(WWLP) – Those who are from the western Massachusetts area may wonder what hiking destinations to go on, especially during these summer months and the 4th of July weekend approaching.
The 4th of July weekend travels are expected to be busy as AAA Northeast predicts 47.9 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home, an increase of 3.7% over 2021.
“The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,” said Mary Maguire, Director of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Northeast. “Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it’s not tapering off. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much-needed vacation.”
To beat the rush of 4th of July traveling, 22News has gathered state park locations around the western Massachusetts area for those interested in taking a cost-saving trip and escaping hectic crowds.
These are some state parks to explore and experience with family or friends this 4th of July. Each state park has scenic views and various activities. Those activities include grilling at many of the state park picnic areas, boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, biking, swimming or even horseback riding. Dogs are also allowed in all of these state park entries but are to remain on a leash. Restrictions while at most state forests and parks are no alcohol drinking and no littering. Access to Campsites is to be reserved through DCR.
State Park Locations
|Skinner State Park||10 Skinner State Park Rd, Hadley, MA||Hampshire|
|Mount Greylock State Reservation||Rockwell Road Lanesborough, MA||Berkshire|
|Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R) State Forest||Cape Street, Route 112 Goshen, MA||Berkshire|
|Beartown State Forest||69 Bluehill Road Monterey, MA, 01245||Berkshire|
|Pittsfield State Forest||1041 Cascade Street Pittsfield, MA, 01201||Berkshire|
|Connecticut River Greenway State Park||136 Damon Road at Route 9 Northampton, MA||Hampshire|
|Mohawk Trail State Forest||175 Mohawk Trail / Route 2 Charlemont, MA, 01339||Franklin|
|Mount Washington State Forest||143 East Street South Egremont, MA||Berkshire|
|Chester-Blandford State Forest||Route 20 Chester, MA||Hampden|
|October Mountain State Forest||Woodland Road Lee, MA||Berkshire|
|Hampton Ponds State Park||1048 North Road Westfield, MA, 01085||Hampden|
|Brimfield State Forest||86 Dearth Hill Road Brimfield, MA||Hampden|
|Tolland State Forest||410 Tolland Road East Otis, MA||Berkshire|
|C.M. Gardner State Park||Route 112 Huntington, MA, 01050||Hampshire|
|Wendell State Forest||392 Montague Road Wendell, MA||Franklin|
|Bash Bish Falls State Park||Falls Road Mount Washington, MA||Berkshire|
|Chicopee Memorial State Park||570 Burnett Road Chicopee, MA, 01020||Hampden|
|Burbank park on Onota Lake||Valentine Road Pittsfield, MA||Berkshire|
|Savoy Mountain State Forest||260 Central Shaft Road Florida, MA||Berkshire|
|Natural Bridge State Park||McCauley Road, off Route 8 North Adams, MA||Berkshire|
|Robinson State Park||462 North Street Feeding Hills, MA||Hampshire|
|Clarksburg State Park||1199 Middle Road Clarksburg, MA||Berkshire|
|Sandisfield State Forest (York Lake)||York Lake Road Sandisfield, MA||Berkshire|
According to Mass.gov for active state park goers, an annual parking pass can be purchased to allow you unlimited free parking at DCR parks. To be eligible for an Annual Parking Pass, you must have a registered Massachusetts license and vehicle. These passes are available year round, but once purchased can only be used for the license plate you included in your order. The cost of one of these passes is $60. To buy a pass click here.
Skinner State Park
This state park includes seven hiking trails and views of the Connecticut River Valley. Hikers can get to the Mt. Holyoke summit either through road or hiking trail. If traveling by road, the road remains open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Summit house is open on weekends and holidays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Parking fees are $5 for an MA resident and $20 for a non-MA resident.
Mount Greylock State Reservation
The mount summit at this park is the highest point in Massachusetts. Guests are able to either hike, moutain bike or stay at a semi-primitive campground. At the summit is a seasonal Veterans War Memorial Tower for viewing and the Bascom Lodge for lodging and meals. The park is open from dawn to dusk. Visitor Center Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Guests are also able to drive to the top of the summit.
Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R) State Forest
The D.A.R State Forest offers campsites, forests trails, and a lake to either go swimming in or fish. Other activities include mountain biking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing and kayaking, and sailing. Facilities include boat ramps, grills, group day use, pavilion, picnic areas, restrooms, and showers. The park stays open from sunrise to sunset. The daily parking fees for a MA resident is $8, but for a non-MA resident is $30.
