Massachusetts State Parks Details
From beachside campgrounds to tents in scenic woodlands, Massachusetts has a little something for all kinds of campers! Wompatuck State Park, situated in the northeast corner of Massachusetts, boasts of over 250 well-equipped sites in one of the most picturesque areas of The Bay State.
Those who prefer camping in central Massachusetts, on the other hand, can opt for the sites at Wells State Park. Pitch your tent underneath a thick canopy of trees and fall asleep to the peaceful sounds of the surrounding wildlife. A large group site and several yurt rentals are also available here.
If you want to camp just a few steps away from beautiful sandy shores, then Salisbury Beach State Park is your best bet! These sites have over 500 campsites to choose from, all of which are equipped with clean restrooms and hot showers. The scenic views offered by this park are unmatched! Use your hatchet to get a nice fire going at your campsite, sit back, and relax. Where you decide to go, be sure to use our camping checklist. It will make packing easier.
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Massachusetts is considered to have some of the best hikes in New England. History enthusiasts, in particular, love the flat walking trails at Wompatuck State Park, which wander through abandoned military bunkers. This certainly makes for an interesting day hike!
Trails at Halibut Point State Park are one of a kind, circling the towering granite cliffs that date back to 440 million years ago. With the eye-catching turquoise tint of its waters, this quarry makes for a stunning backdrop for your Instagram photo.
Borderland State Park has over 1,772 acres of hiking trails, which would take hikers approximately three hours to get through. Explore the park’s wide range of plant and animal life, as well as the six ponds found within. Also, this park was used as a filming location for the Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster, Shutter Island, so keep an eye out for several familiar spots!
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Backpackers who can’t wait to explore the rugged landscape of Massachusetts should check out Purgatory Chasm State Reservation in the town of Sutton. The Purgatory Chasm, a rocky trail between granite walls as high as 70 feet, has plenty of hidden caves and formations that make for a great adventure. This backpacking adventure is one that will take you through remnants of the Ice Age!
Many consider Mauserts Pond at Clarksburg State Park to be one of the best fishing holes in Massachusetts with its large populations of bullhead, pickerel, and perch. If you’re looking for a less crowded spot, however, then the nearby trout-filled Hoosic River is another great option.
At Walker Pond in Wells State Park, anglers are sure to catch plenty of largemouth bass, pickerel, bluegill, yellow perch, and white perch. This park is a great spot for anglers fishing with their families!
Over eight ponds are found in Nickerson State Park, making it one of the most popular fishing holes in the state. Four of these ponds – Cliff Pond, Flax Pond, Little Cliff Pond, and Higgins Pond – teem with trout in the spring.
There are plenty of caches concealed all over Massachusetts! At Bash Bish Falls State Park, search for the hidden EarthCache while visiting the tallest single waterfall in the state.
Several caches are also hidden around Halibut Point State Park, as well as an EarthCache that will take geocachers around a large portion of the park.
Natural Bridge State Park is another must-visit for geocachers from all over the country. Be sure to visit the park’s White Marble Falls, which come from a man-made dam in the Clarksburg quarry.
Hunting areas are found in many of Massachusetts state parks, including Bash Bish Falls State Park, Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, Clarksburg State Park, and Dunn State Park.
Day Use Areas
Massachusetts has an abundance of incredible picnic spots that will take your outdoor dining game to the next level! At Greycourt State Park, take your meal in a stunningly scenic landscape among fascinating stone structures and wooded walking trails. Keep in mind that this park is open from dawn until dusk, so be sure to plan your picnic accordingly.
At Dunn State Park, set your blanket down near Dunn Pond. The beautiful atmosphere and waterside ambiance will definitely make for an unforgettable picnic excursion!
There are plenty of wide and spacious trails at Maudslay State Park for cycling, making it one of the best spots for beginners wishing to improve their skills. Trails that run along the picturesque Merrimack River offer riders breathtaking views and plenty of routes meander through the park’s various fields, trees, and gardens, as well.
