EAST BOSTON GREENWAY:

EAST BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

BELLE ISLE TRAILS:

WINTHROP, MASSACHUSETTS

 

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:    April 25, 2019

Length:               East Boston Greenway; 2.4 miles (East Boston Piers Park to Constitution Beach).

                             East Boston Piers Park to Deer Island Harborwalk (Some on-road); 6.3 miles

                             East Boston Piers Park to Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; North (Some on-road); 3.4 miles

                             Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; North Loop Trail; miles

                             East Boston Piers Park to Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; South (Some on-road); 3.6 miles

                             Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; South (Winthrop Greenway); 1 mile

Difficulty:           East Boston Greenway; Easy. Flat paved rail trail.  

                             Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; North & South. Easy. Flat stone-dust trail.

Directions:

To start from East Boston Piers Park; From I-90, take the Ted Williams Tunnel towards Logan Airport.  Turn onto William F. McClellan Highway. Take the Bennington St exit and turn left at the end of the ramp (Note; the first immediate left takes you back onto the highway, so take an elongated left. Easy to mess up). Take your next left down Bremen St. When you come to Sumner St either continue straight down South Bremen St to the start of the East Boston Greenway or turn left along Sumner St. Take the first right down Orleans St to its end and turn left onto Marginal St. East Boston Piers Park will be on the right.

To start from Belle Isle Marsh; 

The East Boston Greenway connects East Boston 's waterfront to the rest of East Boston and plans are for it to extend all the way to Belle Isle Marsh. Located in the former Conrail Railroad Corridor that was abandoned in the 1950's, the greenways design draws upon the areas of industrial heritage. Fencing and columns with riveted steel cross members mark the entrances. A refurbished "blue" caboose will serve as a snack bar and/or ranger station. The trail consists of two paved paths. One for bikes and one for pedestrians. Plans call for connecting the Boston Harborwalk; East Boston to this trail and East Boston Piers Park. The "Blue" Line of the MBTA has several stops along the Greenway, as well as other parts of East Boston. This would enable you to explore more of the area and then take the T back to the Maverick Square Station which is only a block from the start of the Greenway. You can also take the T under the harbor to downtown Boston. For more information on the subway, as well as the rules for taking your bike on the subway visit; MBTA-BIKES  .

Belle Isle Marsh Reservation is a 300 acre DRC property located in East Boston, Revere and Winthrop. The Reservation includes the last remaining salt marsh within Boston. Two trails are located within the reservation; A Loop Trail around Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; North and the Winthrop Greenway through Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; South.

Starting from East Boston Piers Park; After checking out this brick lined park (no biking allowed) and its promenade jutting out into Boston Harbor with views of the Boston skyline, exit the parking lot and turn left along Marginal St (bike sharrows). When Marginal St ends, continue straight along the paved path. This will bring you to the beginning of the East Boston Greenway after only a mile. The trail heads right past the "blue" Conrail caboose. To your left is East Boston Pier #1. Sign board located here. The greenway consists of two paved trails. One for bikes and one for pedestrians. Black streetlights line the trail as it goes through a below grade corridor. You pass through several tunnels with painted murals and after miles you come to Bremen Street Park. 

Note; The trail continues straight through the black gates, however, you can take a quick loop tour of  0.9 miles around the playing fields of East Boston Memorial Stadium. Just turn right up the paved trail before the gate.

Back on the Greenway, the trail travels through the park, past the YMCA building on your left, picnic tables, outdoor amphitheatre, playgrounds, water park and restrooms. The Airport Station of the T is located right off the trail at 1 mile. Across from the community gardens you'll find the Boston Library. You pass through another black gate and travel underneath Route 1A where you emerge at Frankfort St after 1.3 miles. Turn left and follow the trail to a cross-light.

Note; If you continue straight you'll pass by the "Wind Wheels" a neat wind sculpture before coming to the junction of Neptune and Vienna streets just below Route 1A. Wait a few minutes and you'll be rewarded by having a plane fly just a few hundred feet above your head as it makes its approach into Logan Airport. Just across the street is the Neptune Road Airport Edge Buffer Park.

Cross Frankfort St where the trail now follows alongside the Blue Line of the MBTA. Pass a map board. 911 phones and cameras located along this section. Pass by the MBTA's Wood Island Station. You travel between the rail line and MASSPORT property. Come to an overlook of Wood Island Bay Marsh and Logan Airport at 1.8 miles Another map board located here. Here the trail continues along the Narrow Gauge Connector alongside the RR tracks out to Constitution Beach parking lot at 2.1 miles. Restrooms here.

