View of Boston Harbor from East Boston

How To Map Out the Perfect East Boston Run

Jan 27, 2023William Hubbard

After running up and down the Charles River, you may be looking for some new runs in the Boston area. The East Boston waterfront is one of your best bets to get outdoors and see Boston, even if it doesn't get as much fanfare as its Charles River and Marathon route rivals. Plus, there's a thriving running community in East Boston for anyone looking to make some new friends along the way.

Here’s what you need to know to plan a great run in East Boston:

Pick the Right Time To Get Moving

You can’t go wrong here, but we recommend sunrise and sunset since the views will blow you away. Keep the weather in mind, too. Running through the East Boston Greenway will give you some tree cover and protection from the wind, but if you're sticking to the waterfront, it will be you and the elements. In the winter, snow and ice can also make these paths tricky, although New England runners know to expect those conditions in the grueling months leading up to Marathon Monday.

If you like to run in a group, the East Boston Run Club has you covered with runs every week at 6:30 pm on Wednesdays and 7 am on Fridays, meeting at the Golden Stairs on Marginal Street. All runners (and walkers) are welcome at EBRC and a few runners even bring their dogs along! The standard run is 5K out to the Skyline Monument and back, but new runners can easily cut the run short after two miles, while others often choose to tack on a couple extra miles before meeting back at the stairs. The EBRC occasionally organizes group entries for local road races as well. Started during the pandemic, the club brings a sense of community to folks in the area who want to get outside and meet their neighbors, even if they aren't ready to crack a four-minute mile just yet.

If you go on a Saturday, line up your post-run refuel with an order from Buddy’s Bagels, hand made by an Eastie resident under the watchful eye of his dog Buddy. The bagels are delicious and you can pick them up at the Clippership or Portside. Most importantly, the bagels go great with Bulfinch Coffee, which you can tuck away in your Bulfinch MiiR Traveller Mug!

Drinking coffee after a run on Boston Harbor in East Boston

Take in Amazing Views of the Boston Skyline

Running along the waterfront, you will have a breathtaking view of Boston’s Financial District the whole way. As you run southeast, you’ll catch Boston’s Seaport District. Best of all, as you head northwest the Bunker Hill Monument and the Zakim Bridge rise up to meet you. If you're looking for a New England run that delivers unbeatable skyline views, this is it. 

Post-run you will also be in perfect position to experience the sites up close. With traffic and tunnel closures, driving to and from your Eastie run is not ideal, especially when the more environmentally-friendly option gets you downtown even faster. Hop on the T at Maverick and you will be on the other side of the Harbor in one stop.

To get over to Charlestown or Seaport, water taxis are a great option in the summer, as well as the free shuttle that runs between the Tall Ship and ReelHouse in East Boston and Pier 6 in Charlestown. Plus, boat rides are a great way to relax after a tough workout. If your plan is to stick around East Boston for the day, there are Blue Bikes next to Porzio Park and The Eddy to help get you around the neighborhood.

Adding Scenic Mileage to Your Run

The waterfront gets all the attention and for good reason, but if you’re looking to go for a long run, consider adding a few miles on the East Boston Greenway. The trail leads you into the heart of East Boston with great tree cover and if you peel off at East Boston Memorial Park there’s a track for all of your speed workouts. If you are thinking about hitting the track, early morning tends to be the best time to go when there won't be practices in the infield (and stray balls to dodge). There's a small set of stadium stairs here that can make for a good stair workout as well. If you skip the stairs, rest assured, your run in Eastie will be almost entirely flat.

For a short detour (and bonus – it’s back on the water!) head into Piers Park. This is a great place to add some more scenic steps and also the perfect spot to enjoy your coffee and bagels post-run while you watch the sailboats launch from Piers Park Sailing Center. Unfortunately, this is one of the few spots in East Boston that is not dog friendly, so if you are running with your furry friends you should plan to skip Piers Park. The park is undergoing expansion, so in the coming years there will hopefully be even more park space to enjoy here. If you go now, however, you can brag to all your friends that you ran through Piers Park before the big build out.

If you keep the run to the waterfront, an out and back starting at The Eddy is about 3.3 miles. Running through Piers Park can add about 0.25 miles to that total. With the East Boston Greenway included, you can easily hit 5 miles or more, depending on how many laps you want to include at the track. The running in Eastie is so scenic that you can go much further by repeating these trails a few times over. We've done 15+ mile workouts in East Boston without getting bored, especially in the summer when the Harbor is full of boats racing around.

With these tips in mind, make your way over to East Boston and enjoy one of the best, most underrated runs in New England. Also, shoot us a note and let us know which areas you want to explore next!

More articles