A 12-mile paved biking trail is found at Wompatuck State Park, giving riders extraordinary scenes of this part of Massachusetts. This trail is considered to be for intermediate riders only, so be sure to keep that in mind.
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With an abundance of freshwater and saltwater bodies of water, as well as an overwhelmingly large number of boat ramps, Massachusetts is considered to be a boater’s paradise by many! At Cochituate State Park, paddle in one of the most scenic lakes in the state. Be advised, though, that personal watercraft is prohibited and that boating may only be done during the day.
Lowell Heritage State Park is another scenic boating spot, favored by residents and out-of-state visitors alike. The park features a network of canals that powered the mills and the stunning Merrimack River can be accessed via a boat ramp.
Boat ramps at Connecticut River Greenway State Park accommodates canoes, fishing boats, and recreational motorboats, making it the ideal destination for those interested in exploring the state’s beautiful natural landscapes while on the water. The river boasts of a number of fish species so anglers would also do well to check this park out.
For many avid bird-watchers, Halibut Point State Park at the northern tip of Cape Ann is the best spot for seabird watching. During the winter season, Birders flock to the park to catch a glimpse of the King Eider, the Great Cormorant, the Black-legged Kittiwake, and more. While you can see them at a distance, it is much better to use birding binoculars to see better details and watch their actions up close.
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The Boston Harbor Islands National & State Park is the perfect summer destination with over 34 different islands and peninsulas to choose from. Visitors can cool off from the scorching sun in the many incredible swimming spots found here. Ferries depart daily from Boston, making this park a convenient day trip for those who prefer to stay in the bustling city.
At Nickerson State Park, swim in one of the best beaches found in the state! The park tends to get crowded during the summer, filling up with residents and tourists alike, so keep that in mind.
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Over 16 miles of challenging ATV trails are found in Beartown State Forest, which boast of rugged terrain with plenty of natural challenges, including loose rocks and mud puddles. There are plenty of steep uphill and downhill sections, as well, making for a fun yet challenging ride.
F. Gilbert Hills State Forest has over eight miles of rocky ATV single-track trails, which take riders through the park’s dense pine and oak forest. Those who want a scenic ride will undoubtedly fall in love with this park!
At Freetown-Fall River State Forest, ride through 25 miles of single-track motorcycle-only trails that range from moderate to extremely difficult. This is the perfect destination for riders who want to challenge themselves and take their skills to the next level.
Robinson State Park is one of the best spots for equestrians visiting The Bay State. The park has over 20 miles of smooth and scenic trails that offer breathtaking views of the diverse nature scenes in this part of Massachusetts.
The 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail at Nickerson State Park is perfect for equestrians who desire a picturesque and laid-back ride. Be advised, though, that the park is off-limits to equestrians during the summertime.
At Wompatuck State Park, equestrians can take on the 8.5-mile permanently-marked bridle trail that runs from the north end to the south end of the park. Affectionately referred to as “Wompy,” this park is a favorite among horseback riding enthusiasts!
Recreational Equipment Rentals
Those interested in water recreational activities can head over to Bradley Palmer State Park, which offers kayaks and canoes for rent.
Explore the only natural white marble arch in North America at Natural Bridge State Park, located in the cozy town of North Adams. The canyon is a fascinating study of glacial erosion, having been carved out of 550 million-year-old bedrock by natural events thousands of years ago.
Tucked inside Pawtuckaway State Park in New Hampshire are over 33 caves that all make for a fascinating adventure. Visitors love attempting to go through all of them in a single day!
Winter hikes are extremely popular in Massachusetts and a great option would be Mohawk Trail State Forest. Take in the beauty of the state’s natural landscapes as you trudge through icy and snow-covered trails! No need to worry if you love the outdoors but hate the cold. Take a look at our best heated jackets review. A heated jacket will keep you warm for hours on the coldest of days.