After a brutal winter we are all relieved to feel the sun on our shoulders, but living in the city can make it difficult to get the most out of the great outdoors.
Luckily, there are several beautiful lakes, reservoirs and "swimming holes" throughout the surrounding suburbs you can reach with a ride on an MBTA bus, train or commuter rail!
Shannon Beach at Upper Mystic Lake features picnic tables, wooded trails and a lifeguard-staffed swimming area so you can safely enjoy the cool water.
To Get There: Take the Green Line north to Lechmere, then catch the 80 bus to Arlington Center. Hop off at High Street at Mystic Valley Parkway and walk about 15 minutes to the docks and 20 to the beach. You can also take the Lowell commuter rail from North Station and walk less than 10 minutes from the Wedgemere station.
Don't worry it's not the same Crystal Lake from the Friday the 13th movies! Newton's Crystal Lake features a long dock with canoes, stand-up paddleboards, and rowboats for rent and a floating dock for sunning and diving. Just be sure to stay in the designated swimming area or face a $500 fine!
How to Get There: Take the D Line outbound to Newton Highlands and walk down Lake Ave. less than 10 minutes to the entrance.
The swimming area at Reservoir Beach is filtered and chlorinated to ensure a clean, pool-like experience right out in nature! Certified lifeguards patrol the area and there is space for a picnic.
How to Get There: Take the Red Line all the way north to Alewife, then catch the 62 bus headed for Bedford VA. Get off at Mass Ave. at Paul Revere Road and walk less than 10 minutes through the park to get to the beach.
Wayland Town Beach sits on the eastern shore of Cochituate Lake. Two other connected lakes are also located inside Cochituate State Park, but this swimming area features picnic tables, walking trails and bathroom access!
How to Get There: Catch the commuter rail to Framingham/Worcester and take it to Natick Center. From there, ride the 10 bus from Moran Park to Bent Park, and walk about five minutes down Parkland Drive until you reach Wayland Town Beach.
Pearce Lake at Breakheart Reservation requires a bit more of a nature walk than the other spots so dress and pack accordingly. After a simple bus ride and a half hour wooded hike, this lovely freshwater swimming area is a worthy retreat. While there are no lifeguards on duty, the shallow waters by the shore are safe for experienced swimmers and supervised little ones. The beach is also quite large for those who like to relax in the sand with a good book!
How to Get There: Take the 428 bus north from Haymarket to Main St. at Lynn Fells Parkway. From there, it’s about a half hour walk to the beach and a little less to the shade of the reservation (Our advice? Wear a backpack).
H/T to Boston Magazine