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Massachusetts State Parks

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USA Parks
Berkshires Region
Sandisfield State Forest
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Picnic Table ©
It is always a great day for a picnic in the park.
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P.O. Box 97
Monterey, Massachusetts   01245

Phone: 413-229-8212
Within the rolling hardwood forests of Sandisfield State Forest are six lakes, ranging in size from 10 to 60 acres. York Lake is a popular day use area with a 300 foot sandy beach, a picnic area and a boat launch ramp.

All of the lakes are stocked with trout and are accessible to non-motorized boats. Walking and hiking trails, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiles are seasonal activities. Hunters are also welcome (in season).
History of the Area
Sandisfield State Forest, located in the town of Sandisfield, Massachusetts, has a rich history spanning centuries. The area that is now the forest was originally occupied by the indigenous Mahican people, who used the land for hunting and fishing.

During the colonial period, European settlers gradually moved into the region. In 1737, a group of Scottish immigrants established the town of Sandisfield, and began clearing the land for agriculture. The forested areas of Sandisfield, now part of the state forest, were often used for timber harvesting.

In the early 20th century, as industrialization increased, the demand for wood products grew. Recognizing the need for conservation and the preservation of forests, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts began acquiring land to create state forests. In 1928, the state purchased the first parcels of land that would eventually become Sandisfield State Forