SOUTH BAY HARBOR TRAIL:
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: September 2010 (Mass Ave to Harborwalk)
Length: South Bay Harbor Trail; 3.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Flat, paved trail.
This is primarily a connector trail between the Southwest Corridor Greenway from Ruggles Street T-Station to the Boston Harborwalk at Fort Point Channel. You may access this trail from the Ruggles Station along the Boston subways Orange Line. For more information about taking your bike on the subway visit; MBTA-BIKE .
The South Bay Harbor Trail is a path that connects Boston neighborhoods Lower Roxbury, the South End, Chinatown, South Boston, and Fort Point Channel to each other and to the expanding amenities of Boston Harbor. The South Bay Harbor Trail provides an important link in the larger transportation network by connecting the Southwest Corridor Greenway from Ruggles Street T-Station to Fort Point Channel and out to Fan Pier (part of the Boston Harborwalk). The South Bay Harbor Trail includes the Melnea Cass Bike Path, which is sometimes referred to separately. It also shares the trail with the Fort Point Channel Harborwalk. For more information visit; SOUTH BAY TRAIL .
Note; A major upgrade is planned for this trail but has yet to begin as of 2012.
Starting from the Ruggles Street T-Station; The Southwest Corridor Greenway passes along the east side of this station, next to a parking garage and comes to Melnea Cass Blvd. Cross this Blvd. and take a right along the start of the trail as it travels alongside the Melnea Cass Blvd. This section has some rough spots as it splits for bikes and pedestrians (sidewalk). There are green bike route signs indicating the trail. The trail crosses Washington St at a ½ mile.
Note; A bike lane runs along Washington St heading north (left) and will take you past the Jim Rice Fields at Ramsey Park.
You'll pass by the blue Boston Water & Sewer building with the large atrium at Harrison Ave. After crossing Albany St, the trail briefly reverts to sidewalk, but soon brings you to a brand new split paved section with bike racks located along some eateries. This brings you to Mass Ave at 1 mile, where a cross-light takes you safely across. The trail again reverts to sidewalk as you continue alongside the Mass Ave Connector. At 1.4 miles you approach the on/off ramps to I-93. Bear left along Frontage Rd which then brings you to Albany Ave at 1.7 miles. Head right over a cross-walk to a medium between Frontage Rd and Albany Ave and then turn right utilizing a cross-light over the Westside Frontage Rd. Travel underneath the I-93 artery and use a second cross-light over the Eastside Frontage Rd. Turn left and travel along the wide sidewalk and below the I-93 artery. To your right is the Boston Sanitation building. This brings you to West 4th St.
Note; This is where the Fort Point Channel Harborwalk begins. The two trails share the same route.
Use the cross-light over West 4th St and continue straight. This brings you to the W Broadway Bridge at 2 miles, where you need to turn left to access a cross-light over W Broadway. This brings you to South Bay Park straight ahead. This park is a must-go-to location for train and locomotive fans. The park provides a great vantage location to observe the trains entering or leaving South Station, one of the busiest train stations in New England. South Bay Park, situated within the area formerly occupied by the South Bay, was filled over time leaving only the existing configuration of the Fort Point Channel. The land under South Bay Park was filled-in by the mid 1850s and is straddled by two bridges crossing the Channel: the West 4th Street Bridge and W Broadway Bridge. After checking out the trains you'll need to cross over the W Broadway Bridge. The bridge takes you over the rail yards for South Station Transportation Center and brings you to Dorchester Ave.
Note; There is access to the Broadway T-Station from here.
Take a left down Dorchester Ave and you'll come to the entrance for the US Postal Service facility at 2.4 miles.
Note; The trail continues right in front of the guard house, but detour left to Rolling Bridge Park. A short loop trail takes you around this small park and includes a pedestrian bridge over Cabot Cove. The park contains benches, interpretive signs and a big, red painted arm of the Old Colony Railroad Bridge that formerly occupied this site. At the time of its construction in 1898, the Old Colony Railroad Bridge was the largest rolling drawbridge of its kind. In addition, stones are arranged in a seating pattern to mimic a circular configuration of another bridge that occupied a nearby site. The trail then returns you to Dorchester Ave.
Use the cross-walk in front of the guard house and cross over Dorchester Ave. This brings you to the southern side of the Fort Point Channel Harborwalk. The trail travels alongside the channel on your left and Gillette headquarters on your right. Continue along the channel and you'll go around the tiny Binford Park. Informational signage along the trail. Spot the buoy. This is an example of the trail markers that will be used along the updated South Harbor Bay Trail. You come to the old Boston Wharf Company building at 2.9 miles. This building sits directly alongside the channel, but provides a corridor for pedestrians to pass through.
Note; The South Harbor Bay Trail utilizes a detour to bypass this and another section of the Harborwalk that contains stairs. Head right if you are biking and travel between the two brick buildings to Necco St. Turn left and then left again along Melcher St. This will bring you to Summer St, where another left brings you to where the corridor exits the building via a set of stairs next to a sign that reads "Neighborhood Health Plan". Be sure to check out all the old brick buildings in this area. They all seem to have a different color brick and great moldings. Across Summer St is the Channel Building, where stairs lead down to the walkway. Again, if biking you may wish to detour around this short section by turning right up Summer St and then left along A St which brings you to Congress St. Travel left down Congress St, past the BOSTON FIRE MUSEUM and return to the channel.
Head right on a boardwalk that runs alongside the channel and past the Children's Museum of Boston, where you'll find plenty of tables and food available. The trail then travels underneath the Seaport Blvd bridge, turns right and brings you up to Sleeper St. Head left along Sleeper St, past the BARKING CRAB restaurant, which is very popular and out to Old Northern Ave. Turn left and you'll come to the Old Northern Ave Bridge (now a pedestrian only bridge) and the start of Fan Pier at 3.5 miles. The Harborwalk South Boston continues to the right along Fan Pier and past the Moakley Courthouse as it travels along the Inner Harbor. See; Boston Harborwalk for further directions and information.
CLICK HERE FOR SOUTH BAY HARBOR TRAIL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR BOSTON BIKE MAP
BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE
WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER
BIKE IT OR HIKE IT