Brookline and Jamaica Plain share a long border, obscured in part by the forests, parks, and natural areas along that boundary. Between the two population centers lies Jamaica Pond. The glacial knolls, knobs, and drumlins around the 120-acre pond kept the area from development. Until 1848 the pond served as a major source of Boston
’s water, and it remains a backup reservoir. The springfed glacial kettle pond, 65 feet deep in some places, provided such a wonderful natural landscape that when Frederick Law Olmsted sketched out the Emerald Necklace park system, he barely touched Jamaica Pond. His 1882 plan simply graded some banks, planted a few stands of oak and beech trees, and put in pathways. Olmsted’s 1.5-mile walking path around the pond continues to fulfill the master’s vision as an amenity to encourage residents of the area to take respite in the natural landscape. Joggers, walkers, and strollers from both Brookline and Jamaica Plain throng to use the path, which crosses back and forth between the two areas. The grounds around the Jamaica Pond boathouse serve as a de facto community center from April through November, thanks to the grassroots Jamaica Pond Project. (There’s a separate bike path partway around the pond, so pedestrians—in theory—don’t have to compete with riders.) Jamaica Pond isn’t just a pretty body of water to admire. Anglers find surprisingly diverse species of fish to stalk, ranging from bass and perch in the shallower waters to rainbow, brown, tiger, and brook trout in the pond’s colder reaches. (The salmonids are stocked by the state up to four times a year.) Rowboats are available for rent from late April through most of October (depending on water temperature), and sailboats, including two speedy Laser Boats, can be rented from July through Labor Day weekend. The above description is an excerpt from "Boston: Off the Beaten Path." Whether you're a visitor or a local looking for something different, this chapter from the Off the Beaten Path series will help you take the "road less traveled" and discover hidden attractions, unique finds, and unusual locales that most tourists miss.
© Copyright Patricia Harris and David Lyon published by Insiders' Guide all rights reserved.
This travel guide comes from:
Boston Off the Beaten Path Guide Book