Minuteman Bikeway
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:Alewife Station, Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA
Hours:5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Fee: Free

minutemanbikeway.org; 781-862-0500 ext. 208

Bathrooms: At Depot Park in Bedford; at the Lexington visitor center; at Alewife Station
Water/Snacks: Water fountains at Depot Park, the Lexington visitor center, and Alewife Station

This tree-lined bike path runs from the end of the Red Line subway in Cambridge to picturesque, small-town Bedford.

Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford, Massachusetts
Photo by: Wikimedia Commons/Twp

The Minuteman Bikeway, an 11-mile-long, 12-foot-wide paved path, is built on a former rail line. It runs through Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford, passing playing fields, ponds, neighborhoods, bakeries, bike shops, and more. You can gain access to the bikeway at several locations, but the end points are Alewife Station in Cambridge and Depot Park in Bedford. Lexington is at the trail’s midpoint; this site of Revolutionary War history hosts a reenactment of the “shot heard round the world” on Patriots’ Day every April.

In addition to cyclists, the path is popular with parents pushing strollers, kids trying out their first training wheels, 9-to-5-ers walking during their lunch hour, and people on inline skates with leashed dogs. In winter, cyclists often swap their bikes for cross-country skis. Portions of the trail coincide with the Bay Circuit Trail.

A wonderful stop along the way is the beautiful wetland area called Great Meadows in Lexington. You can take a side trail on foot to see bees and dragonflies in summer. All of a sudden, instead of cars zipping by on Mass Ave just a few hundred yards away, you’ll hear creatures singing and buzzing.

Remember: Two shops along the Minuteman Bikeway in Arlington rent bicycles—one on Dudley Street and the other on Massachusetts Avenue near the Lexington border. At numerous places, the path crosses streets; though these places are well marked, do watch your little ones. Also at all times, pay attention and keep to the right. Helmets are required by state law for children under 13. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.

Plan B:

For a less-crowded bike adventure, Fresh Pond Reservation has a great bike path.

Where to Eat Nearby:

The bike path passes through Lexington Center, Arlington Heights, and Arlington Center, each with many child-friendly restaurants.


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