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Fresh water beaches in MA parks & mountains are clean and beautiful

Enjoy clear and clean freshwater lakes and spring-fed ponds at town beaches, state parks, forests, and recreation areas. Swim, sunbathe, and paddle and you’ll find boat and handicap accessible ramps, life guards, restrooms, changing rooms, showers, and concession stands. The beaches, some with sandy shorelines, offer swim rafts, jump off towers, year-round camping, nature trials and fishing. Picnic areas may have tables and grills. There are playgrounds, courts for basketball, softball, volleyball, and tennis and places just right for families with small children and elderly adults

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.

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.

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.

177 Forest Street Saugus, MA Phone: 781-233-0834

Large forest with 2 freshwater lakes; swimming; fishing; walking trails; extensive views

Swimming is done at Pearce Lake, one of two freshwater lakes in this region. See full description of Breakheart Reservation.

Between Route 3 and Mystic Valley Parkway Winchester, MA, 01890 Phone: 617-727-5380

The Mystic Lakes offer swimming in fresh water at Sandy Beach, just off Mystic Valley Parkway. Sailing programs are offered at the Tufts University Boathouse. Upper Mystic Lake is for non-motorized boats (canoes, kayaks), only. Lower Mystic Lake is for power boats.

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.

Scargo Hill Road Dennis, MA, 02670 Phone: 508-760-6159

Memorial Day to Labor Day; freshwater pond swimming in the woods

Freshwater swimming surrounded by woods. Life guards; restroom; snack bar; handicap accessible.
Fees: Resident beach stickers, $40 per year; non-residents, $20 weekdays and $25 weekends and holidays; $75 for a weekly sticker. Buy stickers at Dennis Town Hall, 485 Main Street.

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.

111 Shore Drive Worcester, MA Phone:

This is one of two sandy beaches operated by the City of Worcester of Indian Lake, which is 193 acres with a mean depth of about 11 feet. The beach has a 200-foot beachfront for swimming, picnic and recreation areas, and food concessions. Life guards on duty during public hours. For access to boat ramps, visit Clason Road Beach, also on Indian Lake but with limited access through a neighborhood. Fishing is popular here, where fishermen can find tiger muskie and northern pike, largemouth bass, yellow perch, carp, and black crappies.
Hours: Noon to 7 p.m.

Herring Brook Road Eastham, MA Phone:

Third week of June to Labor Day; inland pond with some salt and fresh water; good for younger kids

This beach, on Great Pond, is great for families with small children. A smaller and a larger pond connect to the Bay by Herring Brook, so some water is salt and some is fresh. Swimmers can jump off platforms out in water. The sand beach area is small and there is shade. Good for small children and elderly adults. Life guards on duty, food for sale, bathrooms and showers, playground, picnic area. Managed by the Town of Eastham.
Fees: One weekday, $15; one weekend day, $18; one week, $65; two weeks, $100; shellfishing $25 and $65. Stickers are non-transferable and non-refundable.

840 Hillside Street Milton, MA, 02186 Phone: 617-698-1802

Supervised swimming beach at this spring-fed kettle pond. Concession pavilion and Visitor’s Center open seasonally. Restrooms, telephones, and a first-aid station at the bathhouse on the beach. Lifeguards from late June through Labor Day. Handicapped ramp leads to the water.

7 Industrial Park Road West Sturbridge, MA Phone: 508-347-9316

Swimming, fishing, & picnicking next to reservoir. Boat ramps. Wheelchair access

Swimming, fishing, and boating are allowed on the East Brimfield Reservoir from this park. Life guards are on duty in summer.
See full description of Streeter Point Recreation Area .

North Main Street Yarmouth, MA, 02675 Phone: 508-398-2231

Memorial Day to Labor Day; fresh water pond, no sandy beach; playing fields; picnic area

Fresh-water pond with pine-needle covered grounds; no sandy beach. This is the recreational area for the town of Yarmouth summer activities program. Recreation area with ball field, volleyball, basketball court, picnic area, bathroom facilities, parking. Lifeguards on duty.
Fees: Town beach stickers may be purchased by town residents at Town Hall. Resident sticker is $35. Non-residence may purchase beach stickers at beach booths. Cost for non-residents is $15 a day, $70 a week, $175 a year.

164 Cedar Street Hopkinton, MA, 01748 Phone: 508-435-4303

Located on a reservoir; activities include water sports, hiking, picnicking, skiing and snowmobiling. Boat ramp

This park on the Hopkinton Reservoir has two swimming beaches staffed by life guards May through Labor Day and stocked fishing.
On busy summer days, parking lot may fill up, requiring closing of the park for limited periods of time. For closure updates, follow the park on Twitter at @MassDCR or call the DCR at 617.626.4973.
Trail map.
See full description of Hopkinton State Park.

