Last Updated:       June 11, 2017

Length:                 Phoenix Bike Trail; 3 miles

                               Mattapoisett Rail Trail; 3/4 miles.

                               Little Bay Overlook Spur Trail; 3/4  miles.

                               On-road Route to the New Bedford Blue Lane; 1.8 miles

Difficulty:             Easy. Flat, paved rail trail.


From I-195, take exit 18 to Route 240 south to Route 6.

To start from the Main Street parking lot in Fairhaven; Take a right onto Route 6 west and travel 1 miles. Turn left down Main Street (before the bridge) and go about a mile to South Street, where the trail begins to your left. There is a parking lot to your right directly across from the trail. To park at Fort Phoenix, turn left on South Street and then right down Fort Street, straight into Fort Phoenix State Beach.

To start from the Arsene Street parking lot; Take a left onto Route 6 east, then your second right onto Arsene St. Just before you cross the trail, a parking lot will be on your left.

The Phoenix Bike Trail and Mattapoisett Rail Trail follow the rail bed of the old Fairhaven Branch Railroad which operated between the Cape Cod Branch Railroad in Wareham and a ferry that linked New Bedford. It later incorporated with the Old Colony Railroad and then the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. The Phoenix Bike Trail travels through Fairhaven and becomes the Mattapoisett Rail Trail in Mattapoisett. Future segments will continue the trail through Mattapoisett, Marion & Wareham. You can also connect to the New Bedford Blue Lane , a series of interconnected trails in nearby New Bedford via the Acushnet River Connector Path. For more information visit; MATTAPOISETT RAIL TRAIL & WAREHAM COMMUNITY PATHWAY .

The Phoenix Bike Trail and Mattapoisett Rail Trail  are 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 the Main Street parking lot in Fairhaven; The paved Phoenix Bike Trail starts across Main St.

Note; To access the New Bedford Blue Lane in New Bedford head out of the rear of the parking lot left along Ferry St to Water St and travel north on-road (low volume traffic). Bear right on Washington St, then left along Middle St. This will bring you to Route 6 after 0.7 miles. Head left along the sidewalk (If you cross over Route 6 you'll have to cross back after the river where there is no cross-walk, so I would travel along the south side of Route 6). Cross the Fairhaven Bridge to Popes Island (Prince Henry the Navigator Park) and over the Draw Bridge to Fish Island before crossing into New Bedford. Bear left off Route 6 and you'll come to a wide red bricked lined trail at 1.6 miles.  Follow this south between Route 18 and MacArthur Dr. This brings you to the intersection of Union St at 1.8 miles. This is part of the Acushnet River Connector Path. Right leads to historic New Bedford, left to the State Pier Maritime Terminal and Coast Guard Park. See; New Bedford Blue Lane .

The Phoenix Bike Trail travels alongside Willow Park (location of the old 1771 burial ground), a small bench lined track of land and parallels South St. The first street crossing you contend with is Fort St.

Note; Taking a right down this residential street for a mile brings you to Fort Phoenix State Beach. Here, a public parking lot, pavilion, restroom and beach reside to your left, while the remnants of Fort Phoenix reside to your right. The earthen fort contains cannons overlooking Buzzards Bay. There is also a hurricane barrier that you may ride halfway out to where the boats enter New Bedford Harbor. For more information visit; FORT PHOENIX STATE RESERVATION .

Continuing east along the bike path, there are numerous street crossings along this more urban section of the trail. Once you cross Pleasant St the crossings become less frequent. Mileage markers are painted on the trail every 1/4 mile. Once you cross Egypt Lane at 0.7 miles, the scenery gets greener, with marshes and views of the bay. Just past  the eastern edge of the hurricane barrier the trail travels alongside David Drown Blvd before crossing Sconticut Neck Rd at 1.3 miles. Please use caution, as there is no cross-light on this busy road. You'll come to the Arsene Street parking lot at 1.6 miles. Map board located here.

Note; The Little Bay Overlook Spur Trail starts from here. It starts off traveling south along Arsene St, then heads into the woods behind the Water Treatment Plant following the old Arsene St road? The trail winds through the woods which soon turn to shrub land. After passing by an old parking lot with a couple of picnic tables to your right you'll come to a narrow paved path on your left. This leads to a scenic overlook of Little Bay at 3/4 miles. If you continue straight along the old road you would come out onto Orchard St at 0.9 miles.

Next you pass through a saltwater estuary that provides you with a nice view of Little Bay & over Nasketucket River. Just past the 2 mile mark, you cross over Weeden Rd as the trail passes through a residential corridor. After crossing Shaw Rd you'll come to the town line and start of the Mattapoisett Rail Trail at 3 1/4 miles.


The paved Mattapoisett Rail Trail heads straight into deep woods paralleling some power lines along the right. You lose the power lines as you cross Swift Brook before coming to Mattapoisett Neck Rd at 4 miles. The trail currently ends here as of April 2018. The next section is slated for construction in the Fall of 2018. However, continue across the road along the hard packed dirt trail (rocky) and along a causeway where you'll come to a bridge over the Mattapoisett River, where it empties into the Mattapoisett Harbor, at 4.3 miles. Very scenic. Plans call for continuing the trail straight, then through or around the YMCA Reservation. Somehow they plan on crossing Ell Pond and continuing the trail up Railroad Ave to Depot St in Mattapoisett where phase 2 construction will take place.