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Massachusetts fresh water beaches brighten Berkshires, Pioneer Valley

The forested and mountainour areas of the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley region of Massachusetts have many lakes and ponds with clean, crisp, beautiful water and fresh water beaches. Great for a vacation with children and families. Lots of opportunity for swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking at low-cost, state-run parks.

Valentine Road Pittsfield, MA Phone: 413-499-9344

Park on fresh water lake; fishing, boat ramp; life guards

The Berkshire mountain city of Pittsfield owns and manages Burbank Park on the eastern shore of the vast, blue Onota Lake. The 153-acre public park is open year-round, and it has a swimming beach (with lifeguards in July and August), a fishing pier, boat launch, picnic groves with grills, and a walking path along the lake. Visitors may rent motor boats, canoes, and kayaks. Fishing is popular here, and fishing derbies are held year-round.

Intersection of Bradley Street and Kemp Avenue North Adams, MA Phone: 413-662-3000

Very beautiful lake managed by the city of North Adams. (Local people call it Fish Pond.) Nice, beach, clear water, lots of opportunity for kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Life guards. Picnic areas within easy view of the lake. The city hosts free summer concerts every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on. A private campground is located on the lake shore.

Lake Mattawa Road Orange, MA Phone: 978-544-2254

This very clear, spring-fed lake is popular for its small swimming beach, trout fishing, and ice fishing. Fish found in this lake include rainbow and brown trout (the state stocks the lake each spring, smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed, bluegill, yellow perch, golden shiner, white sucker, and brown bullhead. Two paved ramps from Lake Mattawa Road provide boat access to the water. Motorboats may use no higher than 10 hp engines. No parking for admission fees. Lake area map.

94 Lakeview Road Shutesbury, MA Phone: 413-367-0317

This state park has a 130-acre lake with clear waters. The lake has picnic sites with charcoal grills and lifeguards watch swimmers. The eastern end of the lake has a public boat ramp. The lake offers excellent fishing for bass and trout. The parking lot, boardwalk and restrooms are accessible to wheelchairs. Ball fields are available for play. Also the park has a volleyball court, a horseshoe pit, and a nature trail.

Old Boston Post Road (Route 20) Wilbraham, MA Phone:

Friendly environment; life guards on duty; concession stand; swim rafts for advanced swimmers; fresh, clean water tested weekly; bathrooms. Admission charged; see website.

86 Dearth Hill Road Brimfield, MA Phone: 413-267-9687

Good for hiking & walking, picnicking, horseback riding; fishing

This state forest has a cozy and refreshing 100 linear feet of calm beach, with picnic facilities for that post-swim hunger.
See Brimfield State Forest for full description of this park.

1048 North Road Westfield, MA, 01085 Phone: 413-532-3985

Lots of fresh-water swimming opportunities at this popular park, packed with people doing water sports. See full description of Hampton Ponds State Park.

260 Central Shaft Road Florida, MA Phone: 413-663-8469

Handicap-accessible hiking and camping; water sports, picnicking, hiking, camping, paddling, pets allowed

This park has a huge range of recreational opportunities. North and South Ponds both have beaches and swimming, without life guards, is doen at the North Pond day use area. North Pond has a boat ramp. Both ponds have nice picnic sites. See full description of Savoy Mountain State Park.

Nash's Mill Road Greenfield, MA Phone:

This swimming and recreation area is west of Greenfield and adjacent to Murphy Park. It can be reached by bicycle along the Riverside Community Path. Recreation includes an in stream swimming pool with sand beach, a toddler play area, ball fields, concessions and picnic areas. There are grassy areas and shaded areas. The picnic area on the north side of the Green River can be reached by a pedestrian bridge. The north side does not have a beach, but concrete stairs extend to the water. There are about three dozen picnic tables. Parking is available in a gravel parking lot.
Fees: Day use fees for non-residents are $8 for adults; $4 for seniors, and $6 for youth at 3 to 18.

392 Montague Road Wendell, MA Phone: 413-659-3797

Good for boating, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnics, and swimming.

10-acre Ruggles Pond has clear, cool water for day swimming. See Wendell State Park for full description of this park.

175 Mohawk Trail / Route 2 Charlemont, MA, 01339 Phone: 413-339-5504

Good for year-round camping, viewing nature & wildlife, and trout fishing.

Swim in the designated pool area during the warm months, and cool off after a hike on any of many forest trails. See Mohawk Trail State Forest for full description of park.

462 North Street Feeding Hills, MA Phone: 413-786-2877

Good for paddling, picnics, swimming, fishing, and views

Swim in Robinson Pond, with picnic sites, parking, and restrooms located nearby. See Robinson State Park for full description of this park.

Cape Street, Route 112 Goshen, MA Phone: 413-268-7098

Good for boating, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and winter sports; pets permitted except on sandy beach; non-motorized boats only.

Go for a refreshing dip in the Upper and Lower Highland Lakes, or at the unguarded campers-only beach. See DAR State Forest for full description of this park.

1199 Middle Road Clarksburg, MA Phone: 413-664-8345

Good for camping, hiking, boating; non-motor boats only

Unguarded swimming is available at Mauserts Pond. Pets are permitted on leash. See Clarksburg State Park for full description of this park.

570 Burnett Road Chicopee, MA, 01020 Phone: 413-594-9416

Swimming and fishing on a large pond; walking trails

Chicopee State Park, previously called the Cooley Brook Reservoir, has a 25-acre pond for swimming and fishing. Beach is wheelchair accessible. Picnic grounds and restrooms also are available. The park has trails for walking and bicycling. The park is open daily, 8 a.m-4 pm. During busy weekends and some holidays, the parking lot may be filled and therefore temporarily closed until more parking is available. For information on parking lot closures and openings, consult Twitter at@MassDCR or call 617-626-4973.
Trail map.