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More and more, airport lands near previously under-used rail corridors are being transformed from largely neglected vacant lands into urban greenways. These new vibrant spaces are used not only by residents but also by those who would rather start their bicycle vacation from a major airport. The East Boston Greenway is a perfect example of this new dynamic.
If you have a long layover at Boston Logan International Airport, this nearby trail is a good way to reenergize yourself. Alternatively, the airport’s service road from the terminal is also open to bicyclists. The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) operates this rail-with-trail along active tracks and has linked several green spaces that now total almost 15 acres. The heavily used corridor sections are gated and closed in the evening, but usually not until 8 p.m. in the summer. The parks within the longer corridor stay open later and are heavily used by families from adjacent neighborhoods. The parks include playgrounds, spray parks, and bike rentals.
Beginning at the southern trailhead on Marginal Street, take in the views from the Boston skyline, just across the harbor. Heading north (the trail has separate, parallel bicycle and pedestrian tracks), the East Boston Greenway will take you under Sumner Street, where a satellite campus of Bunker Hill Community College is located on your right. You’ll pass a number of commercial and residential properties as you pass under Maverick and Porter Streets. Five miles from the trailhead, you’ll pass under the East Boston Expressway, followed by Bremen Street Park and the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library on your left.
After crossing back under the East Boston Expressway, the East Boston Greenway turns into the 0.5-mile, newly developed East Boston Greenway Connector, which takes you along an active railroad that runs through the heart of the East Boston Greenway. The rail’s art and design, including a restored caboose, reflect the area’s industrial heritage. You’ll pass the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Wood Island Station to your left and Boston Logan International Airport, followed by views of Boston’s waterfront, on your right. Follow the East Boston Greenway Connector until you reach the northern endpoint at Constitution Beach.
Constitution Beach includes a bathhouse, concessions, playgrounds, sports facilities, an ice rink, and ample parking. The beach is a perfect place to sit at night and watch the jets take off across the bay.
The East Boston Greenway is most easily visited using the MBTA Blue Line subway and going to Maverick Station, near the south endpoint; Orient Heights Station, near the north endpoint; or Wood Island Station, located in the middle of the rail-trail. To reach the East Boston Greenway from Boston Logan International Airport, take the free Massport shuttle bus to the MBTA Airport Station, situated in the middle of the East Boston Greenway.
To reach the northern trailhead at Constitution Beach from I-90, take I-90 east until it becomes MA 1A N. Take the exit for MA 145/Bennington St. toward Winthrop/Chelsea, and travel north 0.1 mile. Continue onto Vienna St. for a few hundred feet, then take a slight right onto MA 145/Bennington St. Go 1 mile, then turn right onto Saratoga St. In a few hundred feet, turn right onto Bayswater St. Take the next right onto Barnes Ave., and follow it to the parking lot that runs the whole length of the beach.
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