Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path

Massachusetts

Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path Facts

States: Massachusetts
Counties: Suffolk
Length: 13.6 miles
Trail end points: Museum of Science (Boston) and Galen St. (Watertown)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 8594111
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path Description

Nestled in Boston’s Charles River Reservation, the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path offers a pleasant walk or ride along both sides of the river from the city’s Museum of Science to Watertown. To reach both shores, the Charles River can be crossed easily by way of several pedestrian bridges.

Also known as the Charles River Path or Charles River Greenway, the trail was named in honor of a Massachusetts native and renowned cardiologist who stressed the importance of preventive medicine such as walking and biking.

Near the eastern end of the trail, be sure to stop in North Point Park for scenic overlooks of the river. As you travel west, you’ll pass the campuses of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, and Harvard University, making this a popular route for students and faculty. Attractions along the way include Magazine Beach (with a swimming pool, athletic fields, and playground), Christian A. Herter Park (which features community gardens, a playground, and canoe and kayak rentals), and the Watertown Dam.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at the numerous points along the route, including:

  • North Point Park (6 Museum Way, Cambridge)
  • Magazine Beach (668 Memorial Dr., Cambridge)
  • Christian A. Herter Park (1175A Soldiers Field Rd., Brighton)

Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path Reviews

A pretty nice trail for a few hours. Mostly you're riding near the river so you can see plenty of boats, geese with their sweet kids, nice bridges and great views of Boston. I'm going to use this trail many times more.

Using directions from the Symbol on the trail map from our home in NH, we were able to find and park on Charles River Dam Rd. From that point on, it was nothing more than a maze. We never were able to find the bike path. If there had been ONE sign, marker, or anything pointing us in the right direction, we might have had a chance. Anyway, we rode around in circles for 2 miles and gave up. Seriously, this trail needs a good map or some trail markings. The only positive, is that the supposed trail is not very far from the Minuteman Bike way.

As a native Bostonian, I love this trail. I parked for free at Magazine Beach Park, road towards and crossed Weeks Bridge and continued along Soldiers Field Road to the Hatch Shell where I stopped for an iced latte at the Charles River Bistro where a jazz quartet was playing. Such a relaxing take! I returned the same route since most of Memorial Drive's path is under major construction. The activity on the River was amazing!

Accordion

We parked at the Christian Herter park on the south side of the Charles River (there was plenty of free parking on a Friday) and completed the trail as shown on the map. Highlights included passing by the campuses of Harvard and MIT and the Museum of Science, several boat houses with rowing shells and sailboats, lots of sailboats and kayaks on the water, watching a sailing class (it was a windy day and we saw two boats capsize while eating lunch), and the Boston Pops concert area with the concert shell and the howitzer that is fired when the Boston Pops plays the 1812 overture. Most of the trail was in good shape, although there were a few rough spots, construction areas, and busy intersections. Even though we normally prefer to ride in quieter, more secluded areas, we rated it a 5 star because of the interesting sights along the way. As an observation, there are places that rent kayaks and canoes, including one in (or next to) Christian Herter park. If you would like, you could easily combine biking with kayaking or canoeing (or possibly taking a sailing class or renting a sailboat) or a visit to the Museum of Science. We first rode east from the Christian Herter park to the Eliot Bridge and crossed over the Charles River to do the loop portion of the east end of the Charles as shown on the map. After completing the loop, we continued on the south side to the Galen Street Bridge to Watertown. We crossed the bridge and returned on the north side of the Charles to the Eliot Bridge which we crossed again to get back to our car. We enjoyed the north side between Watertown and the Eliot bridge more than the south side, due to less traffic on the road next to the trail and (in our opinion) easier intersection crossings. This section of trail on the north side is not shown on the TrailLink map as of this writing (on 8/12/16) although we saw it on some other maps and the TrailLink description mentions trail on both sides of the river between Watertown and the Museum of Science.

Great trail along the Charles River. All but approx 2 miles of the Boston side has been repaved in the last five years, so in very good shape. You have to deal with some intersections on the western half of the trail, but only the intersection at the JFK Bridge/Harvard Business School is challenging. The wooden deck around the BU Bridge also requires some caution. Very popular on weekends, so go out early if you want to go fast and/or avoid the crowds.

Bumpy ride with construction-related detours. Typically very crowded with walkers/joggers.

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