Running along the Charles River, Boston

view of the Museum of Science Boston by Arun Shanbhag

Boston's long winter makes me more intimate with treadmills than I care. With winter's grip slowly loosening, I take every opportunity to test my running legs outdoors. Even though we have yet to see 'warm weather', we have had a good number of running days. Thursday last week was just spectacular. The sun was out, the sky blue and the temperature a cool 60 deg F (15 deg C). Perfect to run along the Charles River. I carried my older Olympus C4040 on the run. Particularly on the river, I like to shoot at the widest angle. The sky is bluer and the vista dazzling.

I start around 5:00 pm at the Health Club – located on the grounds of the brown capped building on the right. I run across the bridge leading past the front of the Museum of Science. Here the Charles River ends in the Boston Harbor. Past the Museum, I swing around to get back along the river (now in Cambridge). In the above pic – on the left is the back side of the Museum which straddles the river. Private yatchs are getting ready for the Summer.

On the Cambridge side, the road is a good 15 ft above the water. I avoid the concrete pavement and stick to the runner's path in the grass. Its better for the knees.

I will run under the upcoming Longfellow Bridge (yes, named after the poet HW Longfellow, whose house is now a museum nearby). Beyond the bridge, notice the sailboats with Boston's John Hancock Tower in the backdrop.

views from around the Charles River, Boston by Arun Shanbhag

It was a perfect day for running, but still cool for many folks to be on the water. A bit ahead, I will cross over to the Boston side on the Mass Ave Bridge.
views from around the Charles River, Boston by Arun Shanbhag

From the bridge: On the Boston side, the entire river front called the Esplanade, is beautifully maintained with parks. Running along the Esplanade is the bestest part of the run.
views from around the Charles River, Boston by Arun Shanbhag

Once I drop down to the Esplanade, you are right next to the water and can hear it lapping on the banks. Along this particular stretch, you have the river on your left and a nice quiet lagoon on the right. Windy too! In warmer weather, this place would be swarming with runners.
views from around the Charles River, Boston by Arun Shanbhag
The 'Hatch shell” on the Esplanade awaits summer concerts. Then, 100s of thousands would be clamoring the entire Esplanade. Now, walkers, runners and strollers can enjoy the blooming tulips in peace.views from around the Charles River, Boston by Arun Shanbhag

At the Community Boat House coming up on the right, they teach you to sail for a nominal fee. I run back under the Longfellow bridge (seen from opposite side), past the baseball fields along the water, heave myself over the Storrow Rd footbridge and a last dash to the health club entrance. However well I run, I am elated to return thoroughly tired. A long cool-down stretch in the Health Club, a warm shower and I head back home. Home to freshly made warm chapattis and a sabzi! I count my blessings!
views from around the Charles River, Boston by Arun Shanbhag

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14 thoughts on “Running along the Charles River, Boston

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  1. This is my doggie route! Awesome pics, Arun. I need to share w/my family. They have no idea the ‘jewel’ we have hidden in the heart of the city.

    1. Absolutely Maggie! and you are right, this is our crown jewel and I bring all my family and friends here!

      If I never leave Boston, it will be for the River and the Esplanade!
      Enjoy your walks!

  2. Wow.. such bright and sunny weather.. I am not good at running but would definitely love to take a walk and enjoy the beauty 🙂 Is it winter already? Here winter is gloomy, rainy and windy..brrr….

    1. As Maggie says below, this area called the Esplnade around the Charles River, right in the heart of Boston is our jewel. And yes, its for everyone: walkers, strollers, joggers. Its a very romantic place to sit on one of the benches and see the beauty of this life.

      I bring all family and friends visiting here!
      and yes, its getting to be winter already! and we had some snow earlier! 😦

      btw, this is a post from a few years ago and written in the Spring!

  3. Boston’s best kept secret? Sunny days! Even in the midst of winter with temperatures flirting with sub-zero, it is bright and sunny!
    And satisfyingly few seattle-esque gloomy days!

    yes, at times the route is so spectacular, i wonder, why am I running, I should walk and savour the beauty more.


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