Berkshires boasts state and local parks with fun activities all year
Good for vistas, hiking, camping, scenic drives. Roads closed in winter. Lodging in season
This park, at the summit of Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts, offers magnificent views, hiking, cross-country ski trails, and a semi-primitive campground. Visit the historic Veterans War Memorial Tower at the summit. Primitive camping is available at the Mount Greylock Campground. Bascom Lodge
offers lodging and meals from May to October (call 413-743-1591). The Visitor Center is open year-round.
The roads to the summit are open from late May through November 1; in fall, call ahead for current road conditions. Bascom Lodge and the Veterans War Memorial Tower are open seasonally. The Mount Greylock Campground (primitive overnight area) is accessible by hiking only.
Access to the park is free. Parking fee for the summit parking lot is $5-$6, charged from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Trail map
136 Damon Road at Route 9
The Connecticut River Greenway connects open spaces, parks, scenic vistas, and archaeological and historic sites along the length of the Connecticut River as it passes through the state. There are over 12 miles of permanently protected shoreline, and numerous access points to the river. Several larger properties such as Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation, Norwottuck Rail Trail, and the Great Falls Discovery Center (located in Turner's Falls) provide added visitor amenities.
River access points
Mount Washington, MA
Good for hiking and picnicking; fishing; leashed pets allowed
Bash Bish Falls has the highest single-drop waterfall in the state. Water tumbles through gorges and a hemlock-hardwood forest. Bash Bish Falls is located next to Mount Washington State Forest, with30 miles of trails, including the South Taconic Trail and wilderness camping. Parking is allowed only at the designated lot. No services are available; anything you carry in, you must carry out of the park. Bring your own grill. Swimming, diving, entry inside the gorge, and rock climbing are prohibited.
Season & Hours: Sunrise to one-half hour after sunset; access is free.
Park on fresh water lake; fishing, boat ramp; life guards
Burbank Park is on the shore of Onota Lake. The park has a swimming beach, boat ramp, a fishing pier, picnic areas with grills, and walking path. Lifeguards are on duty in July and August. The park is open year-round. Motor boats, canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the Onota Boat Livery
, located on Peck’s Road. Fishing derbies are conducted frequently. The park is managed by the city of Pittsfield.
Map of Onota Lake
1199 Middle Road
Recreational activities here include hiking, camping, paddling, fishing, and more.
Clarksburg State Park offers 368 acres of unspoiled hardwood forest with views of the Hoosac Range, Mount Greylock, and the Green Mountains. Mauserts Pond has a day-use area with picnicking and a pavilion. The pond is surrounded by 9.5 miles of foot trails. Good for camping, hiking, and boating. Boat Launch is available for non-motorized boats. Prohibited: Motorized off-road vehicles.
Season & Hours: Year-round, sunrise to sunset. Facilities open Memorial Day through Columbus Day, with a $5 parking fee.
570 Burnett Road
Chicopee, MA, 01020
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.
392 Montague Road
Good for boating, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnics, and swimming.
This 7,566-acre park has plenty of recreational opportunities including two ponds, a cranberry bog, brooks and streams, a ballfield, and the Metacomet-Monadnock hiking Trail. Ruggles Pond, the day-use area, has a restroom, picnic sites, and a swimming beach.
143 East Street
South Egremont, MA, MA
Good for scenic views, wilderness camping, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. Free access.
This red oak northern hardwood forest offers rugged terrain for hikers and rustic camping. Follow the South Taconic or Appalachian Trail along a great ridge and through Sage’s Ravine. Come in spring to bask in the blooming mountain laurel and azalea, and visit in summer to see the terrain blanketed in ferns. Be aware of bears. Prohibited: motorized off-road vehicles, snowmobiles and alcoholic beverages
Season & Hours:
year-round, sunrise - sunset. Parking is limited to the designated lot at the park headquarters on East Street. Camp for free in the wilderness, any time of year, and remember to carry-in and carry-out all your things. Park map.
462 North Street
Feeding Hills, MA
Good for paddling, picnics, swimming, fishing, and views
Robinson State Park is a popular recreational area in the Springfield region. River Road will take you into an area for swimming, sports, picnic sites, and launching canoes and kayaks. Come and explore 800 acres of scenic forests and shoreline on the Westfield River, and 20 miles of trails for walking, cycling, and horseback riding.
