Northern Strand Community Trail


22 Reviews

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Northern Strand Community Trail Facts

States: Massachusetts
Counties: Essex, Middlesex
Length: 9.9 miles
Trail end points: South Lawn (1 Broadway, Everett) and Bennett St & South St (Lynn)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 7460716

Northern Strand Community Trail Description


The Northern Strand Community Trail runs almost 10 miles through the cities of Everett, Malden, Revere, and the town of Saugus and provides a variety of experiences. 

About the Route

Access the rail-trail's southern end from the South Lawn (1 Broadway, Everett), a park on the shores of Mystic River. Following the shoreline through the park, a 10ft-wide multiuse riverwalk with a stone-brick and paved asphalt surface provides a connection to the Northern Strand Community Trail and the Malden River Greenway. From the connection with the riverwalk and the rail-trail, the Malden River Greenway follows its namesake northwest through Gateway Park to Village Landing Park. From its southern end connection with the riverwalk and the greenway, the Northern Strand Community Trail heads north through Everett.

In Everett, you’ll soon see signs of the revitalization that is sweeping through both Everett and Malden. Many new high-end residential and commercial buildings, as well as adjacent parks, are under construction next to the trail. A few new brewpubs are located a few blocks off the trail in Everett, which some locals refer to as the fermentation district. Local planners and community leaders are doing an impressive job of integrating the rail-trail into this new development, providing opportunities for many lifestyles and business pursuits. Like most communities in the Boston area, drivers are courteous when approaching marked crossings, but it doesn’t hurt to be cautious. As of June 2023, the section under Revere Beach Parkway is paved--creating a smooth, continuous route for pedestrians and cyclists to safety bypass the busy thoroughfare above.

In about 1 mile, you’ll reach Malden, where the smells from an adjacent bakery and coffee plant come as a wonderful surprise. Notice the well-cared-for community gardens featuring vegetables that reflect the neighborhood’s diversity. Another mile farther on the left, you can visit America’s largest model train store, which features an operating display on the second floor. At this point, you can see how several restaurants are reorienting themselves by constructing decks and extensions to the trail.

Also notice the gas pipeline markings on the asphalt trail. Many rail-trails do double or triple duty as they share space with utilities. At MA 60 and Beach Street—1.5 miles from the train store—you can choose from several doughnut shops. This area also has lots of free trailside parking. A few more minutes after passing US 1, the trail opens wide to the Pines River Marshes, part of the Rumney Marsh Reservation in Saugus.

A tree canopy closes in after this, and backyards are adjacent to the rail-trail. You can’t miss the collection of ever-blooming plastic flowers that one neighbor on the left has planted up to the trail’s edge. This part of the trail passes Anna Parker Playground on the left, where you can enjoy a treat from the farmers market on Tuesdays in the summer. The trail isn’t only for summer riders, however; trail users have also been known to enjoy snowshoeing and dogsledding along the path.

With just over 3 miles to go until the northern endpoint, the trail crosses Essex Street at the Saugus Fire Department before taking you over Fiske Brook. In 0.3 mile from the brook, you’ll pass the sports fields of Belmonte Saugus Middle School on your right and Douglas Waybright Elementary School in another 0.3 mile to your left. White birch trees line the corridor intermittently, and an osprey nest is close by as you cross over the Saugus River.

The trail crosses Saugus–Lynn border at Marsh View Park. Note that there is limited parking here, with only enough room for a few cars. Enjoy Beaver Brook as the trail passes through the marsh with scenic views of the water on both sides. Leaving the marsh, the trail passes through Barry Park (606 Boston St) as it winds into downtown Lynn.


At the trail's southern end, a 10ft-wide multiuse riverwalk with a stone-brick and paved asphalt surface provides a connection between the trail and the Malden River Greenway.

The Northern Strand Community Trail is part of the visionary and almost-complete Bike to the Sea plan to link Boston and the Mystic River to the seashore in Lynn, north of Boston.

The trail is also part of the Border to Boston Trail, a developing trail network that will stretch 70 miles between the MA-NH state line and Boston. The Border to Boston Trail is itself a part of East Coast Greenway, a connected network of trails that will stretch from Maine to Florida when complete. 

