15 Best Running Routes In Boston You Can Visit Today

15 Best Running Routes In Boston You Can Visit Today

Looking for the best running routes in Boston to explore today? Boston, with its blend of urban charm and picturesque landscapes, offers an array of scenic running trails for all fitness levels.

Whether you’re a local looking for places to run or a visitor eager to find popular routes in Boston, you’re in for a treat.

Join us as we unveil a guide to the best places to run in Boston, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s culture, landmarks, and breathtaking views.

1. South Boston Waterfront

The running routes in South Boston Waterfront offer a mix of urban landscapes, waterfront scenery, and historic sites.

Starting at Pleasure Bay, this waterfront route leads you through some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including Castle Island, where you can explore the historic fortress and enjoy stunning views of the harbor.

You’ll also run across the sandy beaches of Carson Beach, where you can take a dip in the refreshing water or enjoy a picnic on the shore.

Along the way, you’ll pass the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, where you can stop in and learn about one of America’s most beloved presidents.

You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the sprawling campus of UMASS Boston, with its scenic waterfront promenades and beautiful architecture.

2. South End Highlights

Boston’s South End is a good running spot for anyone looking to experience the city’s gorgeous residential areas, historic landmarks, and fantastic neighborhoods.

This area boasts some of the city’s most beautiful brownstone-lined streets, splendid historic squares and parks, and main roads with several restaurants and boutiques.

One of the major highlights of South End is the South Spencer Rail Trail, a famous local running scene location.

The trail stretches for 3.5 miles, connecting the South End to the Forest Hills neighborhood.

Runners can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Arnold Arboretum, and the natural beauty of Boston’s Emerald Necklace.

3. Southwest Corridor Path

What makes this path unique is that it used to be a track that was put underground in the 1980s, making it a converted rail-to-trail.

Today, it is a popular multi-use path that accommodates runners, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Along the Southwest Corridor Path, runners will be treated to several green spaces and parks.

Notable landmarks along the way include the Back Bay Fens, Southwest Corridor Park, and Forest Hills Cemetery.

4. Harvard And MIT Tour

Starting on the Harvard campus, runners can take in the historic architecture and lush greenery of Harvard Yard before venturing out onto the surrounding neighborhood streets.

Meandering through Allston, runners will encounter a mix of residential streets and bustling urban areas, providing a unique perspective on the city of Boston.

As the route approaches MIT, runners will pass by the picturesque Charles River, offering stunning views of the water and the Boston skyline.

From there, the route continues on the Charles River Paths, a system of paved paths that wind along the river and offer a peaceful escape from the bustle of the city.

5. Freedom Trail Route

This iconic 3-mile running route takes you through the historic sites and landmarks that marked the birthplace of the American Revolution.

The trail begins at the Boston Common, the oldest public park in the country, and winds its way through the city before ending in Charlestown at the Bunker Hill Monument. 

The first stop is the Massachusetts State House, a stunning example of Federal architecture.

Runners will then continue to the Park Street Church, where William Lloyd Garrison gave his first anti-slavery speech.

The trail then passes through the Granary Burying Ground, which is the final resting place of many famous Bostonians, including Paul Revere and John Hancock.

Perhaps the most iconic spot along the Freedom Trail Route is the Old North Church, where Paul Revere famously lit the signal lanterns that warned of the British troops’ arrival.

Runners can also visit the USS Constitution Museum, where they can learn about the ship’s long history and see artifacts from its travels.

6. Charlestown – Bunker Hill And Waterfront

This is the perfect place to kick off your run and enjoy panoramic views of the city from above.

You can run along the water’s edge and enjoy plenty of opportunities to learn about Boston’s rich history, with many notable tourist attractions along the way.

As you run along the waterfront, don’t forget to take in the stunning residential areas on either side.

The homes and parks in the area are some of the most beautiful in the city. Plus, the route is a convenient distance from downtown and river paths. 

7. East Boston/Airport Waterfront Path And Greenway

Take a two-mile journey along the waterfront paths, then continue your run on the East Boston Greenway, which will take you through Bremen Street Park all the way to Constitution Beach.

Perhaps one of the best things about this route is its convenient location – it’s just a 10-minute train ride away from downtown Boston on the Blue Line.

Once you arrive, you can easily navigate through the multi-use trail system, which is dotted with parks and rails-to-trails that are perfect for runners of all skill levels.

As you run along the waterfront paths, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the harbor and can catch glimpses of planes taking off and landing at Logan Airport. 

8. Harbor Islands National Park: Spectacle Island And Deer Island

This beautiful park is a gem of natural wonders situated just off the coast of Massachusetts.

Spectacle Island and Deer Island are two of the most run-able islands in the park, each boasting unique features and stunning views.

