Video: South Shore ponds, lakes are cool places

Liz Hoffman

You know the feeling. The only thing standing between you and your Cape Cod beach day is miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic on Route 3.

Here’s a thought: Take the next exit and find your way to one of the 373 lakes and ponds in Plymouth County, or the 178 in Norfolk County.

“Why sit in traffic or fight for a spot at the beach?” Kim Griffin, of Braintree, asked as she watched her sons, Patrick, 9, and Daniel, 6, fish at Sunset Lake. “This is so much easier.”

Sunset Lake is one of the more suburban swimming ponds on the South Shore, located just off Franklin Street in South Braintree. But what is lacks in pristine surroundings, it makes up for in amenities: a playground, a waterfront gazebo and some of the best freshwater fishing in the area, according to Michael Bannon, 11.

“Bass, pickerel, catfish – they’re all here,” said Michael, who spent Monday afternoon on the lake’s pier with his father, Kevin, and brother, Brendan, 10.

If you want more of a traditional beach experience, the South Shore is home to plenty of sandier shores. Oldham Pond in Pembroke has about 300 yards of beachfront, as well as on-duty lifeguards, daily swimming lessons, a playground and bathrooms.

“It’s close, it’s easy, and the kids’ friends are here,” said Clay Prescott, of Pembroke, who brings her two kids for swimming lessons four days per week.

A little farther down Route 3, Little Pond and, just behind it, Billington Sea, offer a perfect combination of sun, sand and shade. The two main waterfronts in Plymouth’s Morton State Park are a little more expensive than others, but well worth the $10 parking fee.

“They can play in the water all they want and I can sit back here out of the sun,” said Linda Ducrot, relaxing under the pines that line the lakefront. “It can be an all-day trip.”

A day trip to the pond has a much lower investment. In addition to the time and gas money you’ll save, there’s less guilt at calling it a day.

“If the weather’s not good, you can just pack up and be home in five minutes, as opposed to trekking to the beach and having an hour drive,” said Kim Kibbe, of Pembroke, whose two children take swimming lessons at Oldham Pond.

The Patriot Ledger