While NYC may have the world’s largest marathon, Boston certainly has the most revered. Runners from all over the globe train hard every year in hopes of achieving the elusive qualifying standard for the chance to chase down the famous Boston unicorn.
Not to be overshadowed by its marathon, however, this is a beautiful city with amazing places to run all year round. It is also a city full of the most hard-core runners out there, so you’ll have company no matter what the Massachusetts weather can throw at you. Here are a few of our favourite places to run in Boston.
THE CHARLES RIVER ESPLANADE
All along the banks of the Charles River is a beautiful greenway with a path perfect for walkers, cyclists, and of course, runners! This path continues all the way out to the towns of Waltham and Newton. Thanks to bridges that cross over the river every mile or so, you can map out short easy runs of just a couple of miles or long efforts of up to 17 miles or more. On this run you’ll run past places like the Museum of Science, MIT, Boston University, and Harvard University.
FRESH POND RESERVATION
This pond is like Cambridge’s little nature oasis - running there you almost can forget that you are in a city! The perimeter of the pond is about 2.5 miles (4km), so depending on how long you’d like to go you may wish to do a few extra laps.
If ocean views and sea breezes are what you’re after, then this is the route for you! Take a lap or two of the 2 mile Castle Island loop, then head down the waterfront path to Carson beach and Joe Moakley Park. You can add some distance in there, or you can add an extra 3 miles (5km) by looping down by the University of Massachusetts Boston, past Boston College High school, and back to Carson Beach.
HE EMERALD NECKLACE
This 1100 acre chain of parks and waterways in Brookline and Boston provides runners with the opportunity to run entirely through greenspaces right there in the city. Perfect for a nature-filled long run, you can do loops of Jamaica Pond and get in a good hill session at the Arnold Arboretum. This route also offers up some nice off-pavement running, and connects pretty easily with the Charles River Esplanade, depending on how far you’re planning on going that day.
CHESTNUT RESERVOIR WITH HEARTBREAK HILL
You can’t talk about running in Boston without mentioning the marathon’s famous Heartbreak Hill. This route combines the nice easy 1.5 mile (2.5km) jaunt on the flat dirt path around the reservoir with the hilliest section of the Boston marathon along Commonwealth Avenue. Though the actual marathon runs along Commonwealth, we suggest taking the quieter, less traffic-filled Carriage Road that runs adjacent to it.
MIDDLESEX FELLS RESERVATION
Just a 10 minute drive north of the city, Middlesex Fells Reservation is a great place to get your trail running fix in. The park boasts quite the network of trails, including some rather technical, hilly, single-track trails such as the Skyline trail. Keeping a map on you is probably a good idea for this park.
Boston is a fantastic city to run in, with so many options for long runs, speed work, hill workouts, and most importantly: post-run brunch! With so many places to run, it’s no wonder that Boston continues to pump out some of the most dedicated runners out there.