Trail History

The trail follows the route of the abandoned Saugus Branch Railroad. The railroad started passenger service in 1853, and some freight moved on it until all operations stopped in 1993.

Parking and Trail Access

arking is available at a number of locations along the trail, including:
  • Rivergreen Park (Everett)
  • Holden St & MA-60 (Malden)
  • Beach St & Lynn St (Malden)
  • Denver St (Saugus)
  • Spencer St & Hood St (Lynn)

The Massachusetts Bay transit system (MBTA) provides easy access to the trail. View the TrailLink map for all driving and transit options, as well as detailed directions.

Northern Strand Community Trail Reviews

I have done this trail multiple times on a bicycle and it's good urban trail to exercise .

I have done this trail multiple times on a bicycle and it's good urban trail to exercise .

Talk about a fun (and visually stimulating) ride!

This is a very fun and very well maintained trail. It crosses throught the heart of several cities/towns, so there is a lot to see. The trail is pretty flat for the whole duration, so it is an easy ride or walk.

Finished from Lynn to Everett

There are older reviews on here from 2021 and before. Now the trail has been completely finished (paved) from Lynn to Everett and only one small section remains to be paved that extends it to the Encore Casino area at the southern end. The views are fantastic of both the Rumney and Saugus marshes and its often hard to believe you're biking through highly built up areas. I usually bring my bike by car to near Market Basket in Lynn to start.

Sadly, not impressed

If you enjoy hopping on and off your bike, then this trail is for you! Felt like I spent as much time at traffic crossing intersections as I did riding the trail. Parked in Everett at the Madeleine English School and rode to the Lynn trail end and back. The trail is flat, well maintained pavement. There is some cool graffiti and a few lovely areas adorned with flowers. Otherwise it’s pretty boring. Be ware that other bikers may not practice trail etiquette…that was my experience. Not likely that I’ll give it a second chance.


Can’t wait until it’s entirely finished!

This trail is fun as long as the don’t randomly revamp sections and make it difficult to bike. Hopefully it will finally go out to the beaches this summer!

northern strand

Nice trail when you’re not in the congested areas of Everett and Malden. Trail to street transitions not complete. More crossing lights needed. The Saugus Lynn section were awesome with great views. Lovely gardens on the side of the trails. I rated it a three due to the transitions as well as the disjointedness at the Everett side.

Under construction - dangerous intersections

The majority of the trail is lovely, but there is a lot of construction happening, currently almost every intersection is in bad shape and many have large gaps or drops that are dangerous for bikers and are better navigated on foot. Hoping they finish construction soon.

Newly-Paved, Newly-bridged; a beautiful way to beautiful Nahant Beach

The beeeeautiful fully-paved Northern Strand trail (a.k.a. "bike to the sea") is about to officially re-open, but is already fully bikeable with care at the road-to-trail transitions which are now being finished off. Great day at Nahant beach watching kiteboarders. Softserve ice cream from Brett Henry Catering in Nahant. Food from lots of ethnicities in downtown Lynn near a lovely park. to bike through. A great tiled bit of artwork about Lynn's history on the side of a building at docks off the Lynnway. Beautiful Churches around Lynn's central park, murals, saltmarshes, other wetlands; the raised garden beds of burgeoning community groups like the Food project; and, connects with just a few carefully chosen streets and sidewalk to the Minuteman Commuter bike path (sliding under the highway on Riverside Rd.). Swans and Kayakers on the Mystic river. Try Park St., Magoun, Myrtle/Lawrence, crossing the Fellsway to Avon, then up to Medford, St. and over the Medford river to the Northern Strand Community path). If you don't want to bike bake to Boston or the 'burbs from Nahant beach, the commuter-rail is right there in Lynn.


