Emerald Necklace Conservancy

Emerald Necklace Conservancy

125 The Fenway, Boston, MA

(617) 522-2700


Boston has done an exemplary job of preserving greenspace within the city limits, and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy is a prime example of this dedication. The Emerald Necklace is a greenway system made up of nine parks that stretches approximately seven miles from end to end in addition to numerous loops through the individual parks. Parks making up the Emerald Necklace include:

  • Boston Common
  • Public Garden
  • Commonwealth Avenue Mall
  • Back Bay Fens
  • The Riverway
  • Olmstead Park
  • Jamaica Pond
  • Arnold Arboretum
  • Franklin Park

Each park is unique and offers its own advantages; for example, Riverway is close to the medical center and is easily accessed by family members and staff looking to escape long days at the local hospitals, while the Boston Common Park is at the heart of downtown Boston. Franklin Park is the largest of the nine parks and boasts wooded areas, cross country trails, and the Franklin Park Zoo.

Many of the parks feature separate cycling and walking paths, although cycling is not allowed in all of the parks;  it is important to check the map for cycling routes, as some cycling on the road is required. The majority of the parks feature little elevation change with the exception of Franklin Park, which is home to many local cross-country meets. Bathrooms are located at Boston Common, Jamaica Pond, Arnold Arboretum, and Franklin Park, but there are no public water fountains along the route. The paths are connected almost entirely by greenway, so runners and walkers can feel safe moving between the parks with limited interaction with traffic.  Most paths are shaded by large trees and feature views of the ponds that are featured in many of the parks. The parks are very clean and well maintained, and police officers patrol the parks regularly on bikes and on foot to ensure safety during the day, and there are plenty of benches if you need a break during your workout.

This beautiful resource is a great place for long runs, walks or bike rides if you are in the city of Boston. With extra loops around each of the park ponds, runs and walks can easily be extended beyond the original seven mile length of the Emerald Necklace.

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