Route 6A Brewster, MA, 02631 Phone: 508-896-3491

Inland park offers lots of camping; fresh water swimming, fishing and paddling; hiking and biking

This is a park in the woods of Cape Cod, and swimming is in fresh-water ponds.
See Nickerson State Park listing for full description of the park.

Route 20 and East Brimfield Holland Road East Brimfield, MA Phone:

Swimmming in a lake and several ponds at this very large recreation area. See full description of East Brimfield Lake / Holland Pond / Quinebaug River Recreation Area.

162 West Union Street Ashland, MA, 01721 Phone: 508 881-4092

Ashland State Park is located on the large Ashland Reservoir. The park offers fresh water swimming, picnicking, boating, fishing, bicycling and hiking. The park has a boat ramp. There is wheelchair access to the beach, bathhouse, picnic and hiking trails. There are no life guards.
Daily parking fee: $8 for Massachusetts vehicle; $10 for out-of-state vehicle.

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.

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.

200 Mill Street Worcester, MA Phone:

The Coes Reservoir (commonly referred to as Coes Pond) property includes the Coes Beach and bathhouse, Coes Knife Dam, Columbus Park, the former Fenton Parcel and the former Knights of Columbus.The Major Taylor Bike Trail passes Coes Pond. Beach is operated by the City of Worcester. This is a fresh water beach with bathrooms. Life guards are on duty during public hours. Free parking. Open year round.
Hours: Noon to 7 p.m.

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.

Buck Island Road Yarmouth, MA, 02675 Phone: 508-398-2231

Open Memorial Day to Labor Day; fresh water pond; parking fee

This beach, on a freshwater pond, offers tennis courts, a basketball court, a softball field, and other playing fields, picnic area, playground, restrooms. Lifeguards and gate attendants on duty 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Operated by the town of Yarmouth.
Fees: Town beach stickers may be purchased by town residents at Town Hall, 1146 Route 28, South Yarmouth, and at the Chamber of Commerce, 424 Route 28, West Yarmouth. Resident sticker is $35. Non-residence may purchase beach stickers at beach booths. Cost for non-residents is $175 a year, $15 a day, and $70 a week.

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.

90 Fitchburg Road / Route 31 Leominster, MA Phone: 508-874-2303

Forested property with 2 ponds, swimming, fishing, paddling, skiing & snowmobiling. No camping

Leominster State Forest has two ponds. Crow Hill Pond has a swimming beach, a changing house, two picnic areas with tables and grills. Lifeguards are on duty from mid-June until Labor Day. This pond also is stocked with trout. The other pond is Paradise Pond. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, parking fees are charged in the paved parking lots. This property also is used for hiking, mountain biking, and cross country skiing.
See full description of Leominster State Forest.

Indian Memorial Drive off Station Avenue Yarmouth, MA, 02675 Phone: 508-398-2231

Open Memorial Day to Labor Day; fresh water beach on inland pond

This small, fresh-water beach on a pond has a playground and a wooded area. Life guards; basketball court; seasonal Porta-John. Operated by the town of Yarmouth.
Fees: Town beach stickers may be purchased by town residents Town Hall. Resident sticker is $35. Non-residence may purchase beach stickers at beach booths. Cost for non-residents is $175 a year, $15 a day, and $70 a week.

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.

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.

43 Commonwealth Road Natick, MA Phone: 508-653-9641

Day-use park for water sports

Picnicking and swimming are allowed only on the middle section of this long, segmented lake.
Daily parking fee: $8 for Massachusetts vehicle; $10 for out-of-state vehicle
See full description of Cochituate State Park

Bell Pond

238 Belmont Street Worcester, MA Phone:

City-run beach; life guards on duty noon to 7 p.m.; free parking; bathrooms

This pond is located within the city's Bell Hill Park, and it is popular among Worcester residents. Along with other city of Worcester beaches, it is typically open for general public access the first week of July through the mid-August. Bathrooms; lifeguards on duty during public hours. Free parking. Open year-round.
Hours: Noon to 7 p.m.

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.

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.

107 Wallum Lake Road Douglas, MA Phone: 508-476-7872

Popular state forest on lake with many activities: water sports; horseback riding; hiking trails

This state forest includes Wallum Lake, which has a swimming beach, picnic area, boat ramp, and many other outdoor activities.
The park is popular and can reach capacity during high season in summer. To receive a tweet when the forest reaches capacity, you may create a Twitter account at www.Twitter.com. Enter ”MassDCR” into the search field.
See full description of Douglas State Forest.