Beartown State Forest

Quick Facts

Beartown State Forest

Massachusetts

(413) 528-0904

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Beartown State Forest has two distinctly different worlds between the summer and winter. During the warm months the pristine 35-acre Benedict Pond attracts swimmers, boaters and fishermen. An extensive network of trails on over 12,000 acres offers visitors a chance to glimpse deer, bear, bobcat, fisher and other wildlife, including the park's namesake, the Black Bear. Brooks, beaver ponds, rich deciduous forest, flowering shrubs and wildflowers and fall foliage are plentiful. The Appalachian Trail passes near Benedict Pond and offers spectacular wooded views.

The other half of the year the forest becomes a winter wonderland, where visitors on cross-country skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles can explore a snow-covered wilderness. The 1.5 mile Benedict Pond Loop Trail is a must in any season. Year-round camping is also available.

Nearby, on US Rte. 7 in Great Barrington, Fountain Pond State Park and Monument Mountain (The Trustees of Reservations) offer a variety of hiking trails and breathtaking views any time of year.

Map of Beartown State Forest (MA)

Latitude, Longitude: 42.202645, -73.288293

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Activities

  • Boating

    Non-motorized boating is available Benedict Pond day-use area (ramp available, day-use fee applies). Stop aquatic hitchhikers; please ensure that your boat and equipment are clean before launching.

  • Camping

    Camping is available from mid-May until the night before Labor Day in the designated campground only. Reservations are suggested. Several sites are wheelchair accessible, call for information. No group sites or cabins are available. Off-season camping is available from Labor Day until Thursday before Memorial Day, available on a first-come/first-served basis. Contact the park for more information.

  • Fishing

    Fishing and non-motorized boating are allowed in Lake Benedict.

  • Hiking

    Appalachian Trail access: AT parking is available near intersection of MA Rtes. 23 & 57, at Great Barrington-Monterey town line; and on Main Road in Tyringham.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding is possible on designated trails; refer to the map for more information.

  • Hunting

    Restricted hunting is available; contact park for more information.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    All Terrain Vehicles are permitted during daylight hours on designated trails only, from May 1 through last Sunday in November (call ahead for details). No access from campground. ATVs must be on trailer in campground. Designated parking at selected sites, refer to trail map.

  • Picnicking

    There is a picnic area with restroom access on Lake Benedict.

  • Water Sports

    Unguarded swimming is available at designated area only.

  • Winter Sports

    The other half of the year the forest becomes a winter wonderland, where visitors on cross-country skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles can explore a snow-covered wilderness. Snowmobiling is available, conditions permitting (4-inch minimum hard-packed snow base). Parking is available at Benedict Pond day-use area.

Seasonality/Weather

The forest is open from sunrise until sunset, year-round.

Directions

Driving

Beartown State Forest is located in the southern Berkshires in western Massachusetts. From East or West/MassPike (I-90): Take Exit 2 in Lee. Follow MA Rte. 102 west for 4.7 miles to Stockbridge. Turn left and follow U.S. Rte. 7 south for 6.1 miles to Great Barrington. Turn left and follow MA Rte. 23 east for 5.3 miles to Monterey. Turn left onto Blue Hill Road then follow the brown lead-in signs; 0.5 miles to park headquarters on left, or 2.2 miles to park entrance on right (Benedict Pond Rd.).

From North or South/ Rte. 7: From US Rte. 7 in Great Barrington, take MA Rte. 23 east for 5.3 miles to Monterey. Turn left onto Blue Hill Road then follow the brown lead-in signs; 0.5 miles to park headquarters on left, or 2.2 miles to park entrance on right (Benedict Pond Rd.).

Phone Numbers

Primary

(413) 528-0904

Links