• jamaica pond

Jamaica Pond

Sled down the hill at the Sugar Bowl • Join the Emerald Necklace Bird Club • Watch cormorants dive for an evening meal • Guide a sailboat under a gentle breeze • Enjoy a picnic at Pinebank Promontory

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.”

Every Sunday through 9/18, park rangers from Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site will be on-site at the Shattuck Visitor Center!

Stop by the Center at 125 The Fenway to chat with expert rangers and learn about Olmsted's "most important work," the Emerald Necklace.