Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

In which we visit Jamaica Pond

Another in our ongoing series: What We Did This Summer.

(Photo: Shala Howell)

Signs posted around Jamaica Pond declare it to be part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace. For years, I had assumed from this that it was a man-made pond, dug under the direction of Frederick Law Olmsted. In fact, the 68-acre 53-foot deep kettle pond was carved out by glaciers millions of years before there was a Boston or a Frederick Law Olmsted to landscape it. The natural beauty of this site meant that Olmsted had to do relatively little to it before stringing it onto the Necklace in 1892.

Equipped with a scenic and well-maintained walking trail, the Pond is a great place to take your preschooler for a bit of a walk, puppy meet & greet, turtle sightings, and general bird spotting. Apparently, you can fish and sail there too, but we’ve always been content just to go for a stroll.

What’s There

  • Jamaica Pond Boathouse
  • Boston Park Ranger Nature Center
  • Sailing (youth sailing programs available)
  • Fishing (Massachusetts Fishing License required)
  • 1.5 mile walking/biking trail around the pond
  • Open space for picnics
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Free parking on Perkins Street, and in a limited number of spaces along the Pond

Planning your own visit? You’ll find the usual Logistical Stuff below the fold.

Logistical Stuff

Where Jamaica Pond
What 68-acre kettle pond surrounded by a well-maintained walking trail 
Address 507 Jamaicaway
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Getting There
  • Free parking on Perkins Street.
  • Also accessible by T (take the 39 bus to Perkins Street & Pond Street)
Phone (617) 522-5061
  • Rowboats can be rented for $10/hour, $5/hour with a current fishing license
  • Sailboats can be rented for $15/hour.
  • Park and walking paths open dawn to dusk.
  • Boat house open daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Rowboats available daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Sailboats available 3:30 – 6 on weekdays and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on weekends.

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