline. The trail traffic will also increase, so stay alert. Be careful of pedestrians and other bikers as you ride. Soon, you will pass bridges at Western Avenue and River Street, followed by the Boston University Bridge. In 2.3 miles from Boston University Bridge, you’ll come to a delightful esplanade where the land reaches the water and connect to the mainland. There, you can take a break to catch a performance at the Hatch Memorial Shell, an outdoor concert venue. If you still have time, you can stop and be astonished at its fabulous design while having some snack. This is such a great way for them to see the city while also getting some fresh air and exercise. Follow the trail to its endpoint at the Museum of Science.

There is probably nothing better than a nice summer day riding along Charles River Bike Path.



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39.918 km / 24.804 mi

Total Distance

138 m / 454 ft

Total Ascent

140 m / 458 ft

Total Descent

13 m / 43 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
Ride Duration: 1/2 day
Fitness Level: Medium
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Gravel Road
Trail Signage: Good
Mobile Coverage: Limited
First Aid
Bike hire
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle
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