Southwest Corridor Park is a 4.7-mile linear park through the Boston neighborhoods of South End, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. A recreation and commuter route popular with walkers, runners, and cyclists, the park is a triumph of its surrounding communities, which rallied in the 1960s to prevent a 12-lane highway from flanking a subway line and instead created this 52-acre green space. The park parallels the Orange Line between the Back Bay and Forest Hills T-stations. Forest Hills connects to the Needham commuter rail line, while Back Bay is a stop on the Framingham/Worcester, Providence/Stoughton and Needham commuter rail lines, as well as the Amtrak line. The trail (just under 4 miles) is called the Pierre Lallement Bike Path.
The northern trailhead is across from the Back Bay T-station on Dartmouth Street, only blocks from Copley Square, the Boston Public Library and commercial Newbury Street. Beginning between Neiman Marcus and Firefly Bistro, the trail winds its way between small residential South End side streets lined with old brownstones. This skillfully designed section includes dog parks, playgrounds, neighborhood vegetable gardens and basketball and tennis courts.
Where the trail crosses West Newton Street, look up at the Prudential Center and John Hancock buildings, highlights of the Boston skyline. Where the trail crosses Massachusetts Avenue, glance right to spot Symphony Hall, home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
When you reach Northeastern University's tennis courts, turn left and then right to remain on the path, which parallels Columbus Avenue for a short stretch to Ruggles Station. Scattered along the corridor are more tennis courts, basketball courts, spray pools, street hockey rinks and amphitheaters. The path continues along Columbus Avenue, then cuts behind Jackson Square Station, where murals line the corridor to Center Street.
If you're hungry, consider stopping in Jamaica Plain at City Feed & Supply, an excellent grocery and sandwich shop less than a block up Boylston Street from Stony Brook Station. The trail ends just across Washington Street from Forest Hills Station, though you can extend your journey into Arnold Arboretum, across South Street to the right of the station. The arboretum is part of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead's famous Emerald Necklace, a 1,100-acre chain of parks that offers an alternate walking or bike route back downtown.
Parking and Trail Access
Avoid driving in Boston by taking the T. Bicycles are permitted on subways during off-peak hours on weekdays or all day on weekends. Back Bay T-station is on Dartmouth Street in Boston between Columbus Avenue and Stuart Street. There is no designated trail parking, but you'll find street and garage parking in the area.
Forest Hills station is just off the Arborway in Jamaica Plain, at the intersection of Washington Street, South Street and Hyde Park Avenue.
Ride through a green urban corridor
The word "trail" calls up visions of the woods, but this is a purely urban ride through a narrow green corridor extending southwest alongside the Orange Line subway and commuter rail tracks. In some places the green strip of parkland is 100 yards wide ...
If you need to get from Back Bay to Roxbury this is the trail for you. A winding paved path that passes townhouses, dog parks, community gardens and playgrounds and by-passes all the traffic in Boston! Sure you have to cross some side streets but it is ...
Very happy to have found this trail. Some signage is needed in certain places, but most of all at Columbus and Camden, where one would continue down Columbus (going toward downtown) unless one knew that a left on Camden was necessary.