United States

Boston, MA

A guide to running in Boston. See also our guides to Boston's North Shore and South Shore

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, we’ve created a running tour of Harvard and MIT, as well as the bucolic Wellesley College, located west of Boston. We’ve also included a guide to the Boston Marathon course. 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.

Running Boston North Shore   Running Boston South Shore

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Boston, MA

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  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

The Charles River Paths

Boston, MA

One of the most famous runs in the country. Run all the way from downtown to Newton! Sections on the Boston side and Cambridge side, with numerous bridges along the way, allowing for great loops.
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Harvard and MIT Tour

Boston, MA

Two of the most famous universities in the world are also popular visitor destinations. We've designed a 'running' tour of both campuses, which are 2 miles apart and are linked by either neighborhood streets or the Charles River Paths.
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The Emerald Necklace

Boston, MA

A greenway originally conceived by Frederick Law Olmsted, running 10 miles from the State House to Franklin Park. Highlights include the Comm. Ave Mall, Fens, Jamaica Pond, Arboretum, and Franklin Park.
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Boston Waterfront

Boston, MA

As a result of the Big Dig project and development of the Seaport district, it's possible to run about 16 miles from Charlestown to Quincy, about 80% of it really pleasant along the water.
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Southwest Corridor Path

Boston, MA

In the 1980s, the old orange line trolley was put underground. The result is a beautiful running path that starts in the heart of Back Bay and continues all the way to Forest Hills, 4 miles one-way.
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Back Bay Tour

Boston, MA

A great tour of Boston's Back Bay. Includes the Commonwealth Ave. Mall, Public Garden, State House, and a jaunt along the river. Captures so much of Boston in one run!
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South End Highlights

Boston, MA

A tour of Boston's lovely South End, which is easily accessible from Back Bay or downtown hotels. Brownstone lined streets, pleasant, historic squares and parks, and main streets lined with restaurants and boutiques.
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East Boston/Airport

Boston, MA

Don't despair if stuck at the airport or one of its hotels! Fabulous running along the water, great skyline views, parks, and the East Boston Greenway. Even worth taking the T from downtown for this run.
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The Charles River Paths

Boston, MA

One of the most famous runs in the country. Run all the way from downtown to Newton! Sections on the Boston side and Cambridge side, with numerous bridges along the way, allowing for great loops.
Explore

The Emerald Necklace

Boston, MA

A greenway originally conceived by Frederick Law Olmsted, running 10 miles from the State House to Franklin Park. Highlights include the Comm. Ave Mall, Fens, Jamaica Pond, Arboretum, and Franklin Park.
Explore

Boston Waterfront

Boston, MA

As a result of the Big Dig project and development of the Seaport district, it's possible to run about 16 miles from Charlestown to Quincy, about 80% of it really pleasant along the water.
Explore

Boston’s climate is influenced by the ocean. Summers are warm to hot, and it can be humid. Autumn is gorgeous. Winter can be harsh, with 45 inches average snowfall — but many storms in the winter change from snow to rain due to the ocean effect. You have to be careful in spring, as northeast winds can keep the weather cool and damp.

Where to Stay

If you want to be within a mile of the Charles River paths, the best place to stay is in Back Bay or on the Cambridge side of the path. If you want to be near the waterfront paths, you can stay in the Financial District, near North Station and Charlestown (which also place you near the river paths) or some of the newer hotels in the Seaport area.

  

Running Stores

Here is a guide to independent running stores in the Boston area, within proximity to the iconic routes. The ‘gran daddy’ of Boston running stores is Marathon Sports, which has a location right near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, plus seven other stores in the area.

Group Runs:

If you’d like to connect with some group runs in Boston, here are some good options.

  • Marathon Sports has a free group run Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. that leaves from their Boylston St. store

  • Nike Boston has various group runs throughout the week. Details here.

  • South End Athletic Company has group runs at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and longer ones Saturday at 10:00 am.

  • City Running Tours Boston has a huge number of group runs, with various touristy and fun themes, for a fee. They can also be booked for customized individual and small group runs.

CommunityIf you’d like to connect with some group runs in Boston, here are some good options.

  • Marathon Sports has a free group run Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. that leaves from their Boylston St. store
  • Nike Boston has various group runs throughout the week. Details here.
  • South End Athletic Company has group runs at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and longer ones Saturday at 10:00 am.
  • City Running Tours Boston has a huge number of group runs, with various touristy and fun themes, for a fee. They can also be booked for customized individual and small group runs.

Community

If you’d like to connect with some group runs in Boston, here are some good options.

  • Marathon Sports has a free group run Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. that leaves from their Boylston St. store
  • Nike Boston has various group runs throughout the week. Details here.
  • South End Athletic Company has group runs at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and longer ones Saturday at 10:00 am.
  • City Running Tours Boston has a huge number of group runs, with various touristy and fun themes, for a fee. They can also be booked for customized individual and small group runs.