At 11 AM on Saturday morning, Jess, Violet, and I left our apartment in Waltham and embarked on a long walk all the way to Boston. We followed the Charles River Bike Path along the way. The total length of that path is about 12 miles. We bailed a little early when we got to the Back Bay (the official endpoint is at the Museum of Science). It took us about 5.5 hours, including a coffee break and several Violet-related pit stops.
I was impressed by how nice the path was, particularly in Waltham and some of Watertown. There were many areas completely isolated from roadways, which made it feel like we were hiking in the woods. Despite walking through familiar areas, we were repeatedly surprised by interesting things hiding around each corner. We saw footbridges, dams, boat houses, football fields, an amphitheater, and many scenic areas. We saw bizarre things: an eastern-European chess gathering in a cozy corner of the woods near the river, a drum circle near a boathouse in Allston, an outdoor public gym area, a pop-up beer garden, and a non-zero number of potentially crazy people wandering in the woods.
After getting to the back bay, we left the trail and walked to a bbq restaurant in Fenway. We took the subway (plus a taxi) to get back home. Violet had no trouble keeping up all day, but she was understandably exhausted afterward. Our legs were tired that night, but not too bad! I think we’d like to do the trail again someday.
Edit (9/11/2018): I mapped out the trail using an online tool and learned that it is indeed around 12 miles long. The post originally said it was closer to 20. This has been revised.