Nature in the City: Hall’s Pond Sanctuary

Great Blue Heron.  I think he's waiting for a bus.
Great Blue Heron. Probably just waiting for a bus.

Over in Brookline, just a few blocks from Fenway Park, you can find the Hall’s Pond Sanctuary and Amory Park.  The sanctuary, with a central marshy pond surrounded by the Amory Woods, is home to a number of birds like the Great Blue Heron in the picture above.  The woods have trails to explore and the pond is surrounded by a boardwalk.

When we’ve visited it’s always been quiet – maybe just one or two other people including the volunteers who were pulling out invasive plants.  There’s also a couple of viewing platforms on the boardwalk that are great for a picnic if you don’t mind sitting on the ground.  If you prefer a bench, you could always go to the gardens, too.

If you look closely, you can see the cormorant shouting, "Come at me, bro!"
If you look closely, you can see the cormorant shouting, “Come at me, bro!”

The cool thing is that, as secluded as the sanctuary feels, it’s actually right behind the Hawes St. stop on the C branch of the Green line – just a couple stops in from Kenmore.  We’ve also seen water turtles and a mallard on our visits, although the Great Blue Heron was definitely the biggest hit with the kids.

BatHeron: Not the Heron Hall's Pond needs, but the Heron Hall's Pond deserves.
BatHeron: Not the heron Hall’s Pond needs, but the heron Hall’s Pond deserves.


  • Make it a picnic day.
  • Bring binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens to get a closer look at the wildlife.
  • I didn’t see any trash cans inside the sanctuary, so bring a garbage bag in with you if you think you might need one.
  • Don’t leave without taking some time to enjoy the formal garden.
  • Bring a New England flowers and plants field guide along.
  • Bring some park toys for the kids to play with at Amory Park (which is located contiguous to the Hall’s Pond Sanctuary) after they’re done with nature/hiking/etc..
  • While Amory Park allows off-leash time for dogs from dawn until 1:00 pm, Hall’s Pond Sanctuary doesn’t allow dogs inside at all.


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