FRESH POND BIKE PATH & LOOP TRAIL:

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

WATERTOWN BRANCH RAIL TRAIL:

CAMBRIDGE-WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

 

 In Cambridge at Alewife T- Station, a stop on the commuter rail line into Boston is a Hub for 5 Trails (plus interconnecting Trails). 

Fresh Pond Bike Path Fresh Pond Loop Trail:

Last Updated:      May 02, 2021

Length:                Fresh Pond Bike Path; 1.3 miles. 

                               Fresh Pond Loop Trail; 2.3 miles.

Difficulty:            Easy. Flat, paved surface.

Directions:

To start from Alewife T-Station [Northern End]; Take Boston's Red-Line to access this station. See; MBTA for more information. For information about taking your bike on the subway. See; MBTA/BIKES . From I-95, take exit 45A to Route 2 east to Alewife. Take the exit for Alewife Station Access Road and park at the T-station's parking garage.

To start from the Cambridge Water Works [Southern End]; From I-95, take exit 45A to Route 2 east to Alewife. Follow to the end and keep right to Alewife Brook Parkway (Routes 3 S & 16 W). Follow to Concord Ave (traffic circle) and head left to another traffic circle. Keep right on Fresh Pond Parkway. Fresh Pond is on your right. Turn right into the Cambridge Water Works parking lot on the right.

Fresh Pond Reservation consists of the 155 acre kettle-hole Lake called Fresh Pond and 162 acres of surrounding land. In the mid 1800's the Pond was privately owned and the site of a flourishing ice industry, its clean water producing high quality ice that was shipped as far away as Europe, China and India. The Pond became the City's drinking water supply in 1852 and is now part of the reservoir system for the City of Cambridge. The Fresh Pond Loop Trail encircles the pond. For more information visit;  FRESH POND .

Fresh Pond Loop Trail:

From the end of the Minuteman Trail at Alewife T-Station; There is a green sign showing the various bike routes and mileages from this point. To reach the Fresh Pond Loop Trail, turn left down the boardwalk alongside the access road. A cross-light will take you around the backside of the parking garage/station and you'll come to an intersection.

Note; Left takes you underneath Alewife Brook Pkwy along the Red Line Linear Path/Somerville Community Path

Continue straight along the backside of Alewife T-Station which will take you across Cambridge Park Drive and alongside Alewife Brook Pkwy (West side) and follow the paved Fresh Pond Bike Path up & over Alewife Brook Bridge, which crosses over some active rail lines. After passing by the Fresh Pond Mall you come to a traffic rotary. Bear right on Concord Ave to a cross-light that takes you over to a paved trail. Head left.

Note; Straight takes you to a section of the Fresh Pond Loop Trail.

This Outer Trail takes you around Fresh Pond alongside Concord Ave, across the old RR tracks, then alongside Fresh Pond Pkwy before coming to the entrance for the Cambridge Water Works parking lot after 1.3 miles. BLUEbikes STATION

Note: Straight leads to the Watertown Branch Rail Trail. See Below

Travel right between the Cambridge Water Works parking lot and Water Works building to reach the Fresh Pond Loop Trail after 1.3 miles. You'll find a water fountain here, as well as, restrooms and a BIKE STATION (air pump & tools) at the Water Works building.

Fresh Pond Loop Trail:

Starting from the Cambridge Water Works parking lot; Travel right past the Water Works building to reach the start of the Fresh Pond Loop Trail. Head right along the Fresh Pond Loop Trail with Fresh Pond on your left and the old railroad tracks to your right. This wide paved trail is a bit rough in spots, as it utilizes an old road. There are more pedestrians and dogs that utilize this trail so use stay alert. The trail loops around the pond which is enclosed in a chain linked fence (watch out for the poison ivy growing up it). After 0.3 miles you'll pass by a spur on your right out to Concord Ave and the Fresh Pond Bike Path. The Trail Splits at 0.4 miles but both trails rejoin ahead. 

Note; Keep right for the Lusitania Meadow Loop, which will return you here. Bear right to an intersection and head right around Lusitania Fields. Pass a spur out to Concord Ave. on your right and come to another intersection. Head left back to the Trail Spilt after a 0.4 mile Loop.

After checking out Lusitania Meadow continue straight alongside the pond. Just past where the trails rejoin spot a stone-dust path on your right at 0.6 miles.

Note; This is the Mather Park Spur. This stone-dust trail travels through Lusitania Woods, past Butterfly Meadow to Mather Park at 0.3 miles. Here a paved trail encircles an open field and sports field before heading west where it intersects with Blacks Nook Spur and Concord Ave after 0.5 miles. 

Continuing alongside the pond you'll come to a sign board and Emergency Call Box at 0.8 miles. Further along the trail is the Blacks Nook Spur, which you c

Note; Right the narrow paved Blacks Nook Spur takes you through the woods past Black’s Nook (where you'll find a boardwalk overlook of this pond) out to Concord Ave after 0.2 miles. Just before Concord Ave the paved Mather Park Spur on your right leads to Mather Park.

