Head to Draw Seven Park and you'll surely think your directions can't be right. This state-run DCR park is hidden…More behind Assembly Square Mall at the end of pot-hole-ridden Foley St., which you have to follow behind the hulking Central Steel Supply Company and through a train underpass. But once there, you'll find striking urban views of the Mystic River framed by the Amelia Earhart Dam, bridges and distant smoke stacks.
The 9-acre park is popular with the local fishing crowd, and also offers two soccer fields, a picnic shelter and just two benches, which is why you'll see regulars in their own beach chairs. The terminus of the Mystic River Bike Path also runs the length of the park and heads west into Medford (ultimately linking to the Minuteman Bikeway to Bedford).
Named for the old Number Seven railroad drawbridge that once crossed the Mystic here, the park today now abuts the MBTA Orange Line and Commuter Rail tracks. Despite the rumbling trains, the park can feel quite isolated--enough so that graffiti taggers have left their mark here.
If you build a pathway in Somerville, they will come. This heavily used path runs from Grove St. (behind the…More Rite-Aid) to Cedar Ave. Though it's just a thin ribbon of green space with an asphalt path, it's likely among the City's most used parks. Commuters on foot and bicycle fill the half-mile-long path at rush hour. Others simply stroll its length to take in the greenery. Trees line most of the route and occasional benches offer seating. Old-fashioned streetlamps light the way at night and the City keeps it plowed in winter. And if all goes well, it may be getting longer.
The City and the citizen group Friends of the Community Path are working to extend the path eastward. The first new link will be to Central Ave. Ultimately, the goal is for it to reach Lechmere, where it would link with the Charles River Bike Path and provide a bike route to downtown Boston. On the west side, plans aim to better link the path to the Alewife Linear Park, which, in turn, leads to the Minuteman Bikeway to Bedford.
Cycling fans are also working to link the path to the planned 104-mile Mass Central Rail Trail that will run from just west of Northampton to Boston (by way of Somerville, of course).