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Back Bay, Massachusetts, United States

Charles River Reservation Full Bike Loop

Follow this guide along the Charles River Bike Path all the way out to the Blue Heron Bike Path in Waltham and back.

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 27 miles / 44 km
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
 
Overview: Follow this guide to complete a huge loop of the Charles River all the way to Waltham and back to the Cambridgeside Galleria. I've created a lot of POI's for the most interesting areas of the main Charles River Bike Path but have drawn an accurate track all the way out to Waltham and back if you would like to go that far. You will make a loop around the Mt. Feake Cemetery and head back on the opposite side of the river for different views. Beyond this the Charles River piddles out into a swampy area then a small river so it's not worth going further.

Tips: You will want to park in the Cambridgeside Galleria near the Museum of Science in Cambridge to start your ride. There is a fee per hour but it is worth it for the convenience.

Points of Interest

Parking
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Parking

I think the easiest place to park if you drive to do this bike loop is in the Cambridge Side Galleria Parking Garage. There is a fee but it is worth it to make this beautiful ride.
Shopping
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Lechmere Canal Park

This park is located behind the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall and has some great fountains.
Viewpoint
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Museum of Science

A view back towards the Museum of Science from Lederman Park and Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields.
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Howitzer

This 105mm Howitzer is permanently mounted behind the Hatch Shell for use during when the Boston Pops play the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky every July 4th.
Landmark
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Hatch Shell at the Boston Esplanade

This is a great open stage for summer concerts where people can set up blankets on the lawn in front of it and listen to music/performances etc.
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Arthur Fiedler Memorial

This massive head is made out of 83 sheets of aluminum to commemorate Arthur Fiedler, who was a conductor of the Boston Pops that made the orchestra world famous.
Viewpoint
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Charles River Reservation

A view down the waterway on the side of the Charles.
Viewpoint
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Gondola Boats

In this small waterway Gondola Boats take tourists past a beatiful fountain with the Hancock Building in the background.
Viewpoint
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Otis Grove

A view of what a stone says is "Otis Grove".
Information
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Leaving the Reservation

Here you will be turning inland and leavingthe Charles River Reservation area.Use the Fairfield Street footbridge if you wnat to head into the city from here. If you look out over the river you'll probably see the MIT sailing team practicing.
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Playground

Here is a great playground for children with a lot for them to do. Very well maintained.
Viewpoint
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Dewolfe Boathouse

A view across the Charles at the boathouse for Boston University's crew team.
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Weld Boathouse

This is the crew boathouse for Harvard. You can bet the twins from the Facebook Saga rowed here.
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Christian A Herter Park

Here you will be traveling along the Christian A. Herter Park where there is a public outdoor amphitheatre for performances on the shore of the Charles River.
Junction
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Turn back or continue on?

Here you can cross over the river along Arsenal Street to complete a loop of just the Charles River Bike Path or you can continue on for a very long loop around the Blue Heron Bike Path in Waltham and then return. Make the decision based on how you feel because if you continue on you will double the distance ending up at over 27 miles of biking.
Viewpoint
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Watertown Dam

View of the Watertown Dam
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Mt. Feake Cemetery

Here you will make a loop arond the grounds then head back the way you came.
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Henderson Boathouse

A view of Northeastern Universities Henderson Boathouse.
Viewpoint
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A nice view

Here with a view that doesn't have many buildings in it take a rest on one of the benches and watch crew teams practice.
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Harvard Bridge

View over the Harvard Bridge towards downtown.
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Longfellow Bridge

View of the Longfellow Bridge and the Boston Museum.
Pictures in this guide taken by: JonathanEllinger, Page, Photo by Andy Dincher @ Wiki Commons, available under a Creative Commons Attribution - ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, Photo by MagicPiano @ Wiki Commons, available under a Creative Commons Attribution - ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Jonathan Ellinger

Charles River Reservation Full Bike Loop Map


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About the Author

JonathanEllinger
JonathanEllinger
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Although I have climbed over 250 mountains from various places around the U.S. and have hiked in Europe...

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