The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

Turner Pond, Walpole MA, Features Winter Outdoor Ice Skating

Picture of Turner Pond, Walpole, Mass.

Turner Pond, Walpole, Mass. (photo by Eric)

After many years of neglect and abandonment, local volunteers have brought Turner Lodge in Walpole, Mass., back to life with ice skating at beautiful Turner Pond serving as the main activity this winter.

The Walpole Ponds Management Committee and other dedicated citizens took on this challenge the past few years with relentless passion and commitment. The result: an ice skating pond that is well-maintained and checked regularly for safety. The repainted, renovated lodge offers the ultimate cozy, rustic setting with sofas, a fireplace, television, big picture window overlooking the pond, a skate changing area and restroom, as well as books, DVD movies, snacks and hot chocolate.

Looking like something out of a Currier and Ives painting, Turner Pond and Lodge has brought together hundreds of adults and kids throughout the winter for some skating and socializing at this quintessentially scenic New England pond. Friendships have been made and many kids in the southwest Boston suburbs found this new winter destination to become their staple for outdoor recreation. That’s not always possible in the Boston suburbs, so Turner Lodge has really saved the day for many feeling stuck with cabin fever or those just wondering what to do until the spring season. It’s a place where when the skating day ends at night, you just don’t want to leave, given the refreshingly crisp New England winter air, scenic surroundings, family-like atmosphere and togetherness in the welcoming lodge, and the always nice feeling of skating under the lights. For a cold time of the year in New England, the feeling was quite warm at Turner Lodge!

It’s all quite affordable, too. ¬†Walpole residents can sign up for a November through March winter pass for $20 per family, non residents $30. A day pass is $5. You can obtain the Turner Lodge sign-up forms here, as well as accessing email and phone contact information, as well as operating hours (which can change daily, due to the weather). We recommend to contact Turner Lodge reps by email or phone to find out the latest status of whether skating is permitted on a given day.

The low sign-up cost is certainly worth the price of admission, in our opinion, given the timeless appeal of outdoor pond skating and the wonderful feeling of getting to know some of the great people that make New England such a special place.

Photo of Turner Lodge, Walpole, Mass.

Turner Lodge, Walpole, Mass. (photo by Eric)

A perfect day for skating at Turner Pond (photo by Eric)

A perfect day for skating at Turner Pond (photo by Eric)

A view of Turner Pond in Walpole from Route 27 (photo by Eric)

A view of Turner Pond in Walpole from Route 27 (photo by Eric)

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