Outdoor Skating & Sledding

Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Reminder: dogs should remain on leash when near bodies of water, to protect them and owners from falling through thin ice! 

About Skating
As the weather becomes warmer this week we expect the ice depths to reduce drastically. We do not recommend skating on ponds that have standing water.

DPW has checked the ice and today, Wednesday, February 24,  Farley, the Reservoir, and Horsford - Large have at least 6 inches of ice. Rules posted on signs must be followed and masks must be worn at all times while skating on the Town ponds.   

All other ponds were measured and DOES NOT have 6 inches of ice. The recommended thickness for ice skating on ponds is six inches of black ice.

About Sledding
Be safe while sledding and send us your pictures - parkandrecreation@needhamma.gov.. Wear a mask at all times while sledding and follow the tips for safe sledding below!


Outdoor Skating Locations

  • Horsford: Central Avenue, across from RTS, at entrance to Town Forest.
  • Farley: South Street, 3/10 mile from Chestnut Street intersection - on right. Be respectful of neighbors when parking - there is limited on-street parking.
  • Reservoir: 470 Dedham Avenue, behind the Department of Public Works. The lights at the Reservoir will be turned on Fridays to Sundays and holidays, when it has measurements of six or more inches of black ice and a skateable surface.
  • Walker-Gordon: Charles River Street, 2/10 mile from Central Avenue - on right
  • Rosemary Lake: Rosemary Street - enter from small parking lot near apartments at Chamber's Cove
    Note: warm water streams keep Rosemary Lake from freezing quickly.
  • Sportsman's: Great Plain Avenue, between Central Avenue and Marked Tree Road behind the brick building.

Skating Tips

  • Always skate with at least one other person.
  • Skate on areas with 6 inches or more inches of ice.
  • Remove loose objects from ice surface.
  • Skate in well-lit areas only.
  • Hockey players should be careful skating near young children. Hockey is not permitted at the large pond at Horsford.
  • Ice is not checked during winter storms and clean-ups, as the DPW staff must work on snow removal on roads and tree repairs.

Sledding Tips

  • Examine area for hazards such as trees, rocks, and man-made jumps.
  • Dress properly, protecting hands, feet, and your face from the cold.
  • Check sled before use. Do not use sleds without a method of control.
  • Sled on snow-packed hills with at least one other person. Do not sled on ice.
  • Keep your head at back of sled and wear a helmet.
  • Be conscious of areas where young children are sledding.
  • Make sure to look for obstructions like trees and rocks.
  • Find at least one other person to go sledding with and pick a time of day when there is plenty of light.
  • Do not build snow jumps.