The New Bedford Harbor Walk sits atop the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier on East Rodney French Boulevard. The hurricane barrier is said to be the longest in the world – and now, for the first time since it was built in the 1960s, locals can enjoy its spectacular panorama while walking, jogging, and biking along this paved, elevated path.
The Harbor Walk is the best place to see New Bedford’s unique mix of natural and man-made wonders. From up here, the views seem endless: look for landmarks like East Beach, Fort Taber, Butler Flats Lighthouse, Fort Phoenix, Palmers Island, the Port of New Bedford, and the sparkling waters of Buzzards Bay. Ferries and fishing vessels steam in and out of the harbor, passing through the narrow opening in the barrier just beyond the harbor walk’s end.
The New Bedford Harbor Walk begins next to the East Rodney French Boulevard boat ramp, stretching about three-quarters of a mile to its northern end at Gifford Street. Here, the harbor walk extends along the inside of the hurricane barrier past Palmers Island. At night, the walkway is lined with more than 160 light fixtures, so this is a nice spot for a stroll in the evening.
For a longer bike ride, continue south on the Saulnier Memorial Bike Trail, which connects with the harbor walk near the boat ramp and runs past East Beach, Fort Taber, and West Beach on Clarks Cove. It’s all part of The Blue Lane, network of pathways that connects neighborhoods along the New Bedford waterfront.
Habitats & Wildlife
The New Bedford Hurricane Barrier forms a dividing line between inner and outer New Bedford Harbor. The outer harbor mixes with the open waters of Buzzards Bay, creating an environment that’s full of diverse coastal life. On the inner harbor, the scene shifts to a busy industrial port lined with commercial fishing vessels.