I've noticed some criticism of this trail that I think would be unfair. It's clearly not among the most enjoyable if one compares it to riding the Battle Road Trail, but it's conveniently located. I know these trails closer to cities with higher population are most often paved, but this would be superb if it were dirt. I love the rocky section and the section closer to Lynn that's still dirt, ironically the parts that receives the most criticism.
When you want to ride your bike, and you're close to the Everett area, this trail provides a path half way to Salem MA without having to bike streets that aren't very "bike friendly".
The southern sections I agree aren't the greatest of scenery and there are a few street crossings, but there are some relatively peaceful areas on that section. And the northern half has some wonderful areas surrounded by trees. Call me an optimist but I can't complain about minor details of a path that's in a location that really needed a path for cyclists. I heard a rumor that it's going to be extended soon--a path that took us closer to Salem or Peabody would be ideal, but it's incredibly handy and I live nearby it. I've never seen it crowded or have high traffic. There are quite a few stops on the south section if you need a store or to avoid some bike-commuter street traffic in the Everett to Malden areas, so what's NOT to like.

My friends and I ride hardtails through there and really do enjoy it. I'd prefer a dirt trail instead, one more friendly to a full sus' frame, but for that it gets only 4-stars from me lol! ANY trails/paths in these more populated cities are HIGHLY welcomed and speaking for myself, sincerely appreciated. Ride it the FULL distance south to north (it's short, like 8 miles) and see how you'll enjoy it even more if you haven't ventured to the northern half. At the traffic intersections just be careful, which isn't a big deal for someone like myself that bikes through Boston all the time.



Starting from Everett, MA the trail is well paved and an easy ride. However, there are frequent road crossings, some of which are quite busy. After leaving Malden, the paving gives way to an uneven surface covered with rough gravel. As the ride was bumpy and uncomfortable, I dismounted, admired Rumney Marsh and returned to my starting point.

trail closings

Beware there is ongoing trail work in the Saugus and Revere/Malden stretches as of late August 2020 I could not get through due to closings. Be prepared with Alternate routes if biking through...looking forward to it’s completion this fall hopefully...I believe you can check that online for expected schedule.

Great in Everett and Malden

So far, I've ridden this trail through Everett and Malden a couple of times. I love that section. It's very convenient when I ride from Boston to Lynnfield on my home commute.

This week, I rode from Malden through Revere and Saugus to Lynn. When you get to the Rowe's Quarry apartments, the surface becomes thick loose gravel. In some places, there are larger rocks hiding in the gravel. It's unsteady and a little hard to ride on. I could not keep up my usual commuting speed. My bike has hybrid tires, but this is a trail better suited for a mountain bike.

I might take this trail again, but this is not a trail that my wife would appreciate.


As mentioned, the section in Saugus is rock not crushed stone. I rode this on a hybrid and luckily didn't get a flat. The trail is not that interesting, goes behind some ugly industrial developments, and crosses too many busy intersections. This is a one and done for me. I could see the value of the trail for commuters/walkers, but this trail held very little interest for me. I started going on a bit through unimproved section that goes into Lynn. I saw some broken glass, thought better of it, and turned around.

Rough Surface

The towns of Saugus and Revere used recycle asphalt for their trail surface. It's free but totally unsuitable for skinny tire bikes. With time and weather, large stones have come to the surface making for a very bumpy ride. If you have a mountain bike you'll be fine but with a hybrid or road bike you'll be in for an unpleasant ride.

The previously disjoint segments are now connected

The previously disjoint segments are now connected. Very nice trail!

We went all the way to Nahant, partly on the future trail, partly on streets. The beach was a reward, but this last stretch is not so much fun on a bicycle.

A wonderful semi-urban trail

I live in Swampscott and pick up the unimproved trail in Lynn on Western Ave across the street from McCarthy Glass. It's quite passable from there.

Since I use a mountain bike, the unpaved surface isn't an issue and in summer it's cooler than tar. But it would be much smoother if stone dust was used instead of (or in addition to) gravel.

In Saugus, the trail goes through really beautiful tidal marshes along the Saugus River. It's hard to believe you're in a semi-urban area. In fact that is true of the trail all the way down to the paved section starting in Revere.

The smooth paved section extends from just past scenic Rumney Marsh to the current end in Everett, and is a great safe way to travel off road. I'm looking forward to an extension into Boston.

All in all, a great recreational addition and also a great way to get to the bordering communities and from the North Shore to close to Boston. My deep appreciation to all that have worked on making this trail a reality.