Beartown State Forest
Visitors are able to swim, boat or fish in the Benedict Pond. Along with either walking or hiking the 12,000 acre forest. Other activities include mountain biking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing and kayaking, off-road vehicles, and camping. There are campgrounds, boat ramps , grills, picnic areas, and restrooms available. The state forest is open sunrise to sunset. Parking is $8 for MA resident and $30 for a non-MA resident. Dogs aren’t allowed on beach or adjacent lawn.
Pittsfield State Forest
The state forest is 11,000 acres with 30 miles of trails and a Berry Pond. In addition to hiking, visitors are able to go camping, mountain biking, biking, canoeing and kayaking, swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, or use off-road vehicles. There are grills, paved bike paths, picnic area and restrooms. Parking is $5 for MA residents and non-MA residents it is $20. Open from sunrise to sunset.
Camping is $17 per night for Massachusetts residents and $54 per night for non-residents. Any group camping is to cost $35 per night for Massachusetts resident and $100 a night for non-residents.
Connecticut River Greenway State Park
At this location there are 8 parks accessible from the greenway, with accessible public boat ramps. Activities include either motorized or non-motorized boating, hiking, fishing, and hunting. Facilities include boat ramps, picnic areas, restrooms, and scenic viewing area. Visitors are bake to park at the headquarters and public boat ramps.
Mohawk Trail State Forest
The state forest covers 6,000 acres of mountain ridges, gorges, and woods. It is open from sunrise to sunset with camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking activities. Included are grills, pavilion, picnic areas, and restrooms.
Camp sites are $17 a night for Massachusetts residents and $54 per night for non-residents. Group camping is $35 per night for Massachusetts residents and $100 per night for non-residents.
Small cabins are $50 per night for Massachusetts residents while non-residents are to pay $75 per night for Massachusetts residents, $170 for non-residents.
Mount Washington State Forest
Over 30 miles of trails are available for hiking and mountain biking. The South Taconic Trail leads to a 2,250 ft. elevated summit of Alander Mountain. Open from sunrise to sunset. For parking, visitors are able to park at the headquarters on East Street, which is free. Available activities are camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting and mountain biking. Facilities include grills, picnic areas, and restrooms. For camping, each site is limited to 5 people and fires are only allowed at designated pits.
Chester-Blandford State Forest
Visitors are able to hike, walk, mountain bike, grill, horseback riding, picnic, or go hunting and fishing. Open from sunrise to sunset. Available parking at Boulder Park and Sanderson Brook Falls. Swimming at Sanderson Brook Falls, using off-road vehicles, or camping is prohibited.
October Mountain State Forest
The largest state forest in Massachusetts has hiking trails for all levels. Open sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Daily parking costs are $8 for Massachusetts residents and $30 for non-Massachusetts residents. Camping, non-motorized boating, canoeing and kayaking, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, hunting, mountain biking, off-road vehicles are all the activities that are offered. Facilities include an October Mountain Reservoir boat ramp, grilling, picnic areas, restrooms, scenic views, showers, and trailer/R.V. dumping. Electricity is not included at RV camping sites. Pets aren’t allowed at yurt campsites and ATVs are to be rode during daylight hours on designated trails.
Tent and RV camping:
- $17 per night for Massachusetts residents and $54 per night ffor non-residents
- Small yurts are $45 per night for Massachusetts residents and $120 per night for non-residents and $140 per night for non-residents
Hampton Ponds State Park
Hampton Ponds State Park is open sunrise to sunset with parking fees of $8 per Massachusetts resident and $30 per non-MA resident. Activities visitors can partake in are canoeing and kayaking, non-motorized boating, fishing, and swimming. Facilities include boat ramps, grills, a pavilion, a picnic area, and restrooms.
Brimfield State Forest
Over 20 miles of roads and trails are at this forest for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, and fishing. Picnic areas, restrooms, and a pavilion are available. Parking fees are $8 per Massachusetts resident and $30 per non-MA resident.
