Boston is among the world’s great running cities. In addition to its bucolic setting, Boston is host to the famed Boston Marathon, headquarters of numerous running shoe companies, and home to 150,000 college students. Some of the most famous city runs in the world are located in Boston, from the Charles River Paths to the greenery and majesty of the Olmsted-designed Emerald Necklace. There are also some spectacular runs along the much-improved Boston Harbor, and some great waterfront runs in South Boston and East Boston. Our guide to running in Boston also includes several tours featuring Boston’s history: the Freedom Trail, Bunker Hill, and the Battle Road (Lexington to Concord). As homage to Boston’s famed universities, enjoy our running tour of Harvard and MIT, as well as the bucolic Wellesley College, located west of Boston. Just north of downtown, there’s nice running on the recently improved trails along the Mystic River, the 11-mile Northern Strand Trail from Everett to Lynn, and 100 miles of trails in Middlesex Fells.
We’ve also included a guide to the Boston Marathon course. We’ve recently added recommendations for the best residential running spots near downtown, and in the immediate western suburbs of Brookline, Newton, and Wellesley. For destination runs, take a ferry to the Harbor Islands in summer, and in fall, enjoy or ‘foliage’ routes in Carlisle and orchard country west of Boston. For more fantastic runs in the Boston area, see our guides to Boston’s North Shore and South Shore.
Boston is quite compact. Staying downtown in Back Bay or the financial district, or on the other side of the river in Cambridge will provide good access to running on the Charles River paths and some of the historic sections of Boston. The burgeoning Seaport area, which is the Convention Center is located, has some great running along the water. Boston’s transportation system, called “The T” is good but a little old and creaky. The downtown area is well served by subway lines, while commuter rail heads out to suburbs north, south, and west.