Cambridge has no shortage of places to explore, from Harvard Square to the Longfellow House Washington’s Headquarters and Charles River, but scenic Fresh Pond—a 155-acre kettle lake—offers a welcome outdoor pause close to the urban center and is accessible by bus and subway. Here’s why we love Fresh Pond in Cambridge.

In the 19th century, Fresh Pond in Cambridge cooling relief for people across the country (and even the globe) in the 19th century, as it was harvested for ice in the days before refrigeration and sent as far as India. The Reservoir still plays a pivotal role in the daily life of most Cantabrigians as water from the pond is purified for local consumption. Brookline landscape architecture firm Olmsted Brothers (the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted) worked on the original 1897 design for the 162-acres of wetlands, forest, and meadows that make up the Fresh Pond Reservation.

The 2.25-mile flat road around Fresh Pond provides a perfect opportunity for bikers, runners, and walkers to stretch their legs, and offers unparalleled views of the Reservation. For those who enjoy hitting the greens, there is a nine-hole public golf course at one corner of the Reservation that is easily one of the most scenic in the area. The Reservation is a ten-minute walk from the Alewife subway station and can also be reached by multiple MBTA bus lines.

Locals and visitors can participate in nature focused programs at Fresh Pond throughout the year, including herb walks, bird watching sessions, and even an annual event dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the reservation. Be sure to stop on your walk or run and take in the flora and fauna at the smaller bodies of water around Fresh Pond including Black’s Nook, North Pond, and Little Fresh Pond.

For more information on Fresh Pond in Cambridge, visit the Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation website. Photo by @booktowrite on Instagram.