Swimming Lakes You Need to Discover - West of Boston
Even the littlest ones will love these swimming lakes near Boston. Photo courtesy of the Walden Pond Facebook page
Since it’s a favorite spot for summer swimming, we have to start with Walden Pond. Walden’s waters are super clean and warm, plus there are lifeguards and roped-off swimming areas for smaller kids. A bathhouse with restrooms and changing areas is easily accessible near the main beach. Daily parking fees of $8 for Massachusetts vehicles and $30 for out-of-state cars apply.
People flock to the three sections of Lake Cochituate—north, middle, and south—for boating, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, fishing, and, of course, swimming. There are plenty of places to picnic, and nearby trails are perfect for stretching your legs. When swimming in areas managed by Cochituate State Park, daily parking fees are $8 for Massachusetts vehicles and $30 for out-of-state cars. The Wayland Town Beach also allows out-of-towners to visit and swim with a day pass.
Hopkinton may be best known for being the start of the Boston Marathon, but it’s also home to the terrific Hopkinton State Park. There are two designated swimming areas that are monitored by lifeguards, and the Main Area waterfront has an accessible ramp, so anyone can use the facilities. The state park also has ample spots for picnicking and trails for exploring. Daily parking fees of $8 for Massachusetts vehicles and $30 for out-of-state cars apply.
This lake has two different areas where families can enjoy a day of swimming. The Regatta Point area on Lake Quinsigamond has swimming and sailing and a great spot for picnicking, and the Lake Park location offers up swimming and picnicking as well as tennis courts. Daily parking fees of $8 for Massachusetts vehicles and $30 for out-of-state cars apply.
Visit the beautiful 33-acre Crystal Lake in Newton this summer for a day of fun in the sun. While much of the lake is surrounded by private homes, there are two town parks, a town beach, and a bathhouse that are open to the public. Only Newton residents can buy summer membership passes, but non-residents can purchase a day pass for $15 per person.
Morses Pond is a bit of a hidden gem in the local freshwater swimming scene. But it’s one that’s well worth adding to the list of places to head when the temperature rises. There’s a roped-off swimming area that’s monitored by lifeguards, plus a playground, picnic, and barbecue areas, and even an ice cream truck that makes regular visits. There are also canoes, kayaks, and paddle-boards for rent if you're feeling adventurous. Non-residents can purchase season passes. Daily passes are currently only available to residents.
The Arlington Reservoir is a great place to take kids for a freshwater dip. It has a swimming area with a beach that’s monitored by lifeguards, a concession stand, a bathhouse, a playground, and even summer concerts. Buy a season pass if you plan to come often, or a day pass for a one-time visit. Those who are feeling adventurous can ride bikes to the reservoir, which is very close to the Minuteman Bikeway.
Cool off this summer at the top swimming lakes near Boston! Photo courtesy of the Breezy Picnic Grounds & Waterslides
Summer is a breeze here with waterslides, a swimming hole, picnics in the park, a concession stand, and free parking. This defines how to spend a lazy summer day, basking in the summer warmth and glow.
Swimming Lakes You Need to Discover - South of Boston
Swimming lakes near Boston offer summer fun for any age. Houghton's Pond photo courtesy of Mommy Poppins
Visitors can’t go wrong with a trip to Houghton’s Pond in the Blue Hills Reservation. This pristine waterway offers lots of outlets for recreation, like swimming, fishing, picnicking, and hiking. The pond is a great place to bring children because it also has a playground, concession area, restrooms, and first-aid station. The swimming area is monitored by lifeguards.
This pond offers 300 yards of beachfront to stretch out and play on. There are also on-duty lifeguards, a playground, and bathrooms on site. Along with swimming, the pond also allows small motorboats, fishing, and paddleboarding.
Located just outside of the city in South Braintree, this lake brings the amenities for families. Along with enjoying cooling off in the lake, families can also take advantage of the playground, a waterfront gazebo, and great freshwater fishing.
Swimming Lakes You Need to Discover - North of Boston
While the western shore of the Mystic Lakes is occupied by private homes, the eastern shore is open to the public. The most popular spot for freshwater swimming in the lakes is at Shannon Beach, where visitors also find a playground, trails, and bathrooms. There are sometimes lifeguards on duty, and locals rave about the free parking.
Head north to Pearce Lake in Breakheart Reservation for a peaceful swim. The lake has a sandy beach with a supervised swimming area, a picnic area, and a first aid station that’s open in the summer. Take to the trails of the reservation before heading to the lake to cool off. The free parking is a nice bonus.
This 209-acre pond spans across two towns and offers boating, swimming, and year-round fishing. While there are lots of private houses along Chebacco Lake, the best place for the public to take a dip is at Centennial Grove, where there is a small beach and bathrooms. This area is only open after 1pm on weekdays when a camp is in session.
Your family will love these swimming lakes near Boston. Heart Pond photo by GoodGuy70, courtesy of Trip Advisor
This pond is free to residents and non-residents, including free parking. There is a lifeguard on duty from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM during the summer months, starting on the first Saturday of the closing of the Chelmsford Public School for the season. Fishing, swimming, and small boats are popular here, as well as the the occasional ice cream truck.
Lead photo: Walden Pond by tornadogrrrl (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
This post was originally published on June 30, 2020 and updated on June 16, 2023.