NEW BEDFORD BLUE LANE:

SAULNIER MEMORIAL BIKE TRAIL:

NEW BEDFORD HARBORWALK:

NEW BEDFORD COVEWALK:

NEW BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      June 11, 2017

Length:                New Bedford Harborwalk; 1.2 miles

                              New Bedford Covewalk; 0.9 miles

                               Saulnier Memorial Bike Trail; 4 miles

                               Acushnet River Connector Path; 1.5 miles

Difficulty:            Easy. Flat, paved trail.

                             Acushnet River Connector Path; Easy. Bike Lanes.

Directions:

From I-195, take exit 15 to Route 18 (JFK Memorial Hwy) south about 2.7 miles to Cove St:

    To start from Gifford Street (New Bedford Harborwalk); Turn left on Cove St and left again on Morton Ct. Turn right on Gifford St and follow to end.

    To start from Cove Road (New Bedford Covewalk); Turn right on Cove St, then left on Stapleton St. Turn right on Cove Rd. Pass by the Cove Road parking lot on your left and continue along Cove Rd to the junction of Rockdale

Ave. Trail begins on your left. Plaza parking lot right.

The New Bedford Blue Lane is a series of interconnected trails in New Bedford. Currently it is comprised of the New Bedford Covewalk which connects to the Saulnier Memorial Bike Trail, which in turn connects to the New Bedford Harborwalk. The Acushnet River Connecter Path currently consists of  Bike Lanes, paved paths and on-road sections traveling north form the New Bedford Harborwalk parallel to the Acushnet River. More trails north along the river are planned for the future. You may also utilize this Path to connect to Fairhaven's Phoenix Bike Trail . If you have time, I would defiantly visit the New Bedford Historic District, located off Route 18 in New Bedford. There is a National Historical Park Visitor's Center located there as well. For more information check out; NEW BEDFORD-NPS .

The New Bedford Blue Lane is part of the larger South Coast Bikeway , a planned 50-mile continuous system of bike paths and bike lanes that will connect Rhode Island to Cape Cod. Cities and towns included in this plan are Swansea, Somerset, Fall River, Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion, Wareham and Bourne. Several segments of the bikeway already exist in Swansea, Fall River, New Bedford, Fairhaven and Mattapoisett.

Starting from Cove Road; A path leads up to the New Bedford Covewalk, which runs atop the flood control dyke. Right leads 0.1 miles to an overlook of the Cove Road Gate, so head left along the cement trail with great views of Clarks Cove. Pass by a path down to the Cove Road parking lot on your left at 0.4 miles. 

Note; From here you may connect to the Acushnet River Connector Path or the New Bedford Harborwalk via an on-road route. We used this route to loop back from the end of the New Bedford Harborwalk. Head down to Cove Rd and go right on-road out to W Rodney French Blvd (purple crosswalks take you across). Head north on-road (wide sidewalk available). Turn right on Cove St and an immediate left up Morton Ct (Bike Lane) [Acushnet River Connector Path] after 0.4 miles. Come to Gifford St at 0.5 miles. To connect to the New Bedford Harborwalk follow the Bike Sharrows along Gifford St and you'll come to the New Bedford Harborwalk after 0.8 miles or continue north along the Acushnet River Connector Path as Morton Ct becomes S Front St (Bike Lane). Pass by Ben Rose Park on your right. Turn right on Potomska St which becomes MacArthur Dr (Bike Lane) and continue north. After 1.5 miles the road turns sharply right then left where you'll continue north utilizing Bike Sharrows. This brings you past Coast Guard Park and the New Bedford State Pier to an intersection with Union St at 1.7 miles. Future plans call for continuing the trail north along the Acushnet River. To connect to the Phoenix Bike Trail follow the red bricked path north between Route 18 and MacArthur Dr up to Route 6. See; Phoenix Bike Trail .

Come to another ramp at 0.8 miles (straight leads to an overlook of the Rodney French Blvd Gate) and head down to W Rodney French Blvd and the end of the Covewalk. The paved Saulnier Memorial Bike Trail starts here traveling south between Clarks Cove and W Rodney French Blvd. Pass by some bath houses and restrooms. At  1.1 miles look left to spot a paved trail leading up to Hazelwood Park. Pass by a boat launch and parking lot at 1,6 miles before coming to S Rodney French Blvd at 2 miles.

Note; A paved trail travels left alongside S Rodney French Blvd out to E Rodney French Blvd.

Continue south past University Smast onto the grounds of Fort Taber. This is the quietest segment on the trail, as it passes the west side of the water treatment facility and runs past the old fortifications encompassing Fort Rodman. Numerous side trails. Just follow alongside the water. You'll pass by Fort Rodman, then out and around Clarks Point. Here they have telescopes along the sea wall looking out over Buzzard's Bay

Fort Rodman was constructed in the late 1850's to guard the city's harbor and today its tall granite walls still stand. In later years, Fort Rodman encompassed the surrounding land with additional fortifications that are still visible and served as an active military post during World War II. 

The trail now heads north alongside the Bay. Pass by a long cement pier (Merchant Marina Memorial Walkway Pier) before coming to the Fort Taber Park parking lot at 3 miles. Snack bar/restroom pavilion and playground located here. Exit Fort Taber where the trail travels past East Beach. The paved trail ends after 4.1 miles, but a Bike Lane continues past a boat ramp and through the flood wall. This brings you to the start of the New Bedford Harborwalk after 4.3 miles.

Note; The Saulnier Memorial Bike Trail continues off-road alongside E Rodney French Blvd just below the dyke for another 0.5 miles to Cove St where it currently ends. Future plans call for a Bike Lane west along Cove St to Morton Ct (Bike Lane) and the Acushnet River Connector Path.

Head up the ramp to the cement New Bedford Harborwalk. Right leads to an overlook of the E Rodney French Blvd Gate. Head left atop the dyke alongside the Bay. Come to Gifford Street after 5 miles. Parking located here. 

Note; From here you may connect to the Acushnet River Connector Path or the New Bedford Covewalk via an on-road route. Follow the Bike Sharrows 0.3 miles along Gifford St out to S Front St/Morton Ct and the Acushnet River Connector Path. To return to the New Bedford Covewalk head left (South) along Morton Ct (Bike Lane) to Cove St. Head right on-road out to Rodney French Blvd, then left on-road to Cove Rd. Turn right on-road along Cove Rd and you'll come to the Cove Road parking lot on your left and ramp to the New Bedford Covewalk after 0.8 miles or head right (North) along the Acushnet River Connector Path as Morton Ct becomes S Front St (Bike Lane). Pass by Ben Rose Park on your right. Turn right on Potomska St which becomes MacArthur Dr (Bike Lane) and continue north. After 1.3 miles the road turns sharply right then left where you'll continue north utilizing Bike Sharrows. This brings you past Coast Guard Park and the New Bedford State Pier to an intersection with Union St at 1.4 miles. Future plans call for continuing the trail north along the Acushnet River. To connect to the Phoenix Bike Trail follow the red bricked path north between Route 18 and MacArthur Dr up to Route 6. See; Phoenix Bike Trail .

You can continue atop the dyke (walking) but if biking a service road continues just below the dyke. Pass by Palmer Island (walking trails out to the 1849 Palmer Island Lighthouse) before coming to the hurricane gates after 5.5 miles. This is where the Acushnet River enters the Bay.

HH

CLICK HERE FOR BLUE LANE MAP

 

BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

BIKE IT OR HIKE IT

HOME PAGE