Last Updated:       May 16, 2004

Length:                 Southwest Corridor Greenway; 4 miles

Difficulty:             Easy. Flat, paved trail.


From I-93, take exit 14 to Columbia Rd west for 2.2 miles to Blue Hill Ave (Route 28) and continue straight across the intersection along Forest Park Rd onto Circuit Drive. This takes you through Franklin Park and out to the Arborway. Turn right and follow to Washington St. Turn left past the Forest Hills T-Station where you'll find parking in the rear (parking fee).  Free parking is available at Franklin Park only 0.5 miles away.

You may also access the trail via one of the 7 stops along MBTA's Orange Line. For information about taking your bike on the subway visit; MBTA-BIKE .

The Southwest Corridor Greenway, also known as the Pierre Lallement Bike Path spans 4 miles of city blocks with a series of lawns, gardens and recreational areas. The greenway parallels a major rail line for Amtrak and includes stops for the Boston subways Orange Line. It is one of my favorite bike trails, especially when you pass through the South End Historic District, near the Back Bay Area, with its many brownstone buildings and brick lined walks. This greenway is the result of a community triumph. Between the 1950's and 1970's, the railroad and abutting property were destined to become a 12 lane segment of I-95. Homes and businesses were demolished to make room for the highway before the citizens were able to stop the project. The greenway today is home to community gardens, playgrounds and recreation areas, many of which are built on earthen "decks" covering the rail line. Large stone slabs at each T-Station contain literary excerpts from a range of writers. The Southwest Corridor Greenway links to the Emerald Necklace Greenway.

Completed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1895, the 6 mile long Emerald Necklace was the first linear park to be constructed in this country. The Emerald Necklace Greenway is comprised of a series of parklands and vehicular parkways, which are linked by the wetland resources of the Muddy River. The Greenway is comprised of the Back Bay Fens, the Riverway, Olmsted Park, Jamaica Pond, Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park and their connecting parkways (Fenway, Riverway, Jamaicaway and Arborway). The Emerald Necklace is the only remaining intact linear park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., America’s first landscape architect. As such, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It took Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. (1822-1903) almost twenty years (1878-1896) to create the six parks now known as the Emerald Necklace which stretches five miles from the Charles River to Franklin Park and make up over 1,000 acres of parkland. For more information visit; EMERALD NECKLACE and SOUTHWEST CORRIDOR PARK .

If your ambitious you can complete a Loop utilizing the Emerald Necklace Greenway, Southwest Corridor Greenway & Commonwealth Ave Mall & Bike-Lane. Along this route you can also Loop through Arnold Arboretum & Franklin Park. See; *[Part of Loop]* in the descriptions below.

Starting from the Forest Hills T-Station along the Emerald Necklace Greenway; *[Part of Loop]* The Southwest Corridor Greenway starts on the north side of  New Washington St, across from the entrance to the station. Map board. The trail consists of two paths, one side for pedestrians and the wider trail for bikes. Green signs along the route point to the correct side of the path, as they tend to switch sides during the course of the trail. You pass by a play ground and community gardens on your left as you start out. You'll find both scattered all along the Greenway. This urban path is tree lined as it follows the rail line which runs along a sunken corridor. Just before the Green Street T-Station at 0.7 miles, look right to spot the BIKES NOT BOMBS Bike shop. You pass by more playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts. Stony Brook T-Station at 1 ¼ miles. Jackson Square T-Station at 1 ¾ miles. The trail then parallels New Columbus Ave as it passes by Roxbury Community College before coming to Roxbury Crossing T-Station at 2.4 miles. Across Tremont St you'll find the BLUEbikes (bike rental station). You pass by a Boston Police Station as you approach the Ruggles Street T-Station and come to Melnea Cass Blvd at 2.9 miles.

Note; From Melnea Cass Blvd/Ruggles Street T-Station you can access the South Bay Harbor Trail to your right which will take you east to Fort Point Channel which is part of the Boston Harborwalk .

The next section is in need of some trail work as it continues alongside Columbus Ave on your right and the campus Northeastern University along your left. Just past Carter Park, with its ball field and tennis courts, STOP. At the end of the tennis courts at Camden St, turn left. Halfway down the street the trail picks up on the other side of Camden St through a small park. Come to the Mass Ave T-Station at 3.4 miles. Head left to access the crosswalk over busy Mass Ave, then right to rejoin the trail as it travels down a ramp. This brings you to my favorite part of the Greenway located in the South End Historic District. Here the trail follows a combination of cement and brick surfaces lining a quiet neighborhood of brick row houses. Be sure to take a detour down these narrow streets to check out the buildings. This last section passes by quaint gardens until the trail ends at Dartmouth Courtyard on Dartmouth St right around the corner from Copley Place after 4 miles. Another BLUEbikes located here. Across the street is the Back Bay T-Station.

Note; *[Part of Loop]* To access the Charles River Bikeway or the Emerald Necklace Greenway via the Commonwealth Ave Mall & BIKE LANE head left (north) along Dartmouth St via the wide brick sidewalk. When you reach Stuart St turn right over the cross-walks to reach a bike-lane along Dartmouth St and continue north. Travel past Copley Square to your right and the Boston Public Library to your left along with the Copley T-Station. Just shy of 0.4 miles brings you to the Commonwealth Ave Mall & BIKE LANE  *[Part of Loop]* Head left 0.8 miles to reach the Emerald Necklace Greenway *[Part of Loop]* or right 0.4 miles to reach the Public Gardens & Boston Common, where you can access the Charles River Bikeway