Minuteman Bikeway Rail Trail, MA

• 4-star trail
• 10.0 miles each way
• Easy difficulty | Easy-moderate elevation
• Bedford to Arlington, MA | NE Massachusetts
• Driving Directions: Marked on map

The trail begins in Bedford, MA and connects to other rail trails.

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Known as minutemen because of their ability to be ready at a moments notice, the American revolution era freedom fighters trained in weapons and tactics and were pivotal to successes in the war's first battles, some of which took place along the route of this rail trail – namely at Lexington and Arlington.

Today on the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway things are much more peaceful, and the trail provides a natural escape for walkers, runners, cyclists, rollerbladers and other trail users among woodland, wetlands and historic buildings. Once the route of the Middlesex Central Railroad, the journey is now a smooth ten mile asphalt trail separated completely for motor vehicle traffic save for a few road crossings.

Asphalt, Hardpack, Road, No Access, Parking Expand Map

Minuteman Commuter Bikeway 4★
10.0 mi each way, Easy, Gain 170 ft (280 ft S-N)
Trailspotting Map: AllTrails, GPX File

Early on a weekday morning this former railroad route is an essential transportation corridor for residents and businesses in the region, providing a safe, car-free route for people to get to work and school. At other times this trail is busy with walkers, runners and recreational cyclists.

Despite the mostly suburban nature of this trail, there are pleasant woodland and wetland sections to enjoy. The route also skirts Spy Pond at Arlington, with its recently revitalized waterside park and playground.

The busier road crossings are adequately signal protected, and at traffic intersections we were impressed with how attentive and considerate motorists were. Likely a combination of good signage and locals familiar with the trail. Downtown Lexington provided the biggest hurdle, requiring either a brief 500 foot road biking negotiation through a very busy intersection or a short period of crosswalk and sidewalk.

Revolutionary War monument on Lexington's Battle Green.

The Minuteman has further rail trail connections at both ends. To the North recreational trail users may enjoy the rustic setting of the unpaved Reformatory Branch and Bedford Narrow Gauge Rail Trails. To the South the trail continues East-West with contiguous trails of Fitchburg Cutoff, Alewife Linear Park and Somerville Community Path. Further South at Fresh Pond you can also pick up the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway.

Trail Conditions
Smooth asphalt throughout, except for a short road section in Arlington (sidewalks available). Gradients easy and briefly moderate.

Lexington's former railroad station & canopy. | Smooth asphalt paving all the way.

Spy Pond has a revitalized trailside park and playground.

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

Nearby Trails:
• 0 miles away: Narrow Gauge RT (3★, 3.3 miles)
• 0.3 miles away: Reformatory Branch RT (4★, 3.9 miles)
• 0 miles away: Fitchburg-Alewife-Somerville RT
• Show on map: All nearby rail trails

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