SAULNIER BIKE TRAIL:

NEW BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      June 15, 2012

Length:                Westside Trail to Clark's Point; 1.4 miles

               Eastside Trail to Clark's Point; 2.1 miles

                               Short Loop; 3.5 miles

                              Full Loop; 4.5 miles

Difficulty:            Easy. Flat, paved trail.

Directions:

From I-195, take exit 15 to Route 18 south for 2.8 miles to a traffic light at Cove St, where Route 18 ends. Continue straight on West Rodney French Blvd down along Clark's Cove.

To start from Hazelwood Park; Turn left up Valentine St, then right on Brock Ave to the entrance of Hazelwood Park. A paved trail runs through the park out to West Rodney French Blvd, West Beach and the Westside Trail.

To start from Fort Taber Park; Continue down West Rodney French Blvd and turn left onto South Rodney French Blvd. The park entrance is on the right where you meet East Rodney French Blvd. 

The Saulnier Bike Trail has three distinct segments. The Westside Trail runs alongside Clark's Cove with completely wide open views. The Eastside Trail runs alongside New Bedford Harbor, with views of Fort Phoenix across the waters in Fairhaven. The last segment connects the two at the tip of Clark's Point where it winds along the many paths of Fort Taber Park. Fort Taber 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 Westside Trail connects to the Covewalk and the Eastside Trail connects to the Harborwalk. All of these trails are part of the New Bedford Blue Lane Trail System, which will include future trails along the Acushnet River.

You can also visit the nearby Phoenix Bike Trail in Fairhaven and Mattapoisett Rail Trail in Mattapoisett . 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  .

Starting from West Beach along the Westside Trail; The bike trail starts out separated from the sidewalk for the first mile and then becomes one massive paved trail. It runs alongside Clark's Cove and is completely open to the elements. You come to South Rodney French Blvd after miles.

Note; A paved trail travels alongside South Rodney French Blvd providing a shortcut to the Eastside Trail, but I recommend continuing straight along the trail as it heads into Fort Taber Park.

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. After 1 miles, a trail to your left will take you to the parking lot, but continue straight, passing by Fort Taber and out to the tip of Clark's Point. Here they have telescopes along the sea wall looking out over Buzzard's Bay. Looking back towards the fort, you'll see Clark's Point Lighthouse on top of the fort. There are many intersecting trails in the park, so be sure to explore. From the tip of Clark's Point, travel around the fort and past the snack bar/restroom pavilion that also contains a playground and head out past the parking lot.

Note; Exiting Fort Taber, a paved trail to your left travels alongside South Rodney French Blvd, providing a shortcut back to the Westside Trail.

Exit Fort Taber and continue straight up the Eastside Trail alongside East Rodney French Blvd and New Bedford Harbor. You pass by East Beach and then a cement pier. If you look out into the harbor you will see Butler's Flat Lighthouse. After 1.4 miles from Clark's Point the trail passes Butler St. 

Note; To complete the Short Loop, head left on-road up residential Butler St to Brook Ave where a cross-walk brings you to a paved path through Hazelwood Park for a 3.5 mile loop.

The paved trail narrows as it continues alongside East Rodney French Blvd. You pass through a hurricane barrier where the trail's views of the harbor are blocked by the stone barrier. The trail widens again as you pass by Rodney St and ends when you reach Cove St 2.1 miles from Clark's Point. Turn left down residential Cleveland St until you reach Rodney St where you'll need to head left then right again to continue along Cleveland St. Again, when you reach Frederick St you'll turn right this time then left along Cleveland St. Turn right on Butler St and you'll come to Brook Ave where a cross-walk brings you to a paved path through Hazelwood Park for a 4.5 mile loop.

HH

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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT

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