Tucked away in an inner suburb of Boston, you will find Mary O’Malley Park. If you’re looking for an easy, leisurely, accessible stroll or just a beautiful place to spend some time relaxing in the urban outdoors, then this is just the spot for you! Last week, I had the opportunity to visit this family and dog-friendly location on a quiet, spring Thursday morning.
Located on Commandant’s Way in Chelsea across from a few apartment complexes, you will notice two parking areas with free, ample parking (for up to 4 hours, as marked on the signage). One parking area is located across from the playground and pavilion at the park and has 2 van accessible parking spaces. The second parking area is located closer to the bathroom building and also has two accessible parking spaces available. The access route to the pavilion next to the playground itself is accessible, however, there are no accessible picnic tables here. I’m happy to report that the bathrooms are open from 6:30am to 6pm and the park itself is open from sunrise to sunset.
I decided to take the longer route and continued my loop through the park. I stopped regularly to marvel at the industrial area across the river which also included views of the Yacht Club and tall cranes at the shipyard used for loading and unloading containers. One of the most notable structures was a large yellow dome. When I inquired about what this was, someone thought this was actually a cement company (makes sense given the area it’s in!).
This is a very wide trail, averaging 11 feet wide. About three-quarters of a way down the trail, I noticed the trail surface shifted again from being completely paved to a gravely flat surface. Shortly after, I passed two tennis courts and came to another fork in the trail—in order to stay in the park and loop back to the sidewalk on Commandant’s Way, bear right.
Near the fishing pier, you’ll also notice another path to the left for further but less level exploration and more views of the Tobin Bridge, Mystic River, and beautiful residences straight ahead. A gate indicates the end of the park and you will need to turn and hike back down to your vehicle. There are two sections of this path where the trail is raised and difficult for strollers and wheelchair users to navigate.
DCR (Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation) advocates for people to be mindful of the pandemic situation and follow current safe practices outlined by the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health.