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Massachusetts State Parks

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USA Parks
Central Region
Barre State Forest
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Barre State Forest, located in central Massachusetts, is a lush and diverse woodland that offers a serene and scenic escape for outdoor enthusiasts. Covering around 5,500 acres, this forest is a haven for hikers, birdwatchers, and nature lovers alike. With its winding trails, babbling brooks, and towering trees, visitors can immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of nature. Amidst the forest's picturesque landscapes, one can encounter an abundance of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and various bird species. Whether you seek solitude in the quiet woods or wish to partake in recreational activities such as camping, picnicking, or fishing, Barre State Forest promises a refreshing and rejuvenating experience in the heart of Massachusetts.
History of the Area
Barre State Forest is located in Barre, Massachusetts, and has a rich history dating back centuries. Here is an overview of the history of Barre State Forest:

Indigenous Peoples: Prior to European colonization, the area where Barre State Forest is located was inhabited by the Nipmuc people, an Algonquian-speaking indigenous group. They lived in harmony with the land and utilized its resources for their daily needs.

Early European Settlement: The town of Barre was first settled in 1720 by Europeans, predominantly from Scotland and Ireland. The forest area served as a vital resource for these early settlers, providing timber for construction, fuel, and other necessities.

State Reserve: In the early twentieth century, the concept of forest conservation gained prominence, and Massachusetts began acquiring land to create state forests. In 1912, Barre State Forest was established as Massachusetts' 18th state forest through the efforts of the State Forester.

Reforestation: During the early stages of the forest's development, reforestation efforts were conducted to restore the land's vegetation. Acquired land was replanted with a variety of tree species, which helped replenish the forest ecosystem and promote sustainable forestry practices.

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC): As part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal initiatives during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a significant role in the development of Barre State Forest. From 1933 to 1942, CCC workers were deployed to the forest to undertake various conservation projects, such as constructing roads, trails, recreational facilities, fire towers, and improving forest management practices. Many of these structures still exist and serve the park visitors today.

Recreational Use: Over time, Barre State Forest became a popular destination for outdoor recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, and nature observation. The forest's trails and roads offer scenic views and opportunities to explore the diverse flora and fauna.

Preservation and Conservation: In recent decades, Barre State Forest, like other Massachusetts state forests, has been managed with an emphasis on preservation and conservation. Sustainable forestry practices are implemented to maintain the health of the forest ecosystem while providing recreational opportunities for the public.

Barre State Forest serves as a valuable natural resource, offering a serene environment for those seeking outdoor activities and a chance to discover the region's history, nature, and conservation efforts.
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1. Barre Falls Dam Trail: This is a 4-mile loop trail that offers scenic views of the dam and surrounding forest area. It's an easy to moderate hike, suitable for all skill levels.

2. Smith Conservation Land Loop: A moderately difficult hiking route spanning over 3 miles through dense forests with occasional wildlife sightings.

3. Rutland Brook Sanctuary Trails: These trails cover about five miles within the sanctuary part of Barre State Forest offering hikers serene nature walks amidst diverse flora and fauna.

4. Moosehorn Pond Pathway: An approximately two-mile long path leading up to Moosehorn pond where one can enjoy fishing or bird watching along with their hike.

5. The Midstate Trail Section-Barre falls dam to Mount Hunger Road: This section covers around seven mile stretch featuring beautiful wild flowers, it's rated as moderate.

6. White Oak Nature Trial: The White oak trial is relatively short at just under half a mile but features some interesting natural landmarks including several large white oaks trees.

7. South Meadow Wildlife Management Area Trials: Covering nearly three square kilometers this network trials offer plenty opportunities spot local wildlife while enjoying leisurely stroll in woods.

8. Muddy Pond Hiking Route: A challenging yet rewarding six:kilometer trek across varied terrain towards Muddy Pond, known for its rich biodiversity.

9. Ware River Rail:Trail: An old railway line converted into a multi-use trail stretching from South Barret Street crossing Ware river multiple times before ending near Old Coldbrook road.

10. Bullard Farm Interpretive Trial: The Bullard farm interpretive trial provides visitors chance learn more about history region whilst also taking stunning scenery on gentle walk lasting less than kilometer.

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Area Campgrounds
Pout & Trout Campground
94 River Road
North Rutland, MA
Pine Acres Family Camping Resort
203 Bechan Road
Oakham, MA
Camp Coldbrook
864 Old Coldbrook Road
Barre, MA
Lamb City Campground
85 Royalston Road
Phillipston, MA
Peaceful Acres Campground
52 Flagg Road
Hubbardston, MA
Highview Campground
58 John Gilbert Road
West Brookfield, MA
The Old Sawmill Campground
PO Box 377
West Brookfield, MA
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Penn Valley Fishing Bait
2291 West St
Barre, MA
(978) 355-6134
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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Located on over 100 wooded lakefront acres, overlooking Ashland State Park. Right out our front door you get to truly enjoy the great outdoors. Easy access to trails for hiking, and an area for swimming. Come and enjoy all that Ashland State Park has to offer, and stay at the Warren Center right next door.
33.6 miles from park*

1. Start by getting on I:90 W/Massachusetts Turnpike from Tremont St and Stuart St.
2. Continue on I:90 W to Spencer Rd/MA-31 S in Charlton. Take exit 9 from I-90 W.
3. Merge onto Spencer Rd/MA:31 S (signs for MA Route 20).
4. Follow MA Route 20 West through Brimfield and into Palmer.
5. In Palmer, turn left onto Thorndike Street (Route 32 South) at a set of lights just before McDonald's restaurant.
6. Continue southbound along Rt..32 until you reach Gilbertville Road.
7. Turn right onto Gilbertville Road which will take you directly to the entrance of Barre Falls Dam Recreation Area.

Once inside the recreation area:
8. Follow signs directing visitors toward trails or other points within park boundaries.

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Massachusetts State Parks