Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. Created in the 1930s by the construction of two huge earthen dams, the reservoir is fed by the three branches of the Swift River, and seasonally by the Ware River. Quabbin's water covers 39 square miles, is 18 miles long and has 181 miles of shoreline. When full, Quabbin holds 412 billion gallons of water.
The New Salem and Enfield lookouts offer magnificent views of the reservoir. In order to flood the vast area of the Swift River Valley in the 1930s, the entire population of four towns had to be relocated. Hundreds of homes, businesses, a state highway, a railroad line, and 34 cemeteries were also moved or dismantled. Over 6,000 graves were relocated from the Valley to Quabbin Park cemetery.
The primary purpose of DCR water and surrounding lands is drinking water supply. Public access, therefore, is carefully regulated and controlled to protect over 2 million people's source of drinking water. State regulations require all entry and exit through gates or other designated areas only. Anything that could pollute the water supply system, such as litter or refuse of any sort, is prohibited. Please observe restrictions on recreational activities. Direct water contact activities, such as swimming and wading, are strictly prohibited by regulation.
The Quabbin Interpretive Services Program operates the Quabbin Visitor Center, Education Programs, Teacher Workshops, and provides general information about DCR resources. Three full time staff members are available to assist with visitor information and services. An automated telephone system provides 24 hour access to current information on fishing, hunting, programs, rules and regulations, and public access.
Mountain biekrs can explore the area around the reservoir on several miles of trails.
Since 1946, shore fishing has been allowed at the reservoir, and since 1952 a limited boat fishing program has been in existence. Please help preserve your fishing privileges and protect Quabbin's resources by following all rules and regulations. All private boats launched on the reservoir must now have an intact Quabbin Boat Seal that certifies the craft has gone through a DCR approved decontamination process. Seals must be intact when the boats are inspected by Boat Launch Area attendants prior to launching. Boat rentals are available. See http://www.mass.gov/dcr/watersupply/watershed/quabfish.htm for more information.
Visitors can explore the area around the reservoir on several miles of trails.
Controlled hunts began in 1991 in the Pelham area and expanded to the four other management blocks (Prescott, New Salem, Hardwick and Petersham) during the next three years. As deer population densities have been lowered, yearly hunting effort has also been reduced so that by 1996 only one hunting segment was used in each hunt area. This is in keeping with DCR's intent to scale back hunting effort as the program moves from the initial reduction phase to a population maintenance phase. The goal of this latter phase is to maintain deer densities at levels that allow for the continued establishment and development of forest regeneration. While hunter success has been lower during this phase than in earlier years, the exceptional scenery and habitat of Quabbin Reservation still makes for a quality hunting experience. Check http://www.mass.gov/dcr/watersupply/watershed/hunt.htm for more information.
Visitors can picnic on site; however, anything that could pollute the water supply system, such as litter or refuse of any sort, is prohibited. Please observe restrictions on recreational activities. Direct water contact activities, such as swimming and wading, are strictly prohibited by regulation. Dogs are not allowed on any DCR property associated with Quabbin Reservoir.
Off-reservation cross-country ski and snowmobile access is available.
The 2010 Quabbin Fishing Season runs from April 17th to October 16th. Boat launch areas are open seven days a week from 6:00 AM until closing. From April 17th - May 9th the areas close at 8:00 PM; from May 10th - August 8th at 8:30 PM; from August 9th - September 12th at 7:30 PM; and at 6:30 PM for the remainder of the season. Shore fishing is open 7 days a week for the season. "Boats Off the Water" times are seasonally adjusted with times posted at each boat launch area.
FROM BOSTON: Take the Mass. Turnpike to Exit 8 (Palmer). At the end of the Exit Ramp turn left onto Route 32 North and proceed for 8 miles. In Ware turn left at the green sign "Route 9 West" (just past McDonalds). Go 2/10ths of a mile to a stop sign. Turn left onto Route 9 and proceed west for 7 miles. Turn right at the green sign marked "Quabbin Reservoir - Winsor Dam" (Note: This will be the second green sign on your right. The first sign, located at the 5.3 mile mark, provides access to the main Quabbin Park area, including the Enfield Lookout and Quabbin Observation Tower). Turn right at this entrance and proceed 1/2 mile to DCR Quabbin Administration Building, the large brick building on the right.
FROM SPRINGFIELD: Take the Mass. Turnpike to Exit 7 (Ludlow). Turn right on Route 21 heading north towards Belchertown. Continue on Route 21 through Belchertown Center to Route 9. Turn right at the stop sign onto Route 9 east and proceed 2 miles to the green sign marked "Quabbin Reservoir - Winsor Dam". Turn left at the sign and go 1/2 mile to the large brick building which overlooks the reservoir.
FROM AMHERST: Take Route 9 east towards Belchertown. The entrance to Quabbin is 3 miles east of the intersection with Route 202 and is marked with a sign "Quabbin Reservoir - Winsor Dam". Turn left at the sign and go 1/2 mile to the large brick building which overlooks the reservoir.
FROM THE NORTH: Take Route 2 to Route 202 south. Proceed 21 miles to the traffic light at the intersection with Route 9. Turn left onto Route 9 east and proceed 3 miles to the green sign marked "Quabbin Reservoir - Winsor Dam". Turn left and proceed 1/2 mile to the large brick building which overlooks the reservoir.