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Massachusetts State Parks

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USA Parks
Connecticut River Valley Region
Erving State Forest
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Rte. 2
Erving, Massachusetts

Phone: 978-544-7745
Reservations: 978-544-3939
This forest provides a wide variety of recreational pursuits including, boating, swimming and fishing at Laurel Lake with its beautiful, brick-lined lakeshore, camping, picnicking, hunting, horseback riding and winter sports. The woodlands are interlaced by 8 miles of forest roads, and numerous trails lead to points of scenic interest.
History of the Area
Erving State Forest, located in Erving, Massachusetts, has a rich history that dates back centuries. Here is a brief overview of its historical significance:

1. Indigenous People: Prior to European settlement, the land where Erving State Forest now stands was inhabited by the indigenous Nipmuc and Pocumtuck tribes. They relied on the forest for hunting, fishing, and gathering.

2. European Settlement: The area was officially settled by Europeans in the 18th century. The town of Erving (originally known as Ervingshire) was incorporated in 1838. It quickly became an industrial center due to its location along the Miller's River, fueling the growth of mills and factories.

3. Deforestation and Reclamation: The forests in the area were heavily exploited for timber during the 19th century. However, by the early 20th century, logging activities had significantly diminished the forest cover. Recognizing the importance of forest conservation, the state government intervened to reclaim the land through reforestation efforts.

4. Creation of State Forest: Erving State Forest was established in 1928 under the Massachusetts State Forests Commission. The purpose was to protect and manage the reclaimed forest land for public recreation and conservation. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program, played a significant role in developing the park's infrastructure during the 1930s.

5. CCC Legacy: The CCC improved the forest by constructing various trails, fire roads, campgrounds, picnic areas, and recreational facilities within Erving State Forest. Many of these sites, including the picturesque Laurel Lake, were created during this time.

6. Recreational Opportunities: Over the years, Erving State Forest has provided ample opportunities for recreation and outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, and picnicking in a serene natural setting.

Erving State Forest continues to be cherished by locals and tourists alike, serving as a reminder of Massachusetts' natural and historical heritage.
Day-UseSwimming Beachyes
Erving State Forest in Massachusetts offers a variety of camping options for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some:

1. Laurel Lake Campground: This campground is located within the Erving State Forest and has 51 campsites available, including RV sites with no hookups.

2. French King Motel & Trailer Park: Located just outside the forest area, this place provides both motel rooms and trailer park spots for campers bringing their own trailers or RVs.

3. Mohawk Trail State Forest Cabins: Although it's not directly inside Erving state forest but nearby; these rustic cabins offer an alternative to traditional tent camping.

4. Barton Cove Campground: A few miles away from Erving state forest offering waterfront views on Connecticut River.

5. Tully Lake Campground: It's about half hour drive from Irving state forests providing tents only site along Tully lake.

6. Wendell Statte Forrest: Another option near by where you can enjoy primitive style of Camping.

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1. Laurel Lake Trail: This is a 2-mile loop trail that circles the beautiful Laurel Lake, offering stunning views of the water and surrounding forest. The terrain is relatively flat with some slight inclines.

2. Hermit Cave Loop: A moderate difficulty level hike spanning around 3 miles in length which takes you to an interesting geological feature known as 'Hermit's Cave'. It also offers scenic vistas over Millers River Valley.

3. Mountain House Trail: An approximately four mile long out-and-back hiking route leading up to a historic site called "Mountain House". Expect steep sections on this challenging but rewarding trek through dense woods.

4. French King Gorge Overlook Hike: This short half-a-mile round trip leads hikers towards breathtaking panoramic view of French King Bridge and Connecticut River from atop rocky cliffs.

5. High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary Trails: These trails span about five miles within Erving State Forest boundaries providing opportunities for bird watching while traversing diverse habitats like wetlands, forests and fields.

6. Ridgecrest Road Pathway: A less traveled path stretching roughly two miles along Ridgecrest road surrounded by lush greenery ideal for peaceful walks or jogs away from crowds.

7. Millers Falls Rod & Gun Club Route: Approximately three:miles-long pathway running parallel to Miller's river featuring rich flora fauna making it perfect spot for nature enthusiasts.

8. Mormon Hollow Brook Crossing: Short yet adventurous crossing across Mormon hollow brook followed by uphill climb amidst thick foliage.

9. Spruce Hill Scenic Vista Point: About one mile off:trail excursion taking visitors high above tree line presenting mesmerizing aerial views of entire state park.

10. Bobcat And Fox Den Exploration Track: Roughly one kilometer track marked specifically wildlife lovers interested exploring hidden dens bobcats foxes native area.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
July 9 Favorite Camping Spot by vlizzle
park review stars; one to five Nice small campground with well maintained and spacious sites. Super clean sites and beach area. Staff is very friendly and always willing to help. Highly recommend.
June 3 clean, well kept, beautiful lake by logcabin1
park review stars; one to five Been camping here for about 55 years. This campground is clean and woodsy. Showers are a nice addition. Lots of privacy and the lake is so clean. Great place to kayak, hike, or just hang around in the woods. Staff is very cordial and acconmodating.
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Area Campgrounds
Barton Cove Campground
99 Millers Falls Road
Northfield, MA
Traveler's Woods of New England, Inc
152 River Street
Bernardston, MA
Lamb City Campground
85 Royalston Road
Phillipston, MA
The Wagon Wheel Campground
909 Wendell Road
Warwick, MA
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Pipione's Sport Shop
101 Avenue A
Turners Falls, MA
(413) 863-4246
Flagg's Fly & Tackle
189 Daniel Shays Hwy
Orange, MA
(978) 544-0034

Erving State Forest is located in northern central Massachusetts.From the north: Rte. I-91 south to exit 27 (Rte. 2 east). Take Rte. 2 east to Erving Center, turn left at the fire station on to Church St. Travel .9 mile (road will change to North St.) and turn right on Swamp Rd. The contact station will be 1.5 miles on the right. Erving State Forest signs are located on Rte. 2 (Erving Center), and at junction of North St. and Swamp Rd.

From the south: Rte. I-91 north to exit 27 (Rte. 2 east). Follow directions from the North.

From the west: Rte. 2 east to Erving Center. Follow directions from North.

From the east: Rte. 2 west to Erving, left on Rte. 2A (East Main St.). Travel .7 mi. and turn left on Moss Brook Rd. Travel 1.9 miles and bear left on Quarry Rd. The Park entrance is on the left. Erving State Forest signs are on Rte. 2, Rte. 2A, Wendell Rd, and Quarry Rd.

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Massachusetts State Parks