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Massachusetts State Parks

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USA Parks
Central Region
Hubbardston State Forest
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Located in the picturesque state of Massachusetts, Hubbardston State Forest is a breathtaking oasis that immerses visitors in the beauty of nature. Spanning across a sprawling area, this forest is a sanctuary for adventure enthusiasts, offering an array of activities from hiking and camping to fishing and nature photography. Its abundant trails wind through serene woodlands, revealing hidden gems like enchanting waterfalls and tranquil ponds, while also providing opportunities to spot diverse wildlife species in their natural habitat. With its peaceful ambiance and stunning vistas, Hubbardston State Forest becomes an idyllic escape for those seeking solace amidst the natural wonders of Massachusetts.
Nature of the Area
Hubbardston State Forest is a serene and picturesque natural haven characterized by its diverse ecosystems and thriving wildlife. Spanning over 2,500 acres, the forest boasts a rich variety of flora and fauna, including towering hardwood trees, vibrant wildflowers, and abundant bird species. Its extensive network of trails offers visitors the opportunity to explore scenic vistas, tranquil ponds, and cascading streams, immersing themselves in the beauty and tranquility of the forest. With its unspoiled landscapes and enchanting natural features, Hubbardston State Forest provides an idyllic setting for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and nature lovers to connect with the splendor of Massachusetts' wilderness.
History of the Area
Hubbardston State Forest is a 1,138-acre state forest located in Hubbardston, Massachusetts. Its history can be traced back to the early 20th century when the land was acquired by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for conservation and recreational purposes.

The original acquisition of the forest took place in 1923, during an era when the state was actively securing land for the establishment of state forests and parks. At that time, the Massachusetts State Forest Commission acquired the initial 222 acres of land, which formed the foundation of what would become Hubbardston State Forest.

Over the next few decades, the state continued to acquire adjoining parcels of land to expand the forest. The forest also received assistance from the federal government through the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program during the Great Depression. The CCC, a work relief program, employed thousands of young men to carry out conservation and land management projects across the country.

In Hubbardston State Forest, CCC crews were responsible for various projects, including road construction, fire tower construction, and trail development. Many of these structures, including fire towers and picnic areas, were built by the CCC and still exist today, adding historical value to the forest.

In the mid-20th century, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), a successor to the State Forest Commission, took over the management of Hubbardston State Forest. The DCR has since focused on maintaining and preserving the forest for outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, and camping.

Hubbardston State Forest continues to be a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of trails, including the popular Midstate Trail, which passes through the forest. The forest's diverse habitats, including woodland areas and wetlands, also provide valuable ecological benefits and serve as habitats for various wildlife species.

The history of Hubbardston State Forest showcases the state's commitment to land conservation and the promotion of outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.
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1. Burnshirt River Trail: This trail is approximately 2 miles long and follows the course of the scenic Burnshirt river, offering hikers a chance to enjoy beautiful views of waterfalls and wildlife.

2. Moosehorn Pond Loop: A moderate difficulty level hike that takes you around Moosehorn pond with plenty of opportunities for bird watching or fishing along its shores.

3. Mount Jefferson-Malone Road Trail: An easy-to-moderate hiking path leading up to an elevation gain towards Mt.Jefferson's summit providing panoramic forest views from atop.

4. Barre Falls Dam Pathway: It's a short but steep trek down into the valley where one can see spectacular sights like cascading falls, especially during spring runoff season when they're at their most powerful.

5. Williamsville Station Rail-Trail Connector: The rail-trail connector offers flat terrain suitable for all skill levels while passing through dense woods filled with various types of trees such as oak, pine etc., making it perfect for nature enthusiasts who want to explore local flora & fauna.

6. Bare Rock Vista Spur:This spur off main trails leads uphill onto rocky outcrops giving breathtaking view over entire state park landscape below; ideal spot if looking forward capturing some stunning photographs!

7. East Branch Ware River Woodlands Trails: These are series interconnected paths winding across eastern part Hubbardston State Forest covering diverse terrains including wetland areas rich in aquatic life forms, moss-covered boulders amidst lush greenery etc.

8. Old Indian Campground Route: As name suggests this route passes by historical site once used native American tribes camping ground ; features include remnants old stone walls fire pits among others.

9. Twin Ponds Nature Walk: Easy walk circling two ponds within woodland setting allowing close encounters variety birds amphibians frequenting these waters throughout year round seasons.

10. Ware:Hardwick Covered Bridge Hike: Short yet picturesque hike leading to one of the few remaining covered bridges in Massachusetts, a great spot for photography enthusiasts..

11. South Ridge Trail: This trail offers moderate difficulty with steep inclines and rocky terrain but rewards hikers with stunning views from South ridge overlooking forest canopy below.

12. Northwest Passage Loop: A challenging loop that takes you through dense forests, across streams and over hills providing an adventurous experience for experienced hikers.

13. East Branch Ware River Woodlands Trails: These trails offer diverse terrains including wetland areas rich in aquatic life forms, moss-covered boulders amidst lush greenery etc.

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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
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Penn Valley Fishing Bait
2291 West St
Barre, MA
(978) 355-6134
Elm's Bait & Tackle
56 Elm St
Baldwinville, MA
(978) 939-8075
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.
35.5 miles from park*

1. From Boston, take I-90 W/Massachusetts Turnpike to exit 10 toward Auburn.
2. Merge onto I-290 W and continue for approximately 9 miles.
3. Take exit 21 for MA-122 N toward Holden.
4. Follow MA-122 N for about 20 miles, passing through Paxton and Rutland.
5. In Barre, continue onto MA-62 W for about 6 miles.
6. Turn right onto Williamsville Road.
7. Continue on Williamsville Road for approximately 2.6 miles.
8. Take a slight left onto Gardner Road/MA-68 S.
9. After about 4.5 miles, you will reach the Hubbardston State Forest on your left.

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Massachusetts State Parks