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Massachusetts State Parks

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USA Parks
Berkshires Region
Peru State Forest
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Peru State Forest, located in the state of Massachusetts, is a breathtaking natural haven offering a serene escape for nature enthusiasts. Nestled amidst verdant rolling hills and dense forests, the forest teems with an abundance of diverse flora and fauna, providing a picturesque setting for hikers, birdwatchers, and outdoor adventurers alike. With its well-maintained trails meandering through stunning landscapes, including towering pine and spruce trees, tranquil streams, and crystal-clear ponds, Peru State Forest offers an immersive experience in the midst of nature's beauty. Visitors have the opportunity to indulge in various recreational activities, such as hiking, camping, picnicking, fishing, and wildlife observation, while feeling embraced by the tranquil ambiance this forest possesses.
Nature of the Area
Peru State Forest is a pristine and diverse natural sanctuary that showcases the beauty and tranquility of the New England landscape. Surrounded by lush foliage, rolling hills, and rocky outcroppings, this forest offers an idyllic setting for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its vast expanse is adorned with towering hardwood trees, vibrant wildflowers, and meandering streams, creating a harmonious ecosystem for numerous plant and animal species. Visitors can explore the forest through various walking trails, immersing themselves in the serene atmosphere while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Whether one seeks solace, adventure, or a deeper connection with nature, Peru State Forest is a haven that encapsulates the natural splendor of Massachusetts.
History of the Area
Peru State Forest, located in the small town of Peru, Massachusetts, is a 1,400-acre forest managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. The history of Peru State Forest is closely tied to the history of the town itself.

The area where Peru State Forest is situated was originally settled by European colonists in the mid-18th century. It was part of the larger Town of Partridgefield, which was incorporated in 1771. In 1806, the town was renamed Peru in honor of the South American country of the same name, which had recently gained independence from Spain.

By the mid-19th century, much of Peru's land had been cleared for agriculture, as it was common throughout New England. However, as the industrial revolution progressed, the economy shifted, and many farmers abandoned their land to pursue other opportunities. With the decline of agriculture, the land began to revert to forest.

In the early 20th century, the concept of state forests gained popularity as a means of conservation and public recreation. The Massachusetts Forest Commission, established in 1914, initiated efforts to acquire land for state forests, including the Peru State Forest.

In 1915, the Massachusetts Forestry Association acquired the first parcel of land that would eventually become Peru State Forest. Over the next few decades, additional parcels were added, gradually expanding the forest's size. The area was officially designated as Peru State Forest in 1928.

The Great Depression of the 1930s saw the introduction of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a federal program that provided employment to young men while undertaking conservation projects. Many CCC camps were established throughout Massachusetts, including one in Peru State Forest. The CCC workers built trails, fire roads, and recreational facilities, greatly enhancing the overall infrastructure of the forest.

In the following years, management of Peru State Forest shifted between various state agencies, including the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which currently oversees the forest. Nowadays, Peru State Forest serves as a recreational area for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking outdoor adventures. The forest offers several trails, picnic areas, and scenic spots, attracting visitors throughout the year.

Overall, the history of Peru State Forest reflects the changing landscape of Massachusetts and the efforts to preserve and utilize natural resources for public enjoyment and conservation.
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1. Tannery Falls Trail: This is a 0.8-mile trail that leads to the beautiful Tannery Falls, offering stunning views of cascading waterfalls and lush green surroundings.

2. Savoy Mountain State Forest Loop: A moderate difficulty level hike spanning around 6 miles through dense forests with occasional wildlife sightings.

3. Busby Trail: An easy-to-moderate hiking path stretching for about two miles within Peru State Forest, featuring diverse flora and fauna along its course.

4. Spruce Hill Pathway: It's an approximately three-mile long looped route leading up to Spruce Hill summit which offers panoramic vistas of surrounding landscapes from atop it.

5. Raymond Brook Marsh Wildlife Management Area Trails: These trails offer hikers opportunities for bird watching while traversing wetland areas in addition to forest paths.

6. Garnet Peak via Mohawk Trail - Appalachian National Scenic Route: This challenging six mile round trip takes you past old mining sites before reaching the peak where one can enjoy breathtaking views over Massachusetts' western highlands region.

7. North Pond Via South Pond Road: The trail stretches across four kilometers providing scenic beauty alongside ponds making it perfect spot for picnicking or fishing as well.

8. Todd Mountain Circuit Hike: This moderately difficult five kilometer circuitous trek provides ample opportunity explore various terrains including hardwood forests, streams etc.

9. Hoosac Range Traverse: Spanning nearly twelve kilometers this strenuous but rewarding journey covers multiple peaks giving spectacular view points throughout entire length.

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Area Campgrounds
Camp Overflow
PO Box 645
Otis, MA
Mountain View Campground Inc
1856 South Main Street
Otis, MA
Bonnie Brae Cabins & Campsites
108 Broadway Street
Pittsfield, MA
Peppermint Park Camping Resort
169 Grant Street
Plainfield, MA
Walker Island Camping
27 Route 20
Chester, MA
Shady Pines Campground
547 Loop Road
Savoy, MA
Fernwood Forest Campground, Inc.
350 Longview Avenue
Hinsdale, 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
Smitty's Bait & Tackle
200 North St
Dalton, MA
(413) 684-2244

- Start on MA-8 N/MA-112 N in Windsor.
- Continue to follow MA-112 N for about 11 miles.
- Turn right onto US-9 E and continue for approximately 15 miles.
- Merge onto US-20 W toward Huntington and drive for about 2 miles.
- Turn left onto MA-112 N and continue for another 17 miles.
- Take a slight left onto MA-143 W and follow the road for about 2.5 miles.
- Turn right onto Ireland Street.
- Continue on Ireland Street until you reach the entrance to Peru State Forest.

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Massachusetts State Parks