Northern Strand & Lynn Rail Trails, MA

• 4-star trail
• 9.9 to 11.0 miles each way
• Easy difficulty | Easy elevation
• Everett-Malden-Saugus-Lynn, MA | Greater Boston
• Driving Directions: Marked on map

Shiny new bridge and paved trail over the salt marshes near Lynn, MA.

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The recently revitalized Northern Strand Community Trail and updated Lynn Community Path combine to provide an excellent resource for commuters and recreational users alike travelling along almost ten miles of smooth asphalt. Well segregated from motor traffic and including thoughtfully designed safe road crossings - particularly in the towns of Saugus and Revere - the trails are a great place for a stress free walk, run or bicycle journey.

Though there's not much sightseeing within the suburbia and light commercial development around the towns of Everett and Malden, there are numerous parks and playgrounds to explore on the route. Next to the trail are many community gardens; and the sweet smells emanating from the bakery in downtown Malden reminded me of my youth growing up next to a chocolate factory.

Asphalt, Rough, Live Rail, No Access, Parking Expand Map

Northern Strand & Lynn Community Path 4★
9.9 mi to 11.0 mi ea way, Easy, Elevation nominal.
Trailspotting Map: AllTrails, GPX File

Views improve as we progress North and Eastward on this former Boston & Maine Saugus Branch Railroad, past the Seaplane Basin and the expansive salt marshes of Rumney Marsh Reservation. After continuting through the town of Saugus the sightlines open up again onto more salt marshes. Birdwatchers join the ranks of the trail users here, taking advantage of the observation platforms and bench seating for their ornithophile observations.

Recent investments in the Lynn Community Path are very apparent, and begin with the shiny new steel truss bridge that spans the Saugus River as it weaves its was through the marshland. What was once a narrow dirt trail is now a smooth asphalt path leading in the direction of downtown Lynn, where you'll find a new linear playground complete with a zipline which appeared to be very popular. The trail ends abruptly at the disused Bennett Street bridge, shortly before the old railroad alignment returns to the active commuter rail lines.

Zipcode themed bike rack, and an over-optimistic trail map.

Despite all the work in completing and improving these trails, one small part still remains to be connected. Presently the Southern end of the pavement is interrupted at Wellington and West Streets in Everett. Beyond here is a section of gravel leading to a narrow and rough desire-path under Revere Beach Parkway bridge. Shortly thereafter the newly constructed boardwalk and asphalt path resumes and continues to trail's end at the Mystic River. We've marked the interruption on our map.

By the Revere Beach Parkway bridge we found homeless people wandering around and casting a watchful eye over us. If you find this unappealing you may prefer to check out our diversionary route that begins at West Street, navigates sidewalk, bike lane, and then the riverside trails of Gateway Park. This diversion is also the current route of the East Coast Greenway, which continues on past the Encore hotel and casino and towards Boston over the Alford Street bridge. This diversion extends your 9.9 mile trail to 11.0 miles each way. We've marked route this on our map in blue.

Thoughtfully designed road crossings make trail users feel welcome.

We also noticed that the tall blue trail maps along the route are even more optimistic than the 'Bike To the Sea' organization that works hard to develop these trails. Although a lot has been accomplished, the route that exists today still ends over half a mile from the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. What we assume to be future proof design, the blue map is not yet accurate and the described route through Lynn along Common Street and onto Lynnway includes roads that distinctly lack infrastructure suitable for safe bicycling. Regardless, we're thankful for all the work done to date and hope that one day we can reach the ocean without jostling for space with motor vehicle traffic.

Trail Conditions
Smooth asphalt throughout with some well designed crosswalks. Nominally flat. See review regarding trail disconnect at South end.

The Encore hotel and casino close to the trail's Southern terminus

• External Links: TrailLink, Public Map at AllTrails
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

Nearby Trails:
• Show on map: All nearby rail trails

Bike To The Sea
This group makes these trails possible. See how you can help them improve & develop area trails.

East Coast Greenway
These trails are part of the East Coast Greenway walking and biking route from Maine to Florida.

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