The 8 Most Beautiful Running Routes Around Boston

It’s time to ditch the treadmill and take your run outdoors. When the weather heats up, so does the sidewalk traffic. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of beautiful running routes around Boston. Here are eight great runs with a view.

1. The Esplanade

The Esplanade is the most popular running route in the city—sometimes resulting in pedestrian traffic jams—yet locals continue to flock to this stretch of pathway along the Charles for its water views and incredible nightly sunsets. It’s about 2 miles one-way from the Harvard Bridge to the Museum of Science. For the return trip, cross the river and head back along Memorial Drive for stunning views of Beacon Hill, Back Bay, and Fenway.

2. Comm. Ave. Mall

If you’re out on a city run admiring the Back Bay townhomes after weaving through the Public Garden, be sure to detour to the Comm. Ave. Mall, where plush timbers provide shade and a welcome reprieve from the shoppers and tourists on nearby Newbury and Boylston Streets. It’s a little less than a mile from the Public Garden to Mass. Ave. along the tree-lined stretch.

3. Carson Beach and Castle Island

Castle Island, Pleasure Bay, M Street Beach, and Carson Beach make up an almost 7-mile stretch of beachfront running. Save for a view construction spots, you can run unobstructed from the JFK Library to Castle Island. This route has it all: city views, ocean breezes, Harbor Island views, boats, water sports, and historic Fort Independence, which is on the National Registers of Historic Places.

4. Chestnut Hill Reservoir

Popular with Newton residents and Boston College students, the short reservoir loop is only 1.57 miles, but provides a nice escape from the city. The sun also sets over the water, which makes this Instagram-worthy route worth riding on the Green Line.

5. Jamaica Pond

This water loop is also around 1.5 miles, and it also features stunning sunsets. Locals in the know head out to this spot early in the morning, when the rising sun reflects off the water and lights up the pathway.

6. Back Bay Fens

The exterior loop around the Fens is about 2.5 miles, but the real treats are the interior pathways that meander through a community garden, the Kelleher Rose Garden, and more. If you prefer to measure your miles on even pavement, the Fens is also home to Roberto Clemente Field, which features a three-lane, rubberized all-weather track.

7. The Arnold Arboretum

This 2.6-mile trail within the Arboretum’s grounds takes you through the 281-acres filled with 15,000 trees, shrubs, and vines. Although it’s lush, runners may want to visit this trail during off-peak times, as this popular “living museum” sees a lot of foot traffic.

8. Franklin Park 

There’s a 2.1-mile loop within Franklin Park that makes it a popular after-work running spot. Venture off the beaten path to see the ground’s real beauty, which features bridges, stone walls, and plenty of grass for a post-run stretch. Franklin Park is also home to numerous 5K charity runs throughout the year.

By Melissa Malamut
Originally posted on May 14, 2016