Originally conceived in the 1980s at the beginning of Boston’s long process of revitalizing its harborfront, the Harborwalk incorporates more than 47 miles of walking paths along Boston’s waterfront from South Boston and Dorchester north to Charlestown. It links with the Freedom Trail, the Charles River Esplanade, the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, and the Emerald Necklace Park System.
Design guidelines for the walk were established by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and all projects along the water are mandated to provide public waterfront access as they are redeveloped. As a result, each segment of the harborwalk has been designed and built by various firms, each in keeping with the character of the surrounding neighborhood. This path allows you to see both the working, industrial areas of Boston’s waterfront as well as more manicured, pastoral portions such as Paul Revere Park.
Some portions of the Harborwalk in Charlestown are still undeveloped, so detours onto adjacent streets may be necessary if following it for the entire length, but the portion from City Square through to Spaulding Hospital is continuous, and provides a link south across the Inner Harbor via the New Charles River Dam. Materials vary from concrete to wood decking; water access varies as well, from small boat docks to seawalls, to steps leading down to the water.
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