Originally published in the November 2014 Boston Compass, #58.
PLACES YOU COULD HANG
Minuteman Commuter Bikeway (North Cambridge, Arlington Center, Lexington Center, Bedford Depot)
Fall weather is perfect for biking! The cool air keeps you from getting too hot and sweaty and there’s no better way to appreciate the fall colors than perched atop a comfortable bike cruising at 15mph. One of the best places to go for a ride, walk, rollerblade, or non-motorized scoot in the area is the Minuteman Trail. Stretching a comfortable (read: not too steep) 10 miles from Cambridge through Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford, the Minuteman offers gorgeous views of autumn foliage, quiet ponds, rustling fields, and poor fools stuck in traffic on I-95. The Minuteman is a fully-paved Rail Trail, meaning it was built over decommissioned railroad tracks, and is considered one of the best Rail Trails in America. If you’re freaking out at how far away somewhere as exotic-sounding as “Bedford” must be, the Minuteman is conveniently T-accessible: Bring your bike on the Red Line (legal except during rush hours), hop off at Alewife, and the Minuteman starts right there. You can also get off at Davis and take the Somerville Community Path to Alewife. And once you get to Bedford there are additional trails and state highways (legal to bike on 100% of the time, seriously) leading to such places as Walden Pond, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Minuteman National Park, and even Lowell or New Hampshire if you’re up for it. So hop on your favorite set of wheels and get outdoors before fall turns into winter and the roads turn into ice!