One of the great joys of summer in New England is spending time on the water - swimming, sailing or just soaking up the sun while watching the wildlife. Along with the opportunity for exercise, it's good for the mind and soul. Thanks to the easing of restrictions we have seen local beaches open up, albeit with limited capacity, but you don’t need to travel to the coast to enjoy some aquatic fun this summer. We are fortunate to live in an area with many local ponds and lakes, meaning you can enjoy activities such as fishing, boating or even just strolling alongside the water without traveling far. Here’s our Realtor’s pick of the best spots around.
Located in East Arlington, Spy Pond has a boat ramp for the launch of kayaks, canoes and small motor-craft. There are also opportunities for fishings, and a picnic area and playground for those wanting to stay on land. The pond can be accessed via the Minuteman Bikepath, as well as a small parking lot by Spy Pond field.
Located on Lowell Street in Arlington Heights, the Reservoir Beach includes a filtered / chlorinated swimming area, bathhouse, concession stand and a playground. Typically the beach is open between mid-June and mid-August each year, with residents able to buy a season tag for the family. Day passes are also available. A decision has yet to be made on whether the Res. will open for Summer 2020. Outside the summer there are walking trails around the water which are especially beautiful in the fall.
Upper Mystic Lake is one of the few spots that allows freshwater swimming. During the summer there is a lifeguard at Shannon Beach in Winchester (also known as Sandy Beach), and the beach can be accessed from the parking lot on Mystic Valley Parkway. You can also sail on the lake - there is a boat ramp at the Tuft’s University Boathouse on the Medford side, or if you are lucky enough to be a member of the Winchester or Medford Boat Clubs you can launch from there. You can also row or kayak in the Lower Mystic Lake, and motorized craft without a wake are allowed.
Mystic River Reservation
The Mystic River Reservation in Medford offers opportunities for kayaking and paddleboarding, along with beautiful walks along the banks to admire the changing foliage during the spring and fall.
During the summer, Wright’s Pond is open to Medford residents only and offers a safe bathing spot and a beach, plus a venue for outdoor concerts and entertainment.
Situated close to the center of downtown, Ell Pond in Melrose is a beautiful spot for fishing, walking and enjoying watching the wildlife on and around the water. There is a playground and a dog park along one side with plenty of parking.
Popular with runners and anglers, Horn Pond is located in Woburn on the Winchester line. There is a paved route around the pond suitable for strollers and bikes, plus other rough trails off the main route if you are looking for more of a hike (try the trail to the top of Mt Towanda for great views of the Boston skyline). The main parking lot is located on Pond St, with further parking available along Arlington Road and Sturgis St.
From the Spot Pond Boathouse in Stoneham you can rent a kayak, row boat or canoe, and paddle out to one of the three Spot Pond islands where you can observe birds and other wildlife. There are also learn to sail classes and camps for the kids. This pond is surrounded by extensive walking and biking trails with great views of the water, and there are some great fishing spots for bass and trout too.