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Level: Easiest
Length: 15 mi (24.1 km)
Surface: Greenway
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +106/ -144 ft
Total: 53 riders

Mountain Biking Charles River Loop

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#84 of 221 mountain bike trails in Massachusetts
#5,328 in the world

There is a 15-mile paved loop that runs next to the Charles river from downtown out to Watertown. For most of the way there is a dirt path running along side it. Great early season training rides or for a quick spin when you can't get out to the trails. Flat as a fritter so you will need your big ring. I usually head west from Back Bay on the south side of the river. Look out for other bikes, joggers, and pedestrians. It is best to avoid it during busy times so either ride early in the AM or any time after dark.

First added by hani122 on Mar 18, 2011. Last updated Apr 9, 2021. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: no
  • Lift service: no
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: no
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: no
  • E-bikes allowed: yes
  • Fee required: no
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Access to path is plentiful throughout the city just head to the river. If you are driving in head to Back Bay if you can find a meter spot great. If not park at Boston Commons or one of the other garages. If you start in Back Bay there are several foot bridge to get you across Storrow Dr. just head north on Arlington, Dartmouth, Fairfield or Mass Ave till you hit the end and oyu will see on of the bridges.
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Charles River Loop Trail map

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Trail conditions

Good (on Apr 4, 2023)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Boston, Massachusetts

Beginner | 5 mi
Intermediate | 5 mi

Rider questions

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  • Mateo Juez

    Fun trail, be a lot more fun if they opened all the trails to bikes

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  • Fred/Boston

    Very scenic ride if you stay off the asphalt and choose instead to ride on the runners path that stays close to the water.
    You can take it from downtown Boston/half shell, all the way up to Watertown in back.
    A convenient course that I use often for practice and exercise. I try to find all the rocks and roots to make the ride beneficial for eventual real mountain biking.

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  • blundar

    This is a good long ride along the sides of the Charles. Really good for long distance cardio runs. Do not try this one on a bike with full off-road knobby tires. This is an all city paved park ride.

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  • eastwood   ✓ supporter

    A good way to get miles in if you are stuck in the city, but as previous reviewer mentioned, best to avoid in nice weather as it is overtaken with joggers and cruisers. This is one of my winter/crappy weather rides when trails aren't an option. You can get 30+ miles out of it taking it all the way into Waltham and back. If you take it all the way out there are some singletrack trails to be had as you end on Forest Grove Rd in Purgatory Cove. You can take these trails out into Auburndale Park.* Review edited 3/30/2011

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  • hani122

    This is a very scenic bike path along the charles river. There is a dirt path along most of it so you can get a little of road feel. It can get busy so avoid it during summer evenings and weekends.

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