With its well maintained paths, scenic routes, and hardcore running culture, I made sure to pack my running shoes for my ~30 hour stay in Boston. Since I was staying in Back Bay, I decided to run one of my favorite routes along the Charles River.
On day one, I took the footbridge from Fairfield Street that takes you over Storrow Drive onto the running and biking path. It was midday on Saturday, a fairly warm for February, so many people were out running, walking, and biking. It had snowed and been pretty cold, so the Charles River was beautiful – still frozen – but that meant no rowing or sailing.
I ran east to the Museum of Science and turned around to run west. I chose not to cross the street (it’s another quarter mile or so before the path ends) and I didn’t run past the Museum of Science – I wanted a short, uninterrupted run. From there, I ran west to the Boston University Bridge then turned around. Adding in the mileage from our hotel to Fairfield and back, I ran about 5 miles.
Day two I was a little hungover, so I took the Massachusetts Avenue (aka “Mass Ave”) footpath on the east side of the street. Again, I ran a little past the Boston University Bridge, felt like death, then ran back to Mass Ave and took a left on Newbury Street to go to the Starbucks.
If I had woken up earlier and wanted to run longer, I would have gone past the Museum of Science, made a right onto the path just behind the Museum of Science (Lechmere Canal Park), past MIT and Harvard University, and then crossed over Andersen Memorial Bridge (N. Harvard Street). This run is particularly scenic in the summer, as you’ll see many people running, biking, sailing, and rowing. Boston summers are typically more comfortable for running, as it doesn’t get as hot and humid as DC, Philadelphia, and New York.
Similar to New York, you’re on your own for water in the winter – they turn off the fountains so that they don’t freeze. Also, if you plan to rely on them during spring / summer / fall, there are far less of them than in New York, and they aren’t as well maintained. I’d recommend bringing water if you plan on running for longer than 30 minutes.
Lastly, if you haven’t ever seen it, make sure to run past the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street. There’s a running store there too if you’re in the market for new running gear or are look to participate in a group run or other workout (link to site here).
Kate Scott is an avid runner, who has completed three marathons and numerous half marathons. She travels frequently, most recently to Toulouse and Bordeaux in France. She currently lives in Northern Virginia and is a certified public accountant.