The Sugar Bowl, Jamaica Pond
Gorgeous, glacier-carved Jamaica Pond was transformed into a public park by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (who’s perhaps best known for co-designing Central Park in New York City). Given the natural wealth of the area, though, he didn’t have to do much. Just look to the Sugar Bowl for evidence: a striking inverted hill, it’s a high-octane sledder’s dream.
Despite being located a short distance from the city centre in Brookline, Larz Anderson Park draws snow enthusiasts from all across the Boston area – it’s frequently ranked by locals as the best sledding spot around. Green and sprawling in the summer, the park’s many hills turn into perfectly slick and snow-covered launching pads come wintertime. An ice skating rink also adds to the frosty recreation.
Peters Hill at Arnold Arboretum
A research arboretum affiliated with Harvard University, Arnold Arboretum is also one of the loveliest members of the so-called “Emerald Necklace” of public green spaces that includes six parks in the Boston area. Stretching across 281 attractive acres, it’s also home to Peters Hill, a favourite of winter sports lovers for its city views – and the fact that there are almost no trees for sledders to dodge.
Another member of the Emerald Necklace – and another public space designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, as its name suggests – historic Olmsted Park has a distinctive old-timey, New England charm. Though the photogenic Ward’s Pond and forested areas throughout the park are less friendly for sledders, an array of open spaces and gentle slopes cater to young adventurers.