Fresh Pond Reservation
GOOD FOR: Ages 0-4

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:; 617-349-4762

Bathrooms: At the water department facility next to the parking lot
Water/Snacks: None

Fresh Pond Reservation is a hub of activity, popular with families, joggers, bicyclists, and nature lovers.

Paved paths near the reservoir are great for beginner cyclists.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Fresh Pond Reservation is part of the reservoir system for the City of Cambridge. While the 155-acre kettle-hole pond is surrounded by a chain-link fence to protect the water, the 162 acres surrounding it offers plenty of space for activities. A 2.25-mile paved loop around the pond is open to runners, walkers, bikers, inline skaters, and parents pushing strollers.

In the 1800s, the pond was privately owned and was the site of an ice business, which shipped ice as far away as Europe, China, and India. The pond became the city’s drinking-water supply in 1852. Around the perimeter of the pond, you’ll find a tot lot, a butterfly meadow, woods, community gardens, and a golf course.

The volunteer group Friends of Fresh Pond runs a variety of educational nature events for families. Activities include bird-watching, leaf-pile jumping,digging in mulch, leaf rubbing, and book readings. Check the group’s website ( for a calendar.

Remember: Dogs are not allowed in the lawn areas. On Fridays, April through November, a Kids’ Walk is held at 9 a.m. to discover plants and animals.

Plan B:

Walk over to Danehy Park (Trip 18) for playgrounds, playing fields, and picnic tables.

Where to Eat Nearby:

A grocery store with a café and prepared foods is in the Fresh Pond Mall, and restaurants are along Fresh Pond Parkway.


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