Trail hike/run near campus?

<p>Are there any large parks with lengthy trails (many miles) for hiking and running anywhere near campus (within 3-4 miles)?</p>

<p>There are plenty, but the closest and best would probably be the trails that run alongside the Charles River. Take a few minutes to explore this on Google Maps at this link. Google</a> Maps</p>

<p>Sorry I meant dirt trails through a forest or park land.</p>

<p>Try the Arnold Arboretum, which isn't exactly near campus, but is Harvard-owned. Considering Harvard is in Metro Boston, though, you'd probably have to get out of the city if you wanted to find a nice place.</p>

<p>Middlesex Fells, to the north in Medford.</p>

<p>Hi, you won't find miles of continuous dirt trails from Harvard, but a close approximation would be what is known as the Emerald Necklace. I don't have all the details, but if you look at a map you'll see that from Harvard you would run along the Charles, cross a bridge, run along the Fens to the Riverway to Jamaica Pond to the Arboretum to Forest Hills Cemetary to Franklin Park, all in Boston. It's a beautiful area. On the running/bike paths which are paved, you can typically run alongside which would be dirt. Both the Arboretum and Franklin Park are large (200+ acres each), so there is plenty of open space to make your own trail.</p>

<p>Another alternative would be to run West along the Charles River. Again, I think there would be paved paths but you could run alongside on the dirt. </p>

<p>Another great path is the Minuteman Trail, which goes many miles north of Cambridge from Arlington through Lexington and Concord.</p>

<p>Is there a trail area most heavily used each day?</p>

<p>Middlesex Fells park looks beautiful. How far of a drive (minutes)? Is there one or more trails that are popularly used daily, and year round maybe? Do Harvard students/faculty etc go to Middlesex Fells often?</p>

<p>Definitely join the Outdoors Club. They do frequent mountaineering trips.</p>

<p>I would describe all of the aforementioned routes as "heavy use" except for Franklin Park and Forest Hills. If you are concerned about it being overly busy, these routes would be busiest in the pre- and post-work times on weekdays and throughout the weekend. My son rides his bike all over, and he loves the Minuteman Trail at night (with lights) because it's not busy at all. I wouldn't be particularly concerned about safety in any of these areas in the daylight. At night I would avoid the Boston parks--for one thing they are closed.</p>

<p>West up the Charles River turns into dirt trails along the river, on both banks. I also tend to run at fresh pond alot. Of the main trail around the lake, about half of it is dirt. But it has a number of dirt off-shoots as you go around. Hope that helps.</p>