Jamaica Plain: An Outdoor Enthusiast’s Delight

Posted by Mark Washburn on Monday, February 24th, 2020 at 10:39am

jamaica plain - boston maPhoto: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

From walking trails to watersports, Jamaica Plain is a true outdoor enthusiast’s delight. First developed as a streetcar suburb, the neighborhood most locals refer to these days as “JP” offers easy access to Jamaica Pond, Franklin Park, the Arnold Arboretum and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

This hip neighborhood is a fantastic place to explore the great outdoors. It includes a key section of the popular Emerald Necklace. At more than 1,000-acres in all, the chain of parks links up waterways and parkways from Boston Common to Franklin Park.

Of course, if you do want to go for a stroll, do some fishing, or even just get out on the water, Jamaica Pond proves an ideal spot. To reach the kettle pond, take the bike path running along the Emerald Necklace.

It’s a fun place to explore, plus rowboats, kayaks and sailboats can be rented out during the summer months. You can also take sailing lessons on Boston’s largest body of fresh water.

Keep in mind while you cannot go swimming or wading in the pond, there’s still plenty to do when you visit. Dogs are welcome on the trail around the pond as long as they’re on a leash.

Yet another spot to enjoy in JP is Arnold Arboretum. The outdoor spot changes by the seasons and holds the distinction of being North America’s oldest public arboretum. Operated by Harvard, the site boasts more than one-million plants.

It also offers the opportunity for birding. It’s said visitors have spotted well more than 100 species of birds in the location over the past century. It’s additionally popular for the annual Lilac Sunday celebration held in May.

Sitting partially in Jamaica Plain is the Franklin Park Zoo. Known as Boston’s largest park, the popular zoo is open all year-round and features around 160 different species of animals.

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