Wanted: Bike Routes in New England that meet specific criteria.
June 25, 2012 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Please suggest bike routes in New England that meet some specific criteria. We took our son on a section of the East Bay Bike Path near Providence for his first bike ride last week and he loved it. He sits in an iBert on Mom's bike. We are looking for similar routes. In looking for similar I articulate what specifically I think is good about this path for us in the extended explanation. We can ride weekdays in addition to weekends. Thanks.

  • Accessible by car / parking near to the path
  • Up to 60 minute drive from Providence, RI
  • Paved bicycle path -- the wider the better
Important but not required:
  • Painted lanes
  • Relatively flat; no steep hills
  • In sections or simply offering easy ways to turn back; his travel stamina is still short.
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Not too crowded
  • Lunch/picnic places relatively near the route
posted by safetyfork to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The Phoenix bike path in Fairhaven is very nice.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:18 AM on June 25, 2012

The minuteman trail in the Boston metro area is perfect for this. Only pedestrians and cyclists use this path! It's completely flat, you can turn back at any moment.

There are places to park along the path in Arlington, or you can save yourself time searching for a spot and pay 5 or so dollars to park in Alewife for the whole day (where the path starts). The path goes through Lexington where you can stop to do some sightseeing and grab coffee at Ride Studio Cafe. There are also parks along the route itself where I see people picnicking all the time.

Lots of historical sights along the path. It's beautiful!

The path ends in Bedford, and if you guys are up for riding on the road at all, you can head down to Concord center which is a really cute little town. But this may not be an option with the baby.
posted by carmel at 8:18 AM on June 25, 2012

The Boston Harborwalk has some extremely nice sections. I can vouch for the area near the JFK library being quite lovely, having a concrete path and apparently bike friendly. Google maps providence to the JFK library (which has parking) is 53 minutes.

Extra bonus for kids (probably): You're in Logan's flight path on this trail, so you'll also get excitement about the planes very close overhead.
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 8:20 AM on June 25, 2012

Also, the website is a bit weird, here's a direct link to the Minuteman Trail Map.
posted by carmel at 8:20 AM on June 25, 2012

Let's try that again - the Phoenix bike trail in Fairhaven.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:31 AM on June 25, 2012

The Airline State Park Trail in eastern Connecticut fits your requirements, except it's been a while since I've ridden on it and it's not completely flat, pretty sure it does not have painted lanes. It may not even all be paved. I have not been on the whole thing. It really is pretty though. Over 22 miles of rail trail.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:57 AM on June 25, 2012

The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a little farther than your optimal drive time, but it can't be beat for scenery.
posted by ldthomps at 9:21 AM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

You likely know about this one, but the Cranston bike path (er, I guess it's technically called the 'washington secondary' bike path) fits most of your criteria-- paved, almost completely flat. It is not the most scenic path I've ever been on, but it has it's moments (and there are several ice cream places!). Don't remember if it's painted, but it is fairly wide. You can park at the Lowe's in Cranston and start it there-- it runs behind Lowe's, it's pretty obvious to find if you know it's there.

It is easy to turn back, and there is lots of road access so you could potentially have someone pick you up further down the line.
posted by geegollygosh at 10:25 AM on June 25, 2012

Not very long, but very nice and meets all your criteria: http://www.visitrhodeisland.com/what-to-do/biking/1215/william-c-oneill-bike-path/
posted by blaneyphoto at 1:22 PM on June 25, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the answers so far! I can't wait for us to check them out.

And, we haven't been here long enough to know all the obvious local answers as well -- i.e. the Cranston answer was great.
posted by safetyfork at 2:02 PM on June 25, 2012

The bike path goes through Cumberland/Lincoln as well, and is a paved path along the Blackstone River.
posted by Ruki at 3:21 PM on June 25, 2012

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