Fresh Pond Reservation Dog Park
Or call (617) 349-6489 for more information.
- EleanorAug 13, 2023OK for leashed dog walks only
Please be aware that in the summer months, there is rampant poison ivy, all along the inside of the circle i.e. the fence bordering the pond, probably to keep out skinny dippers! It’s only posted for poison ivy in a few places along the 3 mile plus perimeter. If your dog rubs against it and gets the poison ivy oil on his fur, it can transfer to your hands if you pet him.
Also, the dog beach which used to not have logs (logs probably now to prevent erosion) at the shore entrance and was easier for small dogs to get into now is only good for big dogs that don’t mind jumping into water over their heads. Also lots of parents bring their babies who are still in diapers. I.e. very young children and toddlers to play there so if you don’t feel comfortable Letting your dogs swim next to babies and toddlers the dog beach is no longer an option. I didn’t see any signs at the dog beach specifying that it’s dogs only or what the protocol is if there are children and dogs at the same time, but I decided it was better to be safe than sorry which is too bad, because my dogs were looking forward to a swim.
Lots of toddlers walking on the path and unleashed dogs that do not respond to their owners recall so even if your dogs on a leash when you are walking around, you will still have at least dogs running up to you.
- CaitieJun 8, 2020Wonderful resource for locals, but...
There are many informative reviews here, but I'd like to add some information that visitors or new residents may find useful.
First, as others have mentioned, Fresh Pond Reservation is a shared-use area which permits Cambridge-licensed dogs to be off leash in certain areas, none of which are fenced. Resident dogs are permitted off-leash on the main path, at Little Fresh Pond, and seasonally at Kingsley Field.
Also, visitors with dogs should be aware that they will be sharing the path with a mix of on-leash and off-leash dogs, runners, walkers, and bikers. If your dog can't be stopped from approaching (chases) runners, playing children, or cyclists, this is not the place for them to go off leash. Please also note that on- and off-leash dogs can be a dangerous mix, and leash-reactive dogs will find a trip here a hellish experience.
Swimming: Dogs are allowed to swim at Little Fresh Pond, which is approximately half-way around the 2.5 mile loop from the parking lot and Water Department building. The terraced entry isn't great but lots of dogs love it. Contrary to the introduction here on BringFido, there is only ONE pond for dogs to swim, as it is no longer allowed at Black's Nook, and was never allowed in the Reservoir itself.
Kingsley Field: This large multi-use field is next to the parking lot. Areas where dogs are permitted off-leash are different summer vs. winter, but the city keeps a clear map posted on a board as you approach. This area is not fenced, but is a popular spot for well-trained dogs to play fetch or with each other.
Getting there: As others have noted, parking is for Cambridge residents only, and only Cambridge-licensed dogs should be allowed off-leash. However, there are multiple access points onto the trail from Huron Ave and Concord Ave.
Lastly, though this space is a treasure for city residents, and I commend the city for their creativity, sharing can bring people into conflict. I have seen a few unpleasant interactions between visitors (leashed dog vs. unleashed dog, unleashed dog vs. runner), though they are vastly outnumbered by the positive ones.
- AllanDec 31, 2019*Looks* like a great place to take your pup, but…
A few others have talked about the fact that this is for local residents only, and there are varying opinions on enforcement. I won’t weigh in on that, since I never got that far.
Noting that BringFido is primarily a travel site, I’ll assume that many readers are coming from away. If you can walk to the park, then by all means, go ahead and roll the dice on taking your non-resident dog in. If, however, you arrive by car, any convenient parking is also resident-only. Having an out of state plate is pretty much a red flag for enforcement. I met a very nice local dog owner, who welcomed me, but also assured me that my car would be ticketed if I left it there. I chose to go to Larz Anderson park in Brookline. Not nearby, but far more welcoming!
Thanks to the person who warned me, and I’m passing it on to others. If you are in a clearly non-resident vehicle, you’ll need to find somewhere awkward to park, or give this park a pass.
- HeavenJul 8, 2018Dog Park not fully open to public
Refer to the Former Resident Review titled 'not a dog park' for official rules and regulations. I will say those rules are RARELY enforced. Within 30 days, of going twice a week, I was only acknowledged by a patrol car and was stopped by a warden in the Kingesly park area to leash my dog because I was not a resident. The pond is open to the public and a great place to let your dog cool off and run free!
- MimiMore than a year agoWonderful walk
I only just started taking my dog here and so far it has been wonderful. While I have seen police in cars patrol the circuit, it appears to be more for general safety than policing dogs. Nearly the whole walk is shaded and while the paved part is less nice than the dirt part, the whole walk is beautiful.
- KristinMore than a year agoGreat Place to Walk Your Dig
I walk my dog at Fresh Pond a lot and we love it! It is about 2.5 miles around so it is a good walk or run for your dog. It is really great in the winter (especially last winter) because it is plowed, there is parking, and the city does not use salt (because it is the city's water supply). My pup and I spent many an hour there last winter.
- JonMore than a year agoGood area
The review complaining about dogs being checked, must be old or outdated. We have been here many times and have never been stopped and never seen one of these "wardens" that he speaks about. We love this park as there are many dogs running/walking around the pond (about 2.5 miles). There is a section that is unpaved (dirt) and easier on the pads of our corgi. It is a good length and we generally let him run up and down this area.
- FormerResidentMore than a year agoNot a dog park
I lived in Cambridge for 10+ years. Fresh Pond is not a dog park, it is a multi-use area. Only dogs with Cambridge dog licenses are allowed off leash--all other dogs must be leashed. Additionally, parking is for Cambridge residents only, and ticketing is aggressive.
While dogs are allowed to swim in the pond, and there is quite a nice area for this, dogs are generally otherwise not allowed off the paved trails. The park is patrolled by wardens who will check for tags and tell you to leash your dog (Cambridge resident or not) if it is running on grass or through the trees/bushes.
At certain times you will find the trails overrun by local track teams, who generally do not make way for walkers.
- PeterMore than a year agodisable veteran dog lover
I live about five minutes walk from reservation and did not know this when I moved here about four years ago. I am a disable veteran and have a chihuahua terrier mix and me and Sheldon love the reservation park, I tell my friends I am the luckiest guy to have this to go to and my wife loves it as well very, very much. Park ranger there is very nice and helpful I wish I could remember her name. Well kept, clean and you meet the nicest people there, Sheldon met a buddy their and we have play dates and now new friends.I am starting a dog walking business for this area. Tel #978-994-8351