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Massachusetts State Parks

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USA Parks
Eastern Region
Myles Standish State Forest
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Myles Standish State Forest Sunset in November © David Alan
Myles Standish State Forest College Pond © David Alan
Rainbow over College Pond
Myles Standish State Forest Sunset over College Pond © David Alan
Myles Standish State Forest Winter Canoe at rest © David Cugnasca
Myles Standish State Forest Blueberry Bush buds © David Cugnasca
Myles Standish State Forest Goldenrod © David Cugnasca
Myles Standish State Forest Sweet Surrender © Rob Roy
Myles Standish State Forest, Plymouth, MA
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Cranberry Rd. S.
Carver, Massachusetts   02330

Phone: 508-866-2526
Reservations: 508-866-2526
Sprawling across the southern sections of Plymouth and Carver, Myles Standish State Forest is the largest publicly owned recreation area in southeastern Massachusetts. MSSF offers five camping areas, tucked into the forest or set along the edges of four of the park's 16 ponds.All are beautifully maintained and a sectionof the Charge Pond area is set aside specifically for horse camping. A day-use area at College Pond offers picnicking, swimming, fishing, canoeing. Fifteen miles of bicycle trails, 35 miles of equestrian trails and 13 miles of hiking trails take visitors deep into the forest, which includes one of the largest contiguous pitch pine/scrub oak communities north of Long Island.

Scattered throughout Myles Standish State Forest are several ecologically significant coastal plain "kettle" ponds. The shores of these kettle ponds are extremely sensitive to trampling. Please observe the barriers and signs posted indicating sensitive areas and respect the unique natural qualities of the park. No off-road vehicles are allow. Hunting is allowed during the season, and two Wildlife Management Areas within the forest are stocked with game birds in October and November. In the summer, interpretive programs, such as pondshore walks and cranberry bog explorations help acquaint visitors with the unique natural, cultural and historic aspects of the state forest.

The campground office hours are 8am?8pm. The regular camping season is from mid-April through mid-0ctober. Make sure you stay within the designated areas when swimming.
History of the Area
Myles Standish State Forest is located in southeastern Massachusetts and has a rich history that spans centuries. Here is an overview of its history:

1. Native American Influence: The land that is now known as Myles Standish State Forest was once inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Wampanoag people. They had a significant presence in the area and relied on the surrounding natural resources for their livelihood.

2. Colonial Settlement: In the early 17th century, European settlers arrived in the region and established Plymouth Colony. Myles Standish, an English military officer and one of the key figures in the Plymouth Colony, played a crucial role in the early exploration and development of the area. The state forest is named after him in honor of his contributions.

3. Deforestation and Agricultural Use: Over time, the forests in the area were cleared for agriculture and timber production. The land was heavily exploited for its resources, leading to significant deforestation in the 18th and 19th centuries.

4. Reforestation Efforts: In the early 20th century, the Massachusetts State Forest Commission launched reforestation initiatives to restore and conserve the forested areas. This included purchasing land around the Plymouth area to establish what is now known as Myles Standish State Forest. The reforestation efforts aimed to improve the local ecosystem and protect the natural habitat.

5. Military Use and Conservation: During World War II, a portion of the state forest was used by the military as a training and recreation area for soldiers stationed at Camp Myles Standish. After the war, the land was returned to the state and efforts were made to preserve and maintain its natural state.

6. Modern Recreational Area: Today, Myles Standish State Forest is a popular recreational area, offering various outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, and mountain biking. It spans over 12,000 acres and provides visitors with opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.

The history of Myles Standish State Forest showcases the transformation of the land from native territories to colonial settlement, deforestation, and subsequent reforestation. It has played an important role in the conservation and recreation efforts in Massachusetts.
 Hiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Bike Trailsyes
 Bridle Trailsyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
 Full Hookup Sitesyes
1. Charge Pond Campground: This campground offers 35 campsites for tents and trailers, with a picnic area, restrooms, showers and drinking water.

