Charles River Pathway Short Loop is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Boston, Massachusetts that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, bird watching, and road biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length3.1 miElevation gain16 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashWheelchair friendlyKid friendlyStroller friendlyRoad bikingWalkingBird watchingrunningPavedRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeCity walk
Description
Waypoints (4)
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This leisurely ride takes you to some of Boston's wonderful waterways, following the beautiful and historic Charles River on both the Boston and Cambridge sides as you make your way towards Boston Harbor. This tour is an excellent introduction to the paved bike paths and includes some of the best views of the city. This area is great for children and inexperienced riders. Accessibility: The trail surface is paved and typically at least six feet wide. The estimated grade is mostly gentle (all 5% or less) so this trail will likely be navigable for most wheelchairs/mobility equipment or strollers.

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Reviews (79)
Photos (215)
Recordings (143)
Completed (410)
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Brett Morse
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Hiking
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Hiro Yamamoto
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HikingGreat!
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LaVerne Dickson
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Hiking

Clear, clean well marked paths.

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Ronald Ziegler
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Road bikingGreat!
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Ryo Ishizuka
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Hiking

Quintessential Boston skyline trail

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Kunthea Prum
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Hiking

One of my favorite destination whenever I am in the city. The Longfellow bridge has been renovated now so it's a nice scenic river walk. I enjoyed the Charles River Esplanade area the most and there is a nice children's playground that kids will enjoy. I also enjoy watching all the sail boats on the Charles River and all the busy tour duck boats. The sunset from here is absolutely spectacular as I've seen it many times. The Storrow Drive side is definitely the more scenic side but the Memorial Drive side is pretty good as well. In the evening, you will generally find plenty of photographers doing long exposure photography of Boston's skyline.

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Simon Guérard
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Hiking

Not sure why it starts in west end, but nice path for running

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Scott Harr
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Walking

Paved path. Very easy walk. No parking.

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Scott Densmore
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Walking

A good place to get in your morning exercise (along with many other Bostonians). Nice views of the city and likely some sculling on the Charles.

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Christine Chan
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Good walk on a summer day with a cold drink and friends.

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JAMES LINNANE
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Walking

This can be infinitely varied. Best thing to do is lengthen it. Extend your walk downstream to cross at the dam and upstream to cross at the BU bridge. Downstream there is a small embayment just northwest of the dam that is delightful. Crossing upstream at the BU bridge allows one to enjoy even more of the embankment on the Boston side.

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Andrea Tascon
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Hiking

Absolutely stunning. Perfect for a beautiful fall day as well.

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Daniel Schafler
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Walking

It is always nice to take a walk along a body of water. Along the Charles you can run, walk, roller blade, bycycle , people watch, or fly a kite. There are walkways on both sides of the river. (that is the Cambridge side and the Boston side.) One of my favorite walks is from Boston University to Charles Street passing the Hatch Shell (where there are summer concerts)and Community Boating. (Sailing!) Plenty of Benches for sitting as well.

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Patrick Lally
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Hiking

It's a nice walk but the path can get congested at times and there are a lot of bikes constantly going by on sometimes very narrow pathways. Still fun though and the Charles really does have a certain beauty to it. I'd recommend it for a nice leisurely stroll

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Kevin Perry
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Walking
First to Review

I grew up with this area near my homes. This walk has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands, including most students at Harvard, MIT, Bostaon Latin, etc. over the years. The Charles was somewhat unfairly immortalized in the classic 60's song "Dirty Water". It is a nice river with a nice walk, despite the surrounding traffic on major arteries on both sides of the river. Try to get there when the sailboats are out and the racing shells are practicing.

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Hiro Yamamoto
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James Cyr
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Cam LaFleur
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William Driscoll
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Hiking
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Christie Fritz
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Gina Passaro
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Neil Inbackbay
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elena desmond
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Jamie Nickerson
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Jamie Nickerson
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Sergio Saade
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Jamie Nickerson
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K Macrann
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Jamie Nickerson
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Running
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M Mailes
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