I would like to go for a run around the Charles River when I am in Boston for business, and am wondering if there are water fountains in the area or if I need to plan on carrying water along?
I am planning on running from the Science Museum to Arsenal Street.
Palo Alto, California
The Charles River Loop, as this route along the Boston and Cambridge sides of the river banks is called locally, is a wonderful place to run. You'll also see lots of cyclists, joggers, and walkers, occasional skaters, and in winter, cross country skiers.
The distance from the Museum of Science in Boston to Arsenal Street in Watertown and back is about 12 miles, assuming you run on one side of the river going and the other side coming back. Thanks to the numerous bridges along the way, you can easily do a shorter loop if you want.
You will find about a dozen water fountains available for the public scattered along both sides of the river, but with only four on the Cambridge side, they are not evenly distributed.
I'm saying "about" because you can't necessarily count on all of them being operational at any one time, especially during the winter months. Although techically drinking fountains are available few more in places such as the Museum of Science and a couple of the boathouses, they're not readily available to anyone running, biking, or walking along the Charles River - so I'm not counting them.
The highest concentration of water fountains - four - is along the Boston Esplanade stretch near the Hatch Shell. Since some parts of the loop do not have a ready water supply, you'll probably want to bring a bottle - especially if you're running on a hot day.
You can see locations of drinking fountains on this map showing the Charles River Loop:
If you start your run near at the Museum of Science (close to where you see the "B" on the map and run on the Boston side first, you'll pass water fountains in these locations:
- Lederman Park - Look for the fountain near the baseball field
- Community Boating Boathouse - Near the running path
- Hatch Shell - On the path between the Hatch Shell and the Lagoon
- Hatch Shell vicinity - Next to the Snack Bar
- Children's Playground - On the other side of the Fiedler Footbridge - not far from the Snack Bar and the Hatch Shell - look for the bright blue tube slide nearby (see above photo)
- Esplanade - Close to the public restrooms and several statues
- Boston University vicinity - Next to the path closest to Storrow Drive
- Artesani Playground - Not far from the wading pool
- Cambridge Boating Club, on the Cambridge side of the Charles river - Look for the fountain in front of the clubhouse
- Magazine Beach, Cambridge - Look for it near the pedestrian footbridge, near the soccer field.
- MIT Sailing Pavilion - Next to the running path (see top photo)
- Boston University DeWolfe Boathouse, also Cambridge - In front of the boathouse
Right before you reach Magazine Beach on the Cambridge side, you'll see a small shopping center with a Trader Joe's and a Starbucks in case you want to stop for something other than water.
Hope this helps. Enjoy your run!