Season & Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sunday-Thursday.
86 Dearth Hill Road
Good for hiking & walking, picnicking, horseback riding; fishing
This sprawling green area boasts over 20 miles of roads and trails. Dean Pond Recreation Area, located in the western portion of Brimfield State Forest, has a pavilion, comfort station, a small beach and picnic area. The roads are popular for equestrian use and related special events. Accessible Restrooms. Recreational uses: fishing, group day use, horseback riding trails, hunting (with restrictions), mountain biking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, swimming, walking trails. Headquarters and Dean Pond Recreation Area are located off of Route 20 in south-central Massachusetts.
410 Tolland Road
East Otis, MA
Good for many recreational activities including boating, fishing, swimming, camping, hiking, and picnics.
Come and explore the 1,065-acre Otis Reservoir, which is the main attraction of this state forest. The lake has an activity for everyone's taste, from extreme recreation to a relaxing swim or boat ride. Camp on a beautiful wooded peninsula and watch the sun set and rise over the southern Berkshire Hills. Pick your favorite outdoor recreational activities, or try something new. Go hiking, fishing, swimming, paddling, or have a picnic. Be aware of hunters, off-road vehicles, and mountain bikers.
Season & Hours: Sunrise until sunset, year-round. $5 parking fee for the beach day-use area, Memorial Day weekend - Labor Day.
Amenities include restrooms, boat ramp, campsite, and showers.
Cape Street, Route 112
Good for boating, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and winter sports; pets permitted except on sandy beach; non-motorized boats only.
This public forest includes Upper and Lower Highland Lakes, with a swimming beach, picnic area, and group picnic pavilion. There are 15 miles of mixed-use trails through the forest. The campground offers 51 wooded campsites with showers and a private beach. Everyone can enjoy nature in this forest: wheelchair accessible campsites are available. Activities include paddling, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Pets are permitted except on the sandy beach area. Non-motorized boating is available.
Season & Hours:Open year-round, sunrise until sunset.
Admission: There is a $5 fee per vehicle from Memorial Day through mid-September.
1041 Cascade Street
Good for handicap-accessible recreation, fishing, walking & hiking.
Handicap visitors can enjoy nature freely here, at accessible hiking trails, picnic sites, restrooms, and scenic vistas. Everyone will like the variety of recreational activities this state forest offers, including camping, picnicking, swimming at the beach, and fishing. After a day of hiking and exploring Berry Mountain, take in gorgeous hilltop views of the sunset. Fishing in Berry Pond. Check out the nearby Balance Rock State Park, located in the northeast corner of the forest, to see a unique natural spectacle: a large boulder balanced naturally on another rock.
Season & Hours:
Sunrise - 8 p.m., year-round. $2 parking fee, early May - early September. Park map.
69 Bluehill Road
Monterey, MA, 01245
Good for non-motorized boating, walking & hiking, camping, snowmobiling; fishing; leashed pets allowed
Beartown State Forest is open year-round. During the warm months Benedict Pond attracts swimmers, boaters, and fishermen. A network of trails offers visitors a chance to see animals, forests, and fall foliage. Open in winter for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
Unguarded swimming is available at designated areas only. Non-motorized boating at Benedict Pond day-use area. All Terrain Vehicles are permitted from May 1 through November. Snowmobiling is available, with parking at Benedict Pond day-use area.
Season & Hours: Sunrise until sunset. Parking is $5 per vehicle, May through mid-October.
Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing
Chester-Blandford State Forest offers a rustic park experience and spectacular Sanderson Brook Falls. Boulder Park features an easy interpretive trail and pavilion. Hike up an easy grade for a mile to see the cascade at Sanderson Brook Falls; hike the Newman Marsh Memorial Trail to the top of Observation Hill. Access is free. Limited number RV sites. Carry-in, carry-out all trash. Be aware of bears. Pets permitted on a leash. Motorized off-road vehicles prohibited. Swimming prohibited at Sanderson Brook Falls.
Season & Hours: Open year-round, sunrise to sunset. Accesited. Swimming prohibited at Sanderson Brook Falls.
175 Mohawk Trail / Route 2
Charlemont, MA, 01339
Good for year-round camping, viewing nature & wildlife, and trout fishing.