Spectacle Island is a fan-favorite due to its 5-mile loop around the island, offering a challenge for runners of all experiences. The trail is mostly paved, with some rolling hills and rocky scrambles.

The island is accessible only by ferry, and the best time to visit is during the summer months, when the island is bustling with activities and events.

Deer Island, on the other hand, can be reached by land and offers over 2 miles that is perfect for runners looking for a moderate workout with spectacular views of the Boston skyline.

This relatively flat and easy trail winds through diverse natural landscapes such as marshes and rocky beaches, making it a prime spot for bird-watching and nature lovers.

9. Battle Road Trail (Lexington-Concord)

The Battle Road Trail is a renowned historic landmark located just 30 minutes away from the city of Boston.

This scenic route stretches 5.5 miles from Lexington to Concord and follows the path of the Battle of Lexington and Concord during the American Revolution.

This trail is a popular destination for runners, hikers, and history enthusiasts as it offers a unique opportunity to experience the same footsteps and landscapes where the first battle of the American Revolution occurred in 1775.

10. The Boston Marathon Course

The Boston Marathon Course is one of the most iconic and challenging courses in the world, attracting runners from all over the globe.

The race, which takes place on Patriots’ Day, starts in Hopkinton and runs through six different cities and towns before finishing on Boylston Street in Boston.

One of the most challenging parts of the course is the infamous Newton Hills, a series of hills that start around mile 16 and continue for about four miles.

The most notable of these hills is Heartbreak Hill, which comes at around mile 20 and often tests the endurance and mental toughness of runners.

Another section of the course that runners look forward to is the carriage lane in Newton Hills.

This part of the course is a straight, flat section that provides runners with a brief reprieve from the hilly terrain.

It’s also a great spot for spectators to cheer on their favorite runners.

11. West Of Boston: Apple Orchard Runs

Take a scenic and refreshing run in the towns of Harvard, Stow, and Bolton!

Located west of Boston near I-495, you will be surrounded by orchards and beautiful valley views. 

One option is to start with either the 5 or 10-mile route options available through the Apple Harvest Ramble, which takes runners through the apple orchards in Harvard and Stow.

These runs offer a chance to enjoy the fall foliage and breathe in the fresh air while getting in a solid workout.

12. The Fresh Pond Route

This route is popular among runners in Boston and covers 9.21 miles. It includes beautiful scenery, ample shade, and a variety of terrain.

To access the Fresh Pond route, start off from Comm Ave and cross over the BU Bridge.

From there, follow the sidewalk until you reach Fresh Pond Parkway. Take a left on the parkway and follow it all the way around the pond until you’re back where you started.

As you run, you’ll pass by a variety of landmarks and beautiful sights.

For example, Fresh Pond Reservation is a great place to start your run, featuring both gravel and concrete paths that wind through wooded areas and open spaces.

From there, you’ll run alongside the river and enjoy views of the water and the wildlife that calls it home.

13. The Museum Of Science

This route begins at the Museum of Science and takes runners across the Charles River Dam Bridge, which offers stunning views of the Boston skyline.

As you make your way over the bridge, you’ll feel as though you’re floating on top of the river. The bridge is easily accessible from the museum or from North Station via Nashua Street.

After crossing the bridge, the route takes you onto the asphalt bike path that runs along the Charles River.

This part of the trail is well-maintained and perfect for runners who prefer a consistent surface for their workout.

However, if you’re looking to add some variety to your run, hop off the bike path and onto the sand or dirt running trails that can be found along the river’s edge.

14. The Reservoir Route

The reservoir route is a scenic 7.33-mile running path. 

Begin your run at Comm Ave and follow the path as it curves through Brookline and Brighton, providing a spectacular view of Boston’s urban landscape.

As you reach the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, take a moment to stop and complete a 1.5-mile loop on the popular gravel path that’s highly favored by runners.

Not only is the Chestnut Hill Reservoir a great stop for a running break, but it also offers fantastic views of the surrounding area.

You can even catch a glimpse of the city skyline from certain vantage points while running alongside Boston College Eagles.

15. The Public Garden And The Common

This iconic park is filled with vibrant flowers, statues, and intricate landscaping, and a great running spot in Boston.

As you run, enjoy the calm of the garden and marvel at the surrounding historic architecture.

From there, continue into the neighboring Boston Common for a longer run.

This expansive park offers a wealth of paths and trails to explore, perfect for adding some extra mileage to your run.

As you circle the Common, take in the sights and sounds of the city’s historic neighborhoods.

From stunning brownstones to iconic landmarks, this route offers the perfect blend of natural beauty and urban charm.

The Bottom Line

Boston is home to a vast array of running routes that offer something for everyone.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced runner, there are plenty of places to run that suit your fitness level and personal preferences.

So, lace up your running shoes, choose your favorite route, and start exploring the beautiful city of Boston.

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