Owned and maintained by Harvard University, the Arnold Arboretum is the oldest arboretum in the United States designated for public use. There are a few trails throughout the park, as well as a loop ride that is nearly 5 miles long. Located in Jamaica Plain and Roslindale, the arboretum is generally not overly crowded and can be a quite peaceful place for a bike ride or a jog among the busy cities that surround it.
What Makes It Great
Nearly 300 acres and almost 5 miles of bike paths make the Arnold Arboretum a great place for an afternoon ride. Open from dawn until dusk 365 days a year, visitors can enjoy this nature getaway anytime they choose.
In addition to bike trails, Peters Hill, located on the south side of the park, offers a wonderful view of the Boston skyline, although you will have to park your bike and hike a small distance to reach to summit. Consider yourself an ornithologist? In addition to the wildlife you may encounter during your ride, the Roslindale Wetlands is a great place for a light hike to watch a variety of bird species.
Who is Going to Love It
Arnold Arboretum is a great destination for the whole family, as there are short trails that meander throughout the park, as well as a longer loop trail that is nearly 5 miles long. There are not any sections of the ride that have any notable steep sections and there are plenty of areas to hop off the bike, take a break, and enjoy the surrounding area. Pair this with paved pathways and the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library (open to the public Monday through Friday, 10:00am–3:45pm) and riders can break both a physical and a mental sweat on their visit to the Arboretum.
Take Storrow Drive west to the Kenmore Square/Fenway south exit. Bear left. Follow signs for Fenway south. Bear right onto Boylston Street, following signs for Boylston Street Outbound/Riverway. Continue on Boylston for half a mile, at which point all traffic continues onto Park Drive. Bear left to continue onto the Riverway/Jamaicaway.
Follow Riverway/Jamaicaway to a rotary at Jamaica Pond (on your right). Follow signs for South Dedham/Providence. Enter the next rotary and take the second exit onto Route 203 east. The Arboretum’s main entrance is about 50 yards past the rotary, on the right. Parking is available outside of the main gate.
By public transportation: Hop on the Orange Line and stay on all the way until the last stop, Forrest Hills. Once there, the Arboretum will be just a minute’s walk to your southwest.