This 6,000-acre state forest is steeped in scenic history. Discover naturally formed gorges and ancient trees; most likely, you’ll spot some wildlife on your way. Follow the Mohawk Trail on foot or on a recreational vehicle (season permitting), and follow the sound of the stream to the riverside. Camp in a rustic setting at various sites in any season, or just stay the day and enjoy a picnic by the streambed, watching the fishermen hunt for trout. Swimming in the designated area
Season & Hours:
Year-round, sunrise to sunset. $5 parking fee, May - mid-October.
Motorized off-road vehicles prohibited.
1048 North Road
Westfield, MA, 01085
Located in the City of Westfield, Hampton Pond State Park offers water sports, including beaches, swimming, paddling, motor boating, and fishing. The park has a boat ramp. There is plenty of room for picnicking, and restrooms are provided.
Good for paddling, hiking & walking; fishing; pets allowed except on beach area
C. M. Gardner State Park is located in the rolling Berkshire foothills along a scenic section of the Westfield River East Branch. In summer the sunlit mountain river here is a delightful spot to relax. A wooded picnic area is available on the banks of the river. Swimming is prohibited. A $2 fee per vehicle is charged from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
Season & Hours: The park is open from sunrise until sunset, year-round.
York Lake Road
Phone: 413 229-8212
Day area with swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking; parking fee
Within the forests of Sandisfield State Forest is York Lake. The lake has a day use area with a 300-foot beach for swimming (no life guards) and picnicking. There is a boat ramp for kayaks, canoes, and small sail boats. York Lake is stocked with trout three times a year. Other activities including walking and hiking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. The moderately difficult 2-mile Pond Loop Trail offers scenic views of the lake. Hunters are welcome in season.
Season and Hours: Open year round, sunrise to sunset. Facilities are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Large mountain park with camping, hiking, boating on Housatonic River
Visitors to October Mountain can camp, hike, and enjoy the outdoors and have near access to Tanglewood. Forty-seven campsites dot a sunny hillside. Trails are available for every level of fitness. A scenic trail leads through Schermerhorn Gorge, a striking natural feature.
Camping season is from mid-May through mid-October. Maximum RV size is 34 feet. No electric hook-ups. ATVs are permitted on designated trails. Car-top boat ramps are available at Housatonic River (access at New Lenox Road), Buckley Dunton Reservoir, and October Mountain Reservoir day-use area. Snowmobiling is available on four-inch snow base. This is black bear country. Never confront or feed bears.
Season and Hours:Open from sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Access is free.
260 Central Shaft Road
Handicap-accessible hiking and camping; water sports, picnicking, hiking, camping, paddling, pets allowed
There are virtually endless recreational opportunities at Savoy Mountain State Forest. Fifty miles of wooded trails lead to floating bogs and the cascading, 50-foot Tannery Falls, where Ross Brook flows through a deep chasm. Serene North and South Ponds are surrounded by forest and walking trails; North Pond has a boat ramp, and both ponds have beach areas. Unguarded swimming is available at the North Pond day-use area. Both ponds make excellent picnic sites.
There are 45 campsites in an apple orchard. Pets are permitted except on the beach area and in the cabins; maximum 10-foot leash.
Amenities: restrooms, showers, handicap-accessible sites.
Prohibited: Motorized off-road vehicles, alcoholic beverages, swimming or rock climbing at Tannery Falls area.
Season & Hours: The park is open year-round, 8 a.m. to dusk. Parking fee of $5 is charged in summer at the at North Pond day-use area and for visitors to the campground.
Park map: http://1.usa.gov/1kEXQ5M
McCauley Road, off Route 8
North Adams, MA
Remarkable structures in white marble formed by natural forces
This 48-acre park has the only naturally formed white marble arch and man-made white marble dam in North America. The bridge spans Hudson Brook as it twists and tumbles through a steep 60-foot deep gorge. There is an abandoned marble quarry. In the summer months, park interpreters are on hand to explain the natural forces that created the bridge and its more recent history. Explore the area on a quarter-mile walkway above and through the chasm, and a half-mile wooded walking trail.
Open Memorial Day through Columbus Day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking fee is $2. Tables and grills are available for picnicking. Please carry-in, carry-out all trash. Access is limited. Leashed pets permitted. Swimming, rock climbing, defacing rocks, and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.