Jamaica Pond and Victorian Jamaica Plain

Boston, Massachusetts 02130

Jamaica Pond and Victorian Jamaica Plain

Jamaica Pond and Victorian Jamaica Plain Professional Review and Guide

"This walk offers a view of some of Greater Boston’s most interesting Victorian architecture as well as a leafy amble by a deep, clear pond. Special attractions: Quaint Victorian houses and a lovely walk along the banks and amid the greenery of Jamaica Pond.

Jamaica Pond and its park are part of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace. Purchased by Boston in 1890, the park was little changed from its natural condition by Olmsted, who made a walkway around the pond, removed existing structures, and built the 1912 Boathouse. The estate of Francis Parkman, Pinebanks, was preserved and survives in a state of ruin. There is an outdoor theater—actually a dry glacial kettlehole—with summer theater."

More Jamaica Pond and Victorian Jamaica Plain Professional Reviews and Guides

"This wonderful hike for all ages and abilities is located in a historic neighborhood right in the heart of Boston. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was largely responsible for turning Jamaica Pond into a public park. With the construction of Franklin Park, the Arnold Arboretum, and the Muddy River Improvement Project in progress, Olmsted’s concept of a “green ribbon” around Boston was well under way. This greenbelt around the city is now called the Emerald Necklace.

Jamaica Pond looks much as it has since the retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier. Olmsted’s aim was to have the landscape look as natural and poetic as possible.Where you start your hike around Jamaica Pond is often dictated by parking opportunities. Most begin on its northwestern side, near parking along Perkins Street."

"An easy recreational trail offers a popular and pleasant circuit around historic Jamaica Pond."

"When I first wrote this book, Zaim was a 7-year-old friend of mine who happened to be a Jamaica Plain expert. He is now 12 years old but now an expert in many things. He helped me design this kid’s tour of J.P. (as it’s called throughout Boston), including the best spots for watching trains, skipping rocks at Jamaica Pond, and, of course, eating ice cream. His mom helped fill in the rest. J.P. got its start as a farming community and then became a comfortable Victorian suburb of Boston.

It fell on harder times in the 1970s and ’80s, when real estate prices tanked and many of the stores were boarded up. But fueled by a revived economy and soaring real estate prices downtown, J.P. is now a hip and multicultural neighborhood, boasting cafés and eclectic stores along Centre St."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Trail Type
Skill Level
70 minutes
Additional Use
Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018