Note; A trail travels the length of the beach. Right takes you past the Porrazzo Skating Rink and the East Boston Yacht Club.

Heading left you pass a playground and blue pedestrian bridge (that crosses over the RR tracks to Bennington St) before exiting the beach out to Barnes Ave at 2.4 miles. 

Note; You have two options from here:

Option 1: Travel to Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; North where you'll find a short scenic Loop Trail.

Option 2: Travel to Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; South where you'll find a trail that travels through the marsh out to the Short Beach parking lot.

Option 3: Travel to Deer Island Harborwalk where another trail awaits.

Option 1: 

From Constitution Beach/Barnes Ave; [Continuing mileage] Travel on-road along Barnes Ave (residential) out to Saratoga St (Route 145) . Cross Saratoga St to a Bike Lane and head left over the RR tracks outs Bennington St. Head right along a double wide sidewalk past the MBTA's Orient Heights Station. At 3.1 miles you'll pick up a narrow paved trail as you travel between Bennington St and Belle Isle Marsh. You'll come to the entrance for the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; North. Turn right to reach the parking lot at 3.4 miles. A signboard is located here with a trail map. For more information visit;  Belle Isle Marsh . A mile Loop Trail circles around the marsh. Just follow the stone-dust trail to the right of the map board and it will take you out to a boardwalk overlooking the marsh. Next comes a side trail over a bridge and out to an observation tower overlooking the marsh. The trail turns to pavement as it brings you back to the parking lot.               

Note; If you continue north on-road along Bennington St/State Rd to the Revere Beach Pkwy and head right you'll come to the Eliot Circle Rotary at 4.2 miles where the Revere Beach Reservation trail begins.

Note; If you continue north on-road along Bennington St (wide shoulder) then right on Winthrop Ave you'll come to the Short Beach parking lot after 1.2 miles and the start of Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; South. See Option 2 below.

Option 2: 

From Constitution Beach/Barnes Ave; [Continuing mileage] Travel on-road along Barnes Ave (residential) out to Saratoga St (Route 145) . Head right utilizing a Bike Lane. Cross Belle Isle Inlet at 3.1 miles. Saratoga St becomes Main St as you now enter Winthrop. There are places eat or get refreshments here. Take your first left down Pleasant St, then right along Morton St. Continue east and you'll come to the Morton Street on-road parking at 3.6 miles. Here you access the stone-dust trails of Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; South. [Re-zeroing mileage] This is referred to as the Winthrop Greenway. A short stone-dust Loop Trail left brings you out to the Overlook Tower. Heading right travel along a raised boardwalk along the marsh. Travel past a spur at 0.3 miles to the Winthrop Street parking lot before the trail turns away from all the buildings. The trail then leaves the boardwalk to a stone-dust trail and travels around Short Beach Creek. You head up to a dirt road and continue left around the Belle Isle Cemetery. You'll then pick up the stone-dust trail again on your left which leads to a bridge over an inlet. Head left across another boardwalk along what is called the John J. Kilmartin Pathway. Pass by an overlook and bench before the trail ends after a mile at the Short Beach parking lot next to Winthrop Ave.  

Note; If you follow Winthrop Ave to Winthrop Pkwy (wide sidewalk available) you can connect to the Revere Beach Reservation after a mile. 

Note; If you follow Winthrop Ave (wide sidewalk available) to Crescent Ave (residential) and head left it will bring you to Bennington St. Head left on-road (wide shoulder) and you'll come to Belle Isle Marsh Reservation; South on your left after 1.1 miles. See Option 1 above.

Option 3: 

From Constitution Beach/Barnes Ave; [Continuing mileage] Travel on-road along Barnes Ave (residential) out to Saratoga St (Route 145) . Head right utilizing a Bike Lane. Cross Belle Isle Inlet at 3.1 miles. Saratoga St becomes Main St as you now enter Winthrop. There are places eat or get refreshments here. Take your first right on Pleasant St (Route 145). This is 3.2 miles on-road and not recommended for kids on bikes as there is no bike lane and the sidewalks can be narrow and in poor shape. Pleasant St eventually turns into Washington Ave. This is a very scenic ride with many views of the harbor and Boston's skyline. Turn right when you reach Shirley St and follow it south past multiple marinas on Winthrop Head. Cross a causeway to Point Shirley. Turn left on Elliot St at 5.9 miles, then right along Tafts Ave. This will bring you to the Deer Island parking lot on your left after 6.3 miles. See; Deer Island Harborwalk .

HH

CLICK HERE FOR EAST BOSTON GREENWAY MAP

CLICK HERE FOR BELLE ISLE MARSH RESERVATION MAP

 

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