Community Spotlight: Boston Harborwalk

As the Boston harbor is cleaner now than ever before, the city has been hard at work on making the waterfront more accessible for the enjoyment of Boston’s walkers, runners, and bikers. The 47-mile Boston Harborwalk is the longest waterfront pathway in Boston and its network of foot paths, cycle tracks, trails, and bridges is growing every day. The 38 miles of the Harborwalk that have been completed so far extend through East Boston, Charlestown, the North End, Downtown, South Boston, and Dorchester from Chelsea Creek to the Neponset River. But there are 9 more miles of foot and bike paths still to come with the development of the South Bay Harbor Trail, which will start at the Ruggles MBTA station and join with the existing Harborwalk at the Fort Point Channel. This will be an added bonus for Roxbury and South End-area residents who would love to be able to walk or bike into the Seaport and Downtown areas a little more easily on a beautiful route just for them. To learn more about the neighborhoods included in the Harborwalk network, check out this map of the completed Harborwalk as well as the trails that will be cropping up in the future. If you look closely, you’ll see that the Harborwalk also connects to the Emerald Necklace of park spaces like Franklin Park and the Arnold Arboretum, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and the Charles River Esplanade that we know and love from last year’s blog posts already. A few highlights to get your family started with exploring the Boston Harborwalk include,

  • Taking the kids to visit the USS Constitution ship, docked in the Boston National Historical Park within the Charlestown section of the Harborwalk.
  • Watching Boston’s port at work as you walk along the boardwalk that stretches across the industrial waterfront at Fort Point Channel right near the Boston Children’s Museum.
  • Seeing the Harbor-link gardens on Old Northern Avenue Bridge when the 12 planters installed last summer will be in their first spring bloom
  • Taking in the sweeping view of the harbor along the portion of the waterfront that crosses in front of the Institute for Contemporary Art – maybe stop by the museum for a peek at some gorgeous art while you’re there
  • Soaking up the sun at Carson Beach or along the water on Castle Island
  • Downloading free audio tours of the Fort Point Channel and Downtown sections of the Harborwalk to listen to on your smartphone or other mp3 player while you explore.
  • Noticing how the areas reached by the Harborwalk have developed since the 1800’s with the interactive app called Boston’s Changing Waterfront,” available for free download here.

Love what you’ve seen of the Harborwalk? Join the Boston Harbor Association in keeping it beautiful for everyone to enjoy by volunteering to get your hands dirty on an upcoming Waterfront Cleanup Day.

(Image courtesy of Summer on the Waterfront)

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