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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Path To Happiness


Photo courtesy of healthy laps




The little-known Boston treasure known as the Boston Harbor Walk is a great place to blow off some steam, go for a leisurely jog, or just stroll along and soak in some of the Boston’s most majestic views.


The Harbor Walk is a public walkway skirting the piers, wharfs, beaches and shoreline around Boston Harbor. When finished, it will cover 46.9 miles (75.5 km.) from Chelsea Creek to the Neponset River.  It is now 80 percent completed, since its inception in 1984.


Along the route lie landmarks and indoor displays of Boston’s history, making it a historical as well as recreational site.  Many of its wonders are available 24 hours a day.  The Charlestown Navy Yard has, for example, a Korean War Memorial at Shipyard Park, as well as an exhibit of model boats, archival photographs, and boat building tools.  Art buffs may be familiar with sculptures on the UMass campus and beyond, with works by Tony Smith, Willem deKooning, Luis Jimenez, Dennis Oppenheim, William Tucker, and Sol LeWitt.


When it comes to jogging along the scenic trail, the best way to get questions answered is to ask a seasoned veteran such as UMass Boston graduate Marcie Bildeau who finished last year. When asked why she chose the Harbor Walk over the often-monotonous routine at the gym, Bildeau replied, “The Harbor Walk makes for breathtaking runs. The route is wide, peaceful, and simply gorgeous. The way the sun reflects off the ocean is an image imprinted in my mind.” 


Bildeau noted that the proximity to gym and school makes the trail “so accessible,” and added, “The gym is still great for winter months, but the scenery is much better outside. Running in other places in Boston is great, but if you like to avoid traffic lights and pedestrians, the Harbor Walk is much more advantageous.”


The path for the most part is well lit and wide enough to use at night.  In fact, compared to the typical dangers that joggers face, both Bildeau and another student, junior Matt Conlon, praised the Walk for its lack of traffic as well as for the politeness of other patrons.  “The etiquette on the Harbor Walk is always very good, with walkers moving out of the way of runners, and people staying on [their] right,” Bildeau said. 


When comparing a workout on the Harbor Walk to one in the gym, her answer was easy: “The views are practically magical […], the morning glitter blanketing the ocean, purple and orange sunsets, stretches of cotton candy clouds.” These are not things you are likely to encounter in the gym.


Conlon offered advice for first-time joggers.  If it’s your ‘first time at the rodeo,’ and jogging long distances on the Harbor Walk seems like a daunting task, he advised, “Just remember to keep going. No matter how far or how fast you move, each day it will get easier. No one is a superstar the first time they try to bang out five miles.” And of course, if you do, you will reap the benefits come beach season.


So if you’re looking for a way to get out and exercise while finding a sense of community, and want to pay homage to naturally beautiful sights as well as local art and landmarks, lace up your running shoes and jog down to the Harbor Walk today