Spring Cycling in Watertown

Spring’s in full bloom, and winter biking is history – so if you’ve been waiting for things to warm up, now’s your time to dust off the two-wheeler and hit the trails! The Watertown area has a ton of options for cycling – here are some of the best: 

  • Charles River Bikeway Loop: This is probably the most well-known in the area, with 18.2 miles of mostly riverside paths that stretch from Watertown Square along the Charles River to the Museum of Science and back. The trail crosses back and forth over the Charles and passes the campuses of MIT, BU and Harvard, as well as Magazine Beach and the Watertown Dam. Classified on biking sites as easy and flat, the Charles River Bikeway offers mostly paved trail and sidewalk. Click here for detailed descriptions and directions.


  • Upper Charles River Bikeway Loop: Considered an extension of the Charles River Loop, this upper section starts in Watertown but loops north into Waltham, giving lots of pretty river views along the way. It’s also classified as easy and flat, and crosses you back and forth over the Charles as you make your way. If you’re into some local history, stop at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation offers an interesting look at the history of local innovation.

  • The Emerald Necklace: This legendary park system was designed over 100 years ago by legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Stretching from the Back Bay to Dorchester, the Emerald Necklace offers its visitors lots of outdoor recreation options, from cycling and hiking to fishing, basketball and tennis. There are miles of bike trails connecting these spectacular parks, with easy access to parking/trail heads. Go to the Emerald Necklace website for directions and trail info.

  • Cambridge Trails: The City is pushing hard for its residents to ditch their cars and bike whenever possible, and they’ve put together a fantastic website to help make that happen. The site has lots of well-organized info about trails, bike rentals, and popular cycling destinations, along with a detailed map that makes it easy for newcomers and veterans alike.

If you’re interested in a more directed experience, Farina’s Bike Shop in Watertown Square offers guided group road bike rides every Sunday morning. Rides start at the shop, stick to mostly flat trails, and make their way through Watertown, Waltham, and other surrounding towns. Head to Farina’s website for more info.