A pure, glacial kettle hole, Jamaica Pond captivated Olmsted with its “great beauty in reflections and flickering half-lights.” The largest standing body of water in the Emerald Necklace, it needed few alterations to highlight its natural beauty. Olmsted preserved much of the existing vegetation and framed the pond with new trees, shrubs and paths.
Today, the boathouse at Jamaica Pond provides facilities for sailing and rowing. The 1.5-mile path around the pond is a favorite of joggers and dog walkers alike. Visitors can fish by permit and the pond is stocked with trout and salmon raised in state hatcheries every year. The fields above the Sugar Bowl are the perfect place to picnic or play a little wiffle ball with your family.
Among free things to do in Boston, the popular Summer Sundays in the Park attracts families and friends to scenic Pinebank Promontory for outdoor Sunday evening concerts and movies. In October, the annual Lantern Festival brings thousands of people, some in full Halloween costume, for a walk around Jamaica Pond with their lanterns creating once again Olmsted’s “flickering half-lights.”