Charles River Esplanade

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A beautiful and classic route along Boston's favorite waterway, the Charles River.

Written by

Cody Grodzki


6.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

1.7 miles


2 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

0 hours

The trail itself is only 3 miles one way, but you could definitely spend a whole day exploring along the trail.


All Seasons

Dog Friendly




Located between the banks of the Charles River and the hustle and bustle that is Storrow Drive, the Esplanade is a small slice of recreational heaven for many Bostonians. With paths that ride up and down the river, cyclists will enjoy the unique atmosphere coupled with others who enjoy similar passions. A popular area for walkers, joggers, sunbathers, and dog walkers, you will be sure to make a few friends along the way, should you choose to stop and chat.

What Makes It Great

A relatively small area (about 3 miles long), the Esplanade has been nationally recognized as a "Top City Walk" by independent groups. It's a great place to ride around by itself or to link up with other Boston landmarks, such as the Boston University Bridge and the Boston Museum of Science, which are respective end points for the Esplanade. Summer months hold the highest amount of visitors with everyone coming out to enjoy the beautiful weather, sailing, concerts, playgrounds, and ball fields.  

Although not known for its length, the Esplanade is great to get a few miles in before work or after a long day. Just in town for bit? This destination is beautiful during summer evenings, especially when the sun is setting. It might be worth planning out some time to venture down the path before sitting down for a nice dinner. After your ride, why not take your bike a couple of blocks down around the Back Bay area? If you’re willing to spend a little extra money, Newbury Street offers a plethora of fantastic restaurants and cafes, which will truly add to your Boston experience.

Who is Going to Love It

Folks looking to get some outdoor time amid the hustle and bustle of the city will surely enjoy the prime location that the Esplanade sits. Conveniently located just west of the city proper, there are various methods to arrive at this popular destination- take your car, a taxi, the T, or even warm up those legs of yours and walk on over.  On a busy Boston day, and especially during peak traffic hours, a 30 minute walk from the center of town will likely be the quickest way to get to the Esplanade. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Parking is not allowed at the Esplanade! Should you choose to drive, there are a few nearby parking garages that you will need to take advantage of, likely at the Museum of Science or the CambridgeSide Galleria. 

By car: From the center of town, head north on Cambridge Street and then hop onto Storrow Drive. Continue west and look for the Esplanade signs on your right hand side. 

By public transport: Take the Green Line to Copley Square.  Head west, passing the Boston Public Library, and take a right onto Exeter St (northbound). Follow Exeter until you hit Back St. Take a left and head west until you can cross Storrow Drive via the overpass. Welcome to the Esplanade.

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Charles River Esplanade - Road Running

Boston, MA,
42.352234, -71.088696

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