Continuing along the trail you travel alongside the Fresh Pond Golf Course & Little Fresh Pond. Come to another intersection at 1.5 miles.

Note; Straight leads to the Fresh Pond Golf Course parking lot and Glacken Sports Fields

After 1.8 miles you then encounter a short stone-dust section. Below along your right is the Watertown Branch Rail Trail. You then return to the paved trail. Come to another intersection at 2 miles. 

Note; Left takes you alongside the pond via a mulch & hard packed dirt trail before returning to the paved trail next to the Water Works building after 0.4 miles.

Continuing straight takes you past another parking lot and the Cambridge Water Works purification facility. You'll find a map board and water fountain here at 2.2 miles.

Note; Left the Kingsley Park Loop takes you up a small knoll into Kingsley Park, a shaded area with two stone overlooks and then back down to the trail after  0.3 miles.

The trail then travels around the Cambridge Water Works back to the Cambridge Water Works parking lot for a 2.3 mile Loop.

  Watertown Branch Rail Trail:

Last Updated:      May 02, 2021

Length:                Watertown Branch Rail Trail; 2.6 miles

                               Watertown Linear Park Trail; 0.3 miles (0.3 mile on-road connection)    

                               Watertown Branch Rail Trail on-road connection to the Charles River Bikeway from West End; 0.3 miles

Difficulty:            Easy. Flat, paved trail.                            

Directions:

To start from the Cambridge Water Works parking lot; From I-95, take exit 45A to Route 2 east to Alewife. Follow to the end and keep right to Alewife Brook Parkway (Routes 3 S & 16 W). Follow to Concord Ave (traffic circle) and head left to another traffic circle. Keep right on Fresh Pond Parkway. Fresh Pond is on your right. Turn right into the Cambridge Water Works parking lot on the right.

The Watertown Branch Rail Trail was a branch loop of the Fitchburg Railroad that served the town of Watertown & the Watertown Arsenal. The railroad was chartered in 1846 and a second company, the Waltham & Watertown Railroad, was chartered to extend the line to the neighborhood just southeast of downtown Waltham. In order to keep it out of the hands of its rivals, the Fitchburg took control of both companies before any track was laid and merged them into the Watertown Branch. For more information visit; WATERTOWN BRANCH RAIL TRAIL .

Starting from the Cambridge Water Works parking lot; The section between Fresh Pond & Arlington St is still under construction as of May 2021.

From the Cambridge Water Works parking lot head Southeast along the paved Watertown Branch Rail Trail. Quickly pass a spur on your right leading up to the Cambridge Water Works purification facility parking lot and travel underneath the entrance road. Briefly parallel the Fresh Pond Loop Trail up on your right before traveling underneath Huron Ave. Here the trail travels below grade. Pass a spur up to Holworthy St before another tunnel takes you underneath Belmont St at 0.7 miles where the trail is at grade as you enter East Watertown. Travel under the Grove St bridge and come to Arlington St. Cross light over Arlington and Nichols Streets returns you to the trail at 1.3 miles.

Note; The next section is complete.

Note; Heading left on-road (sidewalks available) down Arlington St will bring you to Filippello Park. Here a 0.3 miles paved trail circles the park (sports field & playground). Another 0.3 mile paved trail heads east past a Splash Park, sport fields and Dog Park out to Grove St.

You follow a commercial corridor through East Watertown. Pass by a spur trail on your left at 1.5 miles.

Note; This spur trail travels south past the Watertown Mall to Arsenal St. 

Come to School St at 1.9 miles where the rail trail ends. A granite pillar here contains a map. Head left down to Arsenal St. Across the street is the massive brick US Army Materials Technology Laboratory building. The paved trail now travels west alongside Arsenal St (The old rail trail is north of here but has been consumed by buildings) before ending at Irving St after 2.6 miles. 

Note; Right up Irving St brings you to a small park on your left with picnic tables. This was built on the old rail bed. 

Note; You may access the Charles River Bikeway from here via a short on-road connector. Travel West  on-road (BIKE SHARROWS) along Arsenal St which merges with N Beacon St bringing you to Watertown Square. Follow the crosswalk left over N Beacon St and Charles River Rd and you'll come to the Charles River Bikeway after 0.3 miles.

Note; Another short section of the trail can be accessed on-road from Watertown Square. Head north on-road along Main St a short distance, then turn right up Church St. Turn left on Winter St and you'll come to a sharp right after 0.3 miles. On your left will be Saltonstall Park. Here you'll find the start of the Watertown Linear Park Trail. A sidewalk that travels along the northern edge of the park. Cross Whites Ave (Caution No Crosswalk) to a paved trail through the Watertown Linear Park. This brings you to Waverly Ave after 0.6 miles. Across the crosswalk is Moxley Field & Playground

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CLICK HERE FOR FRESH POND MAP

CLICK HERE FOR WATERTOWN BRANCH RAIL TRAIL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR REGIONAL BIKE MAP

CLICK HERE FOR AREA BIKEWAYS

 

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WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

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