5 Best Routes for Boston Runners

boston runner

Running on uneven cobblestones and tricky bricks can be hard on a Bostonian’s feet, knees and calves. Luckily, instead of running on city sidewalks, IMBoston has put together a list of great routes for Boston runners to get their miles in without twisting their ankles. Try these routes while the weather’s nice and let us know if we missed any of your favorite spots in the comments:

1. Boston Common and the Public Gardens

Boston Common is a great running spot for walkers, joggers and sprinters alike

Photo courtesy of Alexis Cruz for IMBoston

If you’re used to running on a track, head over to the heart of downtown Boston and run laps around Boston Common and the Public Gardens. One full loop around the two parks is about a mile and a half, so it’s easy to keep up with your mileage without the assistance of a tracker. During the summer, you’ll run by the gardens in full bloom, pass a group of loyal yogis in downward dog and might even catch the ice cream truck for a post-run pick-me-up.

2. Charles River Esplanade

Runners enjoy the smooth paths and waterfront views that come with running along the Charles River Esplanade in Boston

Photo courtesy of Michael Piazza from BudgetTravel.com

A popular destination for runners of all skill levels, completing the full Charles River Esplanade loop will set you back about 17 miles. If that sounds a bit too ambitious, you can cross over a number of handy bridges including the Longfellow Bridge, BU Bridge and the Mass Ave Bridge. You’ll be glad you laced up your sneakers for the unbeatable waterfront views of the “Chahles Rivah” alone.

3. The Emerald Necklace

The Emerald Necklace offers its runners great views through Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum in Boston

“Arnold Arboretum” by Kim MacKinnon from EveryTrail.com

A series of nine green parks make up the winding running trail known as The Emerald Necklace. Covering land from Back Bay to the Jamaica Plain Pond, all the way back to Cambridge and Dorchester, this gem of a route will keep you shaded and comfortable on its paved paths for all seven miles (if you choose). Make sure to keep an eye out for the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, an especially beautiful point of interest that the Necklace flows through.

4. Blue Hills

Views of the Boston skyline taken from Blue Hills Reservation

View of the Boston skyline from Blue Hills Reservation, courtesy of AsMaineGoes.com

Blue Hills Reservation boasts over 7,000 sprawling acres of hiking trails, scenic views and biking terrain. Parking is located in Milton but the park covers land in Quincy, Randolph and Dedham with convenient MBTA access. If you’re an outdoorsy person looking for a break from Boston’s urban hustle and bustle, Blue Hills will be your go-to green oasis.

5. Carriage Road

Boston runners frequent Carriage Road, which parallels Commonwealth Avenue, to get their miles in during all seasons of the year.

Photo courtesy of Aram Boghosian for the Globe

Carriage Road is frequented by athletes training for their next Boston Marathon. It sits right around the 21 mile mark of the Boston Marathon in Newton Hills. Starting from Boston College, you can get at least three to five miles in by running on Carriage Road. The road parallels Commonwealth Avenue, before turning around back towards your starting point. Just watch out for mothers pushing baby carriages along the path, a common sight found at this safe destination.


Whether you’re training for your next Boston Marathon or just want to switch up your routine, try one of these out and give us some feedback! Don’t forget to like our Facebook page to read up on more fitness tips designed for Bostonians.


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