To Do Today: Get Out on the Water at Jamaica Pond
Kayaks, rowboats, and sailboats available to rent
The park is open daily from sunrise to 11:30 pm. The boathouse is open Monday through Thursday, noon to 7 pm, and Friday through Sunday, 10 am to 7 pm, from Patriots Day to Halloween.
Jamaica Pond, Jamaica Plain, Mass. If you’re driving, parking is available along Perkins Street on Jamaica Pond’s west side. By the T, take an Orange Line train to Stony Brook or Green Street and walk up to the pond.
Rowboat rentals are $15 per hour ($10 with a Massachusetts fishing license), and kayak and sailboat rentals are $20 per hour. Private sailing lessons and cruises are $45 per hour. There is no admission fee.
Why should I go?
Looking for a chance to escape the heat and grime of the city, but don’t want to travel far to get there? You won’t do better than Jamaica Pond. As one of the brightest jewels in the Emerald Necklace, Boston’s meandering park system, the glacier-formed kettle pond covers approximately 68 acres, making it the largest body of fresh water in Boston.
The pond offers enough diversions to pass a long summer day, including plenty of opportunities for strolling, cycling, rowing, sailing, and fishing. It’s also an ideal destination if you’re looking for a shaded bench to read a book or people-watch.
First incorporated into renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace in 1892, the pond is ringed by a 1.5-mile paved path, popular with cyclists, joggers, and dog walkers. Many of the grand homes fronting the pond were the summer residences of wealthy Bostonians.
Visitors can rent rowboats, sailboats, and kayaks at the Jamaica Pond Boathouse, which is administered by Courageous Sailing, a nonprofit that offers youth and adult programming at the pond. See above for fees.
The pond is stocked with trout each year by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. Anglers must bring their own rods and must purchase a freshwater fishing license in advance. Birders can expect to see ducks, geese, and swans, and the occasional double-crested cormorant and great blue heron.
The boathouse is open Monday through Friday from noon to 7 pm. On weekends, it’s open from 10 am to 7 pm. The last rental is at 6 pm. Keep in mind that during the months of July and August sailboats are not available Monday to Friday from 9:45 am to 3:45 pm to accommodate educational summer youth programs. To rent a sailboat, you must first complete a short test ($20) from any of the on-site sailing instructors. On passing the test, you’ll receive a complimentary hour of sailing. All rentals are first come, first served, so calling ahead, (857) 452-1770, is recommended.