Revere and Saugus sections unsuitable for my road bike

I've used the Malden section of the Northern Strand Community trail many times. Because that trail is nicely paved, I have a fast, safe, and enjoyable ride. And I was super excited to learn that there were a few miles along my route to Marblehead available through Revere and Saugus. I'm riding an older Trek road bike. Yesterday I rode from Malden all the way to the terminus at Lincoln Street in Lynn.

Through Revere and Saugus it's a completely different experience. The surface is packed gravel which is both unpleasant (bumpy) and slow. I won't be using it again. Was anyone who actually rides a bike consulted when the decision was made to pave with packed gravel?

Room for improvement, but always great to have a new trail!

Instead of ‘Rail-to-Trail’ I would offer ‘Gas-Pipeline-to-Trail,’ since most of the trail follows a natural gas pipeline, clearly marked with yellow poles every so often, and signs placed directly on the trail’s surface. I rode east from Somerville to check out this trail, entering via Medford St. I started by going south to the terminus in Everett, then turned around and headed back north. At the time that I rode it, the pavement ended at the Harley Davidson dealership, and the trail continued as dirt where the train rails/ties had been freshly removed as far as the eye could see. This new trail has a very smooth surface, as you would expect, but I wish it was a bit wider. The width was not a big deal when I rode it, since there were not many users (which I was surprised at, since it was beautiful July day). The users that were on it did not seems to follow any particular etiquette (stay to the right, etc.), but there wasn’t a painted center-line, or signs to educate users to this ‘rule.’ The surrounding environment is very urban and industrial, and I enjoyed travelling through an area I would not normally explore on a bike if it wasn’t for the bike trail. There are a few awkward intersections crossing busy streets (should I cross here, or at the nearby intersection?). I was yelled at once “get off the road” from a passing motorist as I was simply riding down a semi-busy street looking for a convenient place to turn around. It has been at least 10 years since the last time I was yelled at in the Boston area by an ‘uninformed’ motorist as I was biking, but I guess there will always be those few. In summary, I am always super excited about a new trail being constructed close to me, increasing the off-street biking opportunities. I think there is definitely room for improvement for this trail, but it is still new, and the users and the community needs time to get used to it. I look forward to rest of the trail being completed, and then riding all the way to the sea!

welcome trail in industrial setting

I just rode the entire trail today. I started off at the beginning in Everett. I rode the trail all the way to its end in Malden. After that I had to ride in the street for about a mile to get to the Saugus portion. The trail from Everett and Malden is surrounded by industry. However, except for passing through Malden Center, there is very little noise. Since it's new, it's incredibly smooth and flat. When I started there was virtually no one on the trail, but by the time I returned, there were some walkers and cyclists. I can see that this will be a great respite for the people of the area who are looking for a little quiet and exercise. The Saugus portion is packed gravel, and it was little rough on my hybrid. However,it mostly passes through wooded backyards and ends by going through a pretty March and terminating at a small park on the Saugus River. It was an interesting and different trail ride.

Saugus portion open, but not paved, hard and loose pack gravel

We did the Saugus portion. Parking was good at Anna Parker Playground.

We were surprised that the path was not paved. It was do-able, even for our kids (7,9,11) with their dirt bikes and mountain bikes, but did result in a couple of spills. The surface is a hard pack to loose packed gravel. It is fairly good and probably a bonus for a mountain bike, but less than ideal on a roadbike. The nice thing was that there were few other users.

That section of the path was probably 3 miles through residential backyards and some marsh. Crosses about 4 roads.

Not ideal, but we'll do it again and we'll look forward to when it is paved and connected to the longer trail.

Northern strand bike to the sea

although we had biked in the area many times we wandered over to the Malden end of this trail last week. it was a nice flat, fairly shady paved trail, but it did cross several one way streets in downtown Malden. of course the proximity to restaurants, and pit stops offers an advantage to Joy riders like us. We would recommend this as a nice quiet riding spot.

Close To Home

Its paved thank you.Work has been slow but its getting there.Mile from home have rode a few times unpaved and paved.Checked out Revere and saugus trail.Revere not done Saugus unpaved.Hope lynn hops on would be nice to ride out to Nahant Beach from Medford.Keep building those trails love them.Thanks TrailLink site and maps are great have used them from NH to DC

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