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  The HarborWalk at The Kennedy Library
The HarborWalk at the Kennedy Library

What to Bring

Walking shoes   Hat
Sunglasses   Sunscreen
Comfortable pants   Windbreaker
Water   Snacks


From Boston, take I-93 south
Take exit 15, and turn left at signal
Turn right at the rotary
Follow signs for Kennedy Library/Umass
Drive around the university to reach the
Kennedy Library
Park on the lot facing the Library
  Good to know in advance
Restrooms at the Kennedy Library and at
the skating rink at Pleasure Bay
Dogs on leash at all times
Beware of bikers and skaters, even on the sidewalk – always walk on the right side

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 2/5
  Time from Boston: 0.15 hours
  Duration: Half day


  Main activity:


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  Have a question about   this destination?
The HarborWalk is a coastline trail that spans several miles of Boston waterfront. Its best section, in our view, starts at the Kennedy Library on the South Shore and winds up to Castle Island, the old fort guarding the entrance of the Boston harbor.

Despite its urban environment, the HarborWalk is a great way to reconnect with the ocean; all along this walk, you can gaze at an unobstructed horizon eastward. Standing at the water's edge on Carson Beach, you will have great views of the Boston Harbor Islands; from Castle Island, you can watch the water traffic in and out of the harbor, particularly busy in the summer. Castle island is also a nice place to stop for families, with a playground for the little ones and the fort walls and perimeter trails offering miles of adventure for older kids.

From the Library parking lot, take the stairs down to the sea wall at the right of the entrance, then turn left to walk around the building. From that point, you will always walk along the water. The trail first goes through open terrain, then turns right in front of the buildings and becomes a large sidewalk dotted with benches up to Carson Beach.
Once at Carson Beach, you can walk on the sand around the bay. On the other side, you will climb a few back up to the sidewalk – several sailing club facilities extend into the water and will prevent from staying on the beach to Castle Island. You soon reach Pleasure Bay, closed by the narrow breakwater that you take on the right to reach Castle Island. From the fort there, you will have great views on the Boston Harbor, the islands in the background, the Boston skyline and the air traffic at Logan, directly across the water (and yes, depending on the runway in use, planes overhead may be noisy). The place has a festive mood in summer, but feels like a remote island in fall and winter, when you will likely have the place for yourself.
To return to your car, just retrace your steps. Allow two to two hours and a half for the roundtrip, but you can make the walk as short or as long as you wish.
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