You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Massachusetts State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Connecticut River Valley Region
Chester-Blanford State Forest
Chickadee ©
Cool Swim ©
Availability Search
P.O. Box 105
01011, Massachusetts   Chester

Phone: 413-354-6347
Chester-Blandford State Forest offers a rustic park experience and spectacular Sanderson Brook Falls. Explore trails and places with names like Mica Mine Road and Gold Mine Brook that recall the days when the hills of Chester were pitted with small mines producing mica, emery and corundum. Camping (first-come, first served) is available on 12 wooded sites. Nearby, Boulder Park features an easy-graded Universal Access interpretive trail and pavilion amidst shady Eastern Hemlocks.

Hike up an easy grade for 1 mile to see the 60 foot cascade at Sanderson Brook Falls; or try the H. Newman Marsh Memorial Trail featuring a challenging, but rewarding, climb to the top of Observation Hill, with views spanning up and down the wild and scenic Westfield River valley. Take some time to explore along the historic Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway (US Rte. 20) as it climbs up and over the Berkshire Hills.
History of the Area
Chester-Blandford State Forest is a 11,000-acre forest located in the towns of Chester and Blandford in the western part of Massachusetts. The forest has a rich history that dates back to the early colonial period.

In the 18th century, the land that makes up Chester-Blandford State Forest was settled by European colonists. The towns of Chester and Blandford were established in 1783 and 1731, respectively. Like many areas in Massachusetts, the forested land was primarily used for timber production and farming.

During the early 20th century, there was a growing concern about the loss of forests and the need for environmental conservation. This led to the establishment of state forests across Massachusetts, including Chester-Blandford State Forest.

In 1914, the state of Massachusetts acquired the initial parcel of land for the forest. Over the years, additional land was purchased, increasing the size of the forest. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program in the 1930s, played a significant role in the development of infrastructure within the forest. The CCC was responsible for constructing numerous trails, roads, and picnic areas that are still in use today.

During World War II, the forest was utilized for military training purposes. After the war, it was returned to public use and gradually expanded through additional land acquisitions.

Chester-Blandford State Forest is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). It offers various recreational opportunities, including hiking, fishing, camping, and cross-country skiing. The forest's diverse ecosystems, including hardwood forests, wetlands, and the scenic Glendale Falls, attract nature enthusiasts from around the region.

Chester-Blandford State Forest represents a conservation success story, where a landscape that was once subject to deforestation and agricultural practices has been preserved and transformed into a protected natural area for public enjoyment.
Nearby Vacation Rentals
Search for a vacation rental

1. Sanderson Brook Falls Trail: This is a 2.3-mile loop trail that features beautiful waterfalls and offers moderate difficulty level for hikers.

2. Hiram Fox Wildlife Sanctuary Loop: A relatively easy, flat terrain of about 0.8 miles long which takes you through the wildlife sanctuary within Chester-Blanford State Forest.

3. Keystone Arch Bridges Trail: An approximately five mile out-and-back hiking path featuring historic stone arch railway bridges with scenic views along Westfield River's East Branch.

4. Arch Bridge to Gold Mine Ruins via Round Top Hill Road: It's an adventurous hike covering around six miles round trip taking visitors past old gold mine ruins while offering panoramic vistas from atop Round Top Hill.

5. Chester Railway Station & Museum Pathway: The pathway starts at the museum and leads into parts of Blanford forest where one can enjoy bird watching or simply immerse in nature's beauty; it covers roughly two kilometers distance making it suitable even for novice hikers.

6. Roundtop Hill Summit Route: At nearly seven:miles-long this challenging route rewards those who reach its summit with stunning views over surrounding landscapes including rivers, valleys, forests as well as distant mountains on clear days.

7. Western Gateway Heritage State Park Trails: These trails offer shorter hikes ranging between half:a-mile up to three-quarters-of-a-mile each but are packed full of historical interest points related directly back towards early railroad development era during mid-nineteenth century America.

8. Blandford Ski Area Cross:Country Paths: During winter months these paths provide excellent opportunities not just for cross-country skiing but also snowshoeing across picturesque snowy terrains spanning several miles throughout entire state park area.

9. East Branch Westfield River Via Old Mill Lane: This four:kilometer trek follows alongside riverbanks providing ample chances spotting local fauna such birds species plus occasional sightings deer too.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
write a review
Share On

Area Campgrounds
Camp Overflow
PO Box 645
Otis, MA
Mountain View Campground Inc
1856 South Main Street
Otis, MA
Walker Island Camping
27 Route 20
Chester, MA
Sodom Mountain Campground
227 South Loomis Street
Southwick, MA
Laurel Ridge Camping Area
40 Old Blandford Road
East Otis, MA
Prospect Mountain Campground/RV Park
Route 57 Box 323
Granville, MA
Summit Hill Campground
34 Old Middlefield Road
Washington, MA
Berkshire Park Camping Area
350 Harvey Road
Worthington, MA
Northampton / Springfield KOA Holiday
139 South Road
Westhampton, MA
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Rocky Ridge Guide Services
1 Ridge Rd
Lovell, ME
(207) 925-3001

Chester-Blandford State Forest is located in the eastern Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.From East, North or South/MassPike (I-90): Take Exit 3 in Westfield. Bear right after tolls and follow Rtes. 10/202 south for 3 miles into downtown Westfield. Turn right and follow US Rte. 20 west; Boulder Parks is 14 miles, the park headquarters is 14.5 miles, campground is 15.1 miles and Sanderson Brook Falls 16 miles.From West/MassPike (I-90): Take Exit 2 in Lee and turn left onto US Rte. 20 east. Continue for 18.6 miles to Sanderson Brook Falls, 19.5 miles to campground, 20.1 miles to park headquarters and 20.6 miles to Boulder Park.

state route ranger badge

Massachusetts State Parks