Minuteman Bikeway

Runs through Arlington, Lexington and Bedford
Boston suburbs, MA

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

10 mile, multi-use asphalt trail used for recreation and commuting, converted in 1993 from a railroad track.

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Why It Works

This "rails-to-trails" bikeway provides linkages to urban parks, shops and restaurants along its route, and is travelled by some 600,000 cyclists and others annually. A free, easy-to-read trail map notes services and food stops along the way. Visitor centers in Arlington and Lexington serve as favorite trail lunch spots.

History & Background

The trail was built by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts using state funds. Each town that the trail passes through is responsible for maintaining its own section. The three trail-managing municipalities and partner groups include the Friends of the Minuteman Trail (Arlington); the Bikeway Committee (Bedford); and the Minuteman Bikeway Committee (Lexington). All three provide community support. Their strong partnership has contributed to the genuine success of the trail. Other active support groups for the trail include volunteer Police Explorers, a teen group that works with police officers on bikes to maintain the trail; First Aid volunteers who walk the trail; and the Friends of the Bikeway Program. Each group provides a variety of functions supporting the system and its community. Completed in 1993, the trail was recognized as the 500th "Rail to Trail" operation in the United States. An estimated 6,000 to 9,000 cyclists use the trail on weekend days during the summer. Approximately 100 bikes are parked daily at the subway station adjacent to one terminus. The trail passes by Spy Pond, Arlington Reservoir and the 185-acre Great Meadows, well-known for its fragrant wildflowers and grasses.

Contact Info:

Lexington Visitor's Center, 1875 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA; 781-862-1450

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