by Anna Barry
Photography by Michaela Johnston
Rowboat Photo Courtesy of the Jamaica Plain Gazette
Springtime is the perfect opportunity to change up your exercise routine, with the sun shining and the flowers blossoming. The misery of the cold winter days is in our past and summer is quickly approaching. It is time to get out of your gym rhythm and go on a run or walk to soak up the sun that Boston is finally getting. Jamaica Pond, located in close proximity to Boston University, is a great hidden destination for your new adventures, so take a friend or just go by yourself and explore.
Jamaica Pond is a part of the Emerald Necklace, which is a chain of paved paths where walkers and joggers can exercise alongside Boston’s greenery and rivers that was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The Emerald Necklace extends from Back Bay to Dorchester. Jamaica Pond, in particular, is located in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood of Boston near Brookline and the Boston hospitals. Fun fact, Jamaica Pond is a kettle pond, formed by retreating glaciers during the Ice Age, and the largest body of freshwater in Boston. Jamaica Pond is an easy Uber ride away from BU, but if you are feeling adventurous enough, it’s only three miles from campus, and an excellent way to bump up your step count.
The suburb of Jamaica Plain feels like a world away from the bustle of campus, and Jamaica Pond is a complete oasis. The pond reflects the greenery fringing around it and bounces sunlight back.
There is a 1.5 mile paved pathway around Jamaica Pond, a great distance for beginning and advanced runners alike as well as walkers. With only slight inclines, the path is excellent for those looking for a flat running trail. The pond is populated by other exercisers and local families, and feels completely safe for solo runs or walks.
Jamaica Pond is not just known as a nice spot for casual runners around Boston. It’s a spot along the Boston Athletic Association half-marathon. Runners travel from all over the world to encounter the beauty and serenity of Jamaica Pond and the rest of the Emerald Necklace during the half marathon.
One BU student, Emily Arterbury (CAS ’17), an avid runner, loves the trail around Jamaica Pond. “I love running because I can get outside and clear my head while getting a work out in. Boston can be super crowded on nice days outside, especially on the Esplanade,” said Arterbury. “I like to change it up a lot when I run. That area is nice because it's like a hidden gem inside of the city. Not a lot of people are around and it's pretty quiet, so it's a nice escape.”
Although runners and walkers alike flock to Jamaica Pond to be engulfed in nature, for those who are less athletically inclined, there are other activities at Jamaica Pond. The pond has a boathouse for renting sailboats and rowboats. Visitors can fish with a permit, or set up a picnic with friends under the canopy of trees and witness the sun set over the pond.
Running the same loop over and over again, day in and day out on the Esplanade or around the city can become monotonous. Run over to Jamaica Pond, soak up the suburban nature and de-stress from your hectic college schedule.