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The South Bay Harbor Trail connects several Boston neighborhoods—Lower Roxbury, the South End, Chinatown, and Fort Point Channel—to the Boston Harbor. The trail spans nearly 4 miles from Ruggles Station on MBTA's Orange Line to Pier 4 in South Boston. The trail is also part of the expansive Harborwalk trail system all along the city's waterfront.
Just outside Ruggles Station, at Columbus Avenue, you can connect to the Pierre Lallement Bike Path, which runs through Southwest Corridor Park. If you stay on the South Bay Harbor Trail, you'll parallel tree-lined Melnea Cass Boulevard through a commercial area.
Midway, you'll head northeast along I-93 for a short distance, then cross under the highway and across Bass River. Next, you'll pass MBTA's Broadway Station and then the east end of the trail will become much more pleasant. You'll traverse Children's Wharf Park, adjacent to the Boston Children's Museum, and cross Fan Pier Park with lovely views of the water. The trail ends next to the Institute of Contemporary Art.
Access is available via Boston's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) subway system. Bikes are allowed on the MBTA subway system, just not during rush hours (7-10 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. weekdays) due to crowding. The west end of the trail begins at Ruggles Station (at the intersection of Ruggles Street and Tremont Street) on the Orange Line. Mid-trail, the route passes the Broadway Station (at the intersection of Dorchester Avenue and Broadway), which is on the Red Line. Near the east end of the trail, South Station is located across the Summer Street bridge; it's also on the Red Line.
I can't speak for the entire length of the trail, but the part by Melnea Cass Blvd is definitely unkempt. Cracks and bumps all along the pavement!
I rode the South Bay Harbor "Trail" today. This is a biking route, but *not* a trail. At least half of its length is on sidewalks (some in poor shape), streets (some very busy streets!), and at least one set of stairs. I didn't see a single directional marker after the first few hundred feet. (This was my second attempt at riding it. The first time I lost the route and gave up.) I started at the Fan Pier end. Because one long stretch is on a very busy two-lane, one-way street, I can't imagine how to ride it the other way. I hope this is a work in progress because it is a good route, it's just not a trail... yet.
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