Tolland State Forest
This forest has a 24 ft boat launch and 1,065-acre Otis Reservoir in the center. Activities include biking, mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, sailing, and non-motorized and motorized boating. A campground with a beach and comfort stations for campers is accessible. Parking fees are $8 per Massachusetts resident and $30 per non-MA resident. Dogs aren’t allowed on beach.
C.M. Gardner State Park
This state park has a scenic view of the rolling Berkshire foothills. Along the Westfield River East branch, victors are able to go hiking, fishing, kayaking, or canoeing. The daily parking fee charges are $5 for Massachusetts resident and $20 for non-Massachusetts residents. There is a canoe launch area, grills, picnic area, and restrooms. No swimming is allowed.
Wendell State Forest
This forest has 7,566 acres of rolling forested hills, streams, ponds, trails, a baseball diamond, and picnic area. The daily parking fee charges are $5 for Massachusetts resident and $20 for non-Massachusetts residents. Open from sunrise to sunset. Activities to enjoy are biking, non-motorized boating, canoeing and kayaking, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, mountain biking, swimming and baseball. There is grills, boat ramp, pavilion, and restrooms.
Bash Bish Falls State Park
This state park has the highest waterfall in Massachusetts with 80 feet Bash Bish Brook drops into a plunge pool. Parking is free on Falls Road in Mount Washington parking lot.
According to Mass,gov hiking is required to get to the waterfall. To get there from the Massachusetts parking lot, it is about 0.6 miles.
For fishing, attendees must have a fishing permit required. There is no, rock climbing, picnicking, grilling, fires, swimming or diving allowed. Open from sunrise to sunset.
Chicopee Memorial State Park
The state park opens at 9:00 a.m. each day and closes at 7 p.m. Activities include hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and swimming. There are grills, group day use, a paved bike path, a pavilion, a picnic area, and restrooms. Parking fees are $8 per Massachusetts resident and $30 per non-MA resident.
Burbank park on Onota Lake
At this location there is a beach, boat ramp, fishing pier, picnic areas with grills, and walking path. Lifeguards are present beginning in July. Visitors are able to rent motor boats, canoes, and kayaks at the Onota Boat Livery. No entrance fee.
Savoy Mountain State Forest
There is over 50 miles of trails, picnic sites, grills, boat ramp, showers, restrooms, visitor center, tent sites, and log cabins at this state forest. Visitors can go canoeing and kayaking, fishing, hiking, hunting, mountain biking, non-motorized boating and swimming. At Tannery Falls there is no swimming, no ATVs, and dogs aren’t allowed at cabin sites.
- $17 per night for Massachusetts residents and $54 per night for non-residents.
- Small cabins are $50 per night and $130 per night for non-residents
- Large cabins are $60 per night for Massachusetts residents and $150 per night for non-residents
Natural Bridge State Park
At this location, a natural white marble arch that was created by the forces of glacial melt water is viewable. The Hudson Brook goes through a 60-foot gorge, an example of glacial erosion in New England. There is an abandoned marble quarry and man-made white marble dam that can be toured. Other activities are fishing and hiking. Picnic areas, restrooms, visitor centers, and grills are available. The park is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Restrictions include no climbing and no swimming.
Robinson State Park
Visitors are able to walk or hike the Metacomet-Monadnock trail or go inside the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) buildings. Other activities are biking, mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, and swimming. There are grills, paved bike paths, pavilion, picnic area and restrooms. Parking fees are $8 per Massachusetts resident and $30 per non-MA resident. The park is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Off-road vehicles are prohibited. To reserve a pavilion it is $65 per day.
Clarksburg State Park
The 368 acre state park is open from sunrise to one half-hour after sunset for visitors to hike, go camping, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, non-motorized boating, or fishing. A boat ramp, grills, pavilion, picnic areas, restrooms and showers are available. Camping costs are$17 per night for Massachusetts residents and $54 per night for non-residents. While, reserving a pavilion will be $65 for the day. Visitors are able to swim in designated areas. Parking is $5 for MA residents and $20 for non-MA residents.
Sandisfield State Forest (York Lake)
There is a 2.2 mile Pond Loop Trail for scenic views of York Lake for hikers to go on. Along with, trout stocked in the lake for fishermen. All other activities include canoeing and kayaking, hunting, and sailing. There are boat ramps, grills, picnic areas, and restrooms for the public. Dogs aren’t allowed on beach or lawn. Off-road vehicles are also prohibited.