Exercise with Nature in a Waterfront Park in San Juan

December 2015: The Park is currently closed again for more repairs and the ferry is not running.

Parque Lineal Marti Coll

Do you want to get away from the concrete jungle of San Juan or Old San Juan for a while without traveling too far? Or have a nice place to bike, run or walk that is away from traffic? Then the Parque Lineal Martí Coll or Paseo Lineal (Martí Coll Linear Park, in English) might be just what you need.

This "park" is actually an elevated, 8-foot wide concrete walkway that runs along the bank of the Maria Pena canal. It is 1.2 miles long, and a nice place to exercise or just enjoy the day.

The walkway has the canal on one side and a mangrove border on the other. The mangroves provide a safe home where many birds, fish and iguanas can live in relative safety from predators. And since the park is along the water, you can see the occasional fish jumping and watch boats going by in the canal.

The Parque Lineal Martí Coll can be accessed from 3 different places: right next to the AquExpreso terminal in Hato Rey, from a corner of the Parque Central, and from the San Juan Park. So, not only can you enjoy the Paseo Lineal, you can also easily access all of these 3 other parks. If you’re a runner or a biker, you can extend your trip by going into these parks, too. Also, Parque Central has a nice track that you can use for running laps.

Our Visit to the Park

Sometimes this ferry is not operating, so you would need to get there another way- buses/trains.

We started in Old San Juan, so we took the ferry to Hato Rey from pier 2. The trip between Old San Juan and Hato Rey is 10-20 minutes. Along the way, you get a waterfront view of the south-east side of Old San Juan, the cruise ships (if there are any in port), the Isla Grande airport and the cargo docks. It is an interesting view of the city that you don’t normally get to see. After passing through the cargo area, you enter the canal that leads to Hato Rey.

Parque Lineal Marti Coll

After exiting the ferry at the terminal in Hato Rey, go to the left and head out through the gate toward the street. Turn left and you will see the entrance to the park, just next door to the terminal.

At the beginning of the trail, there are bilingual signs explaining the importance of the mangroves, and the names and pictures of some of the birds and other wildlife you will see.

The trail is in decent shape, though it needs some minor repair in places. The park closes before sundown.

One thing you’ll notice as you walk along is that the mangroves have a natural sulfur odor (it stinks!). But the mangrove buffer is ecologically important and natural, so we dealt with smell. The mangroves provide safe place for many types of critters. For example, baby fish can hide and grow among the mangrove roots, safe from predators.

Parque Lineal Marti Coll

The BIG disappointment was that LOTS of garbage and plastic gets caught in the mangrove roots. So it was difficult to want to search the mangroves for wildlife becuase we saw so much garbage. I don’t think that would be a problem if you were running or biking — since you would be going by so fast, you wouldn’t notice it as much. But walking on the trail — the trash was hard to miss! Also, since it is in a city, you could still hear the faint hum of the city and cars. That wasn’t an issue, but it wasn’t like you are way out there in nature! If you can over look those points, it was a nice day.

Details

Parque Lineal Marti Coll

There is no charge to enter the Parque Lineal Martí Coll.

The park is open during daylight hours 6:00am-7:30pm.

Bring a hat and plenty of water. The walkway is mostly in the sun, with the occasional shaded area.

Here is some info that will help if you want to take the ferry from Old San Juan: The cost of the ferry is $1/person for a one-way ticket between Old San Juan and Hato Rey. Seniors pay 50¢. Kids under 3 are free. The ferry between Old San Juan to Hato Rey runs on Monday through Friday from 6am to 7pm, and on weekends and holidays from 8am to 8pm.

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 6 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

This bridge has been closed for a few years and they are not even working on it, I am very dissapointed.

Comment by Roberto on 23 Oct 2016

I believe it is still closed.

Comment by Gwenn on 28 May 2015

Buen dia. Is the trail still closed for repairs?

Comment by Stacy on 28 May 2015

Thanks for the info. I have updated the post.

Comment by Gwenn on 15 Dec 2014

Today, we tried to access the Paseo Lineal from Parque Central and from San Juan Park (also called Parque de Santurce, Calle Los Angeles) with no luck. We were told there was a "derrumbe" or structural collapse on the trail, so the trail was closed off. Not certain when things will be back in order. Being the middle of December, it definitely felt like the parks were kind of closed for the season as we were the only family in San Juan Park and at the Parque Central, the city is doing some more major renovations. The children's playground is getting a major makeover and the back road through the park is being redone. I was impressed with the large natatorium and tennis center, though, and may have to come back for that.

Comment by Peter on 14 Dec 2014

Nice place to workout and ride bikes with the family. I go there almost every week.

Comment by Eps on 15 May 2014

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