2. Barrett's Pond Camping Area: It has several tent sites available on a first-come-first-served basis along the shores of Barretts pond.

3. Curlew Pond Family Sites: These are family-friendly camping spots near Curlew pond that offer beautiful views and easy access to hiking trails.

4. Fearing Hill Group Site: A large group campsite located in Myles Standish State Forest suitable for scout troops or other big groups up to 50 people.

5. College Park Youth Group Areas: There are four youth group areas at this site which can accommodate between ten to fifty individuals per site depending upon their size.

6. Curlew Walk:in Tent Only Sites- For those who prefer more secluded camping experience these walk-in only sites provide an opportunity away from RVs & caravans.

7. Pine Grove Cabin: If you want some comfort while enjoying nature then Pine grove cabin is perfect as it provides sheltered accommodation within forest premises.

Remember all campgrounds have fire pits/grills but open fires aren't allowed anywhere else in the park outside designated rings/pits due safety reasons . Also note alcohol isn't permitted inside state forests including its recreational facilities like beaches ,camping grounds etc
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Myles Standish State Forest is located near Acushnet, Bridgewater and Brockton

1. East Head Reservoir Trail: This 4-mile loop trail offers scenic views of the reservoir and is suitable for all skill levels.

2. Bentley Loop: A moderate, 6-mile hike that takes you through a variety of landscapes including pine barrens and cranberry bogs.

3. Charge Pond Road Area Trails: These trails offer shorter hikes ranging from one to three miles with several ponds along the way.

4. Five Mile Pond Nature Walks: Two short nature walks around two different ponds; perfect for bird watching or just enjoying some quiet time in nature.

5. Pine Barren Pathway Hike: An easy-to-moderate level hiking path covering about five miles across diverse terrains like wetlands, forests, meadows etc., offering an opportunity to explore local flora & fauna.

6. Rocky Gutter Wildlife Management Area Trails: It's a network of multiple interconnected paths spanning over ten miles providing hikers options based on their preferences.

7. Myles Standish Monument State Reservation: Offers panoramic view at its peak after climbing up stairs inside monument tower.

8. College Pond Circuit: Approximately six mile long circuit passing by beautiful pond area ideal spot for picnic.

9. Three Cornered Pond Loop: Shorter than most other loops but still provides great experience as it passes through dense forest areas.

10. East Entrance Paths: Multiple small pathways near east entrance which are less crowded compared to main routes.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 31 I question the management of this park.. by Forest Eyes.
park review stars; one to five This is a beautiful piece of land. There are park rules. There should be a lifeguard at a public swimming area. Why are there signs saying no life guard on duty
July 24 My go to place by Crystal Randall
park review stars; one to five I have been coming here for over 30 years. I went as a child with my family , to bringing my own little family. This place is perfect in everyway. We absolutely love it here. Only downfall is you can only go a total of 14 days out of the season. I understand I guess we have to share. See you soon my second trip of the season is coming up 12 days straight.. in heaven.
October 5 Great Bicycle trails, but signage poor by Woods Lover
park review stars; one to five Great Bicycle trails, but signage is very poor. Maps I believe are only available at the forest headquarters and there are a number of public road entrances to the reservation. You possibly could get lost unless you have a good sense of direction. Do your homework before you go! - AND be sure to check the dates for hunting season. If I remember correctly hunting is not allowed on Sundays!
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Cape Cod Maple Park Campground
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Cape Cod Maple Park Campground & RV Park
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Myles Standish State Forest is located in southeastern Massachusetts.

From the north: Take Rte. 3 south to exit 5, turn right onto Long Pond Rd. (west) and continue for about 3 miles to the park entrance on the right.

From Rte. 495: Take Rte. 495 to exit 2 (South Carver) and the intersection with Rte. 58. Take Rte. 58 north on Cranberry Rd., follow signs.

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Massachusetts State Parks