Minuteman Commuter Bikeway

America's Revolutionary Rail Trail



SmallerDot Welcome to the new Minuteman Bikeway Website.  The old site can be viewed here.

SmallerDot Bikeway report from Rod Holland, 2/7.   I rode the Minuteman yesterday afternoon, from Water Street, Arlington, to Depot Park, Bedford. All three segments--Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford--had been plowed by then. Trail surface varied from dry, bare pavement to smooth ice to bumpy ice, with many sections having an added layer of granular snow newly fallen from overhanging tree branches, a sort of second snowfall. No trouble spots at the intersections. Arlington bridges were somewhat icy, as usual, but no more so than adjacent trail segments, The Depot Park terminus was clear but icy, and the gate to the Depot Park lot was closed. The whole length was easily ridable with studded tires (I used Nokian W240s), and cyclists with a variety of other tire types were observed making do, with more or less difficulty (and worry). Last night's freeze, today's thaw, and the coming week's predicted snow and cold can be expected to cause frequent, rapid changes in trail conditions.

SmallerDot Tri-Community Bicycle Committee Meeting.  This is the coordinating committee for the oversight of the Bikeway.  The meeting will be held on Saturday, February 20 at 10:30 am in the Bedford Town Center.  All are invited.

SmallerDot Arlington Center Safe Travel Project. New design for Bikeway connection in Arlington Center. Work will be starting next spring. posted 5/23/15


Submit current Bikeway conditions to mmbikeway at gmail dot com.SmallerDot 

Submit announcements

The Minuteman Bikeway passes through the historic area where the American Revolution began in April 1775. Today, the Minuteman Bikeway is one of the most popular and successful rail-trails in the United States, enjoyed for both healthy recreation and transportation.


The bikeway has become a new type of “Main Street” where neighbors and strangers alike come together while riding, walking, or skating on the path. In 2008, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy inducted the Minuteman Bikeway into the national Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.


Built by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on an inactive railroad right of way, the Minuteman Bikeway has become a treasured regional resource, used by local residents and visitors from near and far. Connecting to the Alewife “T” Station in Cambridge, the bikeway provides an easy way for bicyclists and pedestrians to travel to and from subway and bus lines, serving to reduce automobile traffic in the area.


The bikeway is collectively managed and maintained by the four communities it passes through: Bedford, Lexington, Arlington, and Cambridge.


This 1954 photograph shows a steam locomotive passing under the Lexington Center Depot’s train shed. Today, the Minuteman Bikeway passes through this railroad structure. (Photo courtesy of Mystic Valley Railway Society.)



Minuteman Connections

Connections at Alewife

Connections at Bedford Depot


Bikes on the T

Bicycles are allowed on MBTA Commuter Rail and subway trains (Red, Orange, and Blue Lines) all day on weekends and during off-peak hours on weekdays.

NOTE: You do not need a special pass or permit to bring your bike on the T, so it’s easy! For MBTA bike-accommodation guidelines, see www.mbta.com/riding_the_t/bikes.


Other Nearby Bikeways

SmallerDot Narrow Gauge Rail-Trail (Bedford). Stone-dust trail near the end of the Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford which extends to North Billerica.

SmallerDot Minuteman Bikeway Extension (Reformatory Branch, Bedford, Concord). Unpaved trail from the end of the Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford, ending near the historic Old North Bridge in Concord. www.bedfordma.gov/sites/bedfordma/files/u133/minuteman_bikeway_extension_-_aug_4_2014.pdf

SmallerDot Battle Road Trail – Minute Man National Historical Park (Lexington, Lincoln, Concord). Stone-dust trail providing cycling and walking access to the national park's historical and natural resource areas. See www.nps.gov/mima/index.htm.


SmallerDot Fitchburg Cutoff Bike Path. Paved rail-trail from northwest corner of Alewife MBTA station to Brighton St. near the Cambridge–Belmont border. see map

SmallerDot Linear Park Path and Somerville Bikeway (Cambridge, Somerville). Paved bikeways from Alewife Station in North Cambridge to Davis Square and beyond in Somerville. Plans are under way to extend this path to Boston. See www.pathfriends.org.

SmallerDot Alewife Connector and DCR Alewife Greenway Paths. These are multi-use, community trails along the Alewife Brook and State Department of Conservation and Recreation's Alewife Reservation [map]. For more information, see the Friends of the Alewife Brook Area Community Paths website at http://www.pathfriends.org/alewife.

SmallerDot Fresh Pond Paths (Cambridge). Paved 3-mile path around Fresh Pond Reservoir, with dedicated bike path beside Fresh Pond Parkway. www.cambridgema.gov/Water/freshpondreservation/reservationuserinformation/freshpondreservationtrails.aspx

SmallerDot Charles River Bike Paths (Boston, Cambridge, Watertown). 14-mile paved loop traveling alongside both banks of the Charles River from the Museum of Science in Boston to Watertown, passing through the Boston Esplanade. See www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metroboston/charlesR.htm.


SmallerDot Nashua River Rail-Trail (Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, Dunstable). 11-mile paved trail, featuring spectacular wetlands scenery. See www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/nash.htm.

SmallerDot Bruce Freeman Rail-Trail(Chelmsford, Westford, Carlisle). Phase 1 of this trail is complete through Chelmsford into Westford. The trail will eventually reach Framingham. See http://brucefreemanrailtrail.org/visit-bruce-freeman-trail/.

SmallerDot Assabet River Rail-Trail Proposed bike path linking the communities of Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard, and Acton; much of this trail parallels the Assabet River. (Portions of this bike path are currently being constructed.) See http://www.arrtinc.org/.


For a complete listing of bike paths in Massachusetts (both existing and future), see MassBike’s website at www.massbike.org/resourcesnew/pathstrails. http://www.massbike.org/resourcesnew/pathstrails/.

For a directory of rail-trails in the USA, see www.traillink.com.



The Minuteman Bikeway connects to the Alewife MBTA Station in Cambridge, providing transportation access to subway and bus service.

The Minuteman Bikeway connects to the Alewife MBTA Station in Cambridge, providing transportation access to subway and bus service.



Local Bike Culture


To plug in to our local bicycling culture, check out these websites:

 SmallerDot Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike): massbike.org

 SmallerDot New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA): www.nemba.org

 SmallerDot Quad Cycles Group Rides.

 SmallerDot Northeast Bicycle Club


Bike shops along the Bikeway

 SmallerDot The Bikeway Source, Beford

 SmallerDot The Ride Studio Cafe.  Lexington

 SmallerDot Quad Cycles, Arlington, Arlington

 SmallerDot The Bike Stop, Arlington




Alan McClennen, Jr., and Tom Fortmann at the Minuteman Bikeway opening ceremony, Lexington Center, 1993.


Bikeway Dedications

In Lexington in 1992, the Minuteman Bikeway was dedicated to the memory of Jack Eddison, who served many years as a Selectman and worked to champion the bikeway project. In Arlington in 2000, the bikeway was dedicated to Donald Marquis, who served 34 years as Town Manager and was also intrumental in the bikeway's completion.


Twenty years in planning, the Minuteman Bikeway might still be a dream if not for the tireless efforts of two community advocates: Tom Fortmann of Lexington and Alan McClennen, Jr., of Arlington. Tom and Alan, we thank you for making your dreams of a bikeway come true. We gratefully dedicate this website to you.


We also applaud the efforts of Cathy Buckley Lewis at Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) for her efforts in the design and construction of the Minuteman Bikeway.


Website Credits

This website was developed by Jack Johnson and Stephan Miller.  The webmaster is Stephan Miller.