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

                               JFK Blvd Path; 1.5 miles

Difficulty:            Easy. Flat, paved trail.

Directions:

From I-195, take exit 26 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 JFK Blvd Bike Path travels north from New Bedford Harborwalk to Historic downtown New Bedford. 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 JFK Blvd (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 . North of I-95 will be the future Acushnet Riverwalk along the river. 

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; [Return Loop] From here you may connect to 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) Come to Gifford St after 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

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 connect to Morton Ct where a BIKE LANE heads north and connects to the JFK Blvd Bike 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; 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.

 

To Loop Back to the New Bedford Covewalk or Continue North and connect to either the Acushnet Riverwalk or Phoenix Bike Trail:

Head left following the BIKE SHARROWS [Re-zeroing Mileage] 0.3 miles along Gifford St out to S Front St/Morton Ct.

Note; [Return Loop] From here you can return to the New Bedford Covewalk via an on-road route. 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

To Continue North; Head right along Morton Ct, which becomes S Front St (BIKE LANE). Pass by Ben Rose Park on your right before coming to Potomska St. Head left to JFK Blvd at 0.7 miles and utilize the cross light. Here the paved JFK Blvd Bike Path travels north along the western side of JFK Blvd past Alfred Gomes Elementary School where the paved trail is red. Come to Union St after 1.5 miles and cross back over JFK Blvd. 

Note; The New Bedford State Pier is straight ahead. To the right is Coast Guard Park. Lots of informational signs. Good spot to take a detour and check out all the sites, such as the New Bedford Historic District and National Historical Park Visitor's Center. Plenty of places for refreshments and dining. For more information check out; NEW BEDFORD-NPS .

Note; To connect to the Phoenix Bike Trail follow the red bricked path north between JFK Blvd (Route 18) and MacArthur Dr up to Route 6. Head right along the pedestrian path across the Acushnet River to Fish Island. Next a Draw Bridge will take you to Popes Island and past Prince Henry the Navigator Park. You cross the river one last time to Fairhaven. Head right along Middle St (low traffic) and follow to Ferry St after 3.3 miles. Straight ahead is the Main/Ferry Street parking lot. The Phoenix Bike Trail starts left across main St.

To Continue North to the Acushnet Riverwalk; I haven't checked out this section. From the New Bedford State Pier head left along MacArthur Dr (not sure if there is a BIKE LANE). Turn right on Herman Melville Blvd at 1.9 miles. Here you should find the Herman Melville BIKE LANE (No Bike Lane as of Oct 2019). Herman Melville Blvd turns into N Front St. Travel underneath I-195 and come to Coggshall St. Turn right (wide sidewalk) and come to Belleville Ave. 

Note; Future plans call for the Acushnet Riverwalk to start from the Acushnet River straight ahead on your left. 

Head left on-road up Belleville Ave to Sawyer St after 3.3 miles. The Acushnet Riverwalk begins to your right at the entrance to Riverside Park. Here paved trails travel north through the park (playground, sports fields and courts, Skate Park and Porto-Potty) and out to Coffin St.  Riverside Park parking lot located off Coffin St. Future sections of the trail will continue north along the river.

HH

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