Boston, MA

Boston Waterfront: Charlestown to UMASS

As a result of the Big Dig project, development of the Seaport district, and continued public access improvements, it’s possible to run ~14 miles from Charlestown to UMASS Boston, about 80% of it really pleasant along the water. There are good “HarborWalk” signs along most of the way. Below is a map of the entire waterfront section.

View Table: Waterfront Segment Distances

In my view, there are two particularly spectacular sections of the Boston waterfront. For each of these, you’ll have to zoom in for greater detail.

  • Downtown, from Charlestown to the Seaport District. Starts near Spaulding Rehab, then along the water passing the  USS Constitution in Charlestown. Crosses at the Beverly St. locks, then along the water most of the way to the Aquarium, the Boston Harbor Hotel, Fan Pier/Innovation District, and the Institute of Contemporary Art. Fantastic waterfront and skyline views most of the way. This is the section easiest to access if downtown

It’s 1.5 miles from the Seaport to Pleasure Bay — this part isn’t that attractive.

  • South Boston. There are fantastic options here and you might have to do this in a couple of parts. The most spectacular section is the 2.1 miles around Pleasure Bay and Castle Island. Then you can run all along the water to the JFK Library and UMASS Boston, passing the L-Street Bathhouse, then enjoying a gorgeous section from Carson Beach to the JFK Library. From Castle Island it’s ~3 miles to the JFK Library, and another ~1 mile along the water’s edge at UMASS Boston to Rt. 3A.

Additional connections to the Neponset Greenway (which isn’t along the water).



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[…] walk was made for running (at least 6 feet apart, of course). The Boston Harborwalk is listed by Great Runs as a — you guessed it —a great place to run in Boston. A particular stretch comes recommended: […]

  • Up to 14.3 miles from Charlestown to UMASS. See table with segment distances
  • 277 feet (84m) one-way
  • Choose a start point, anywhere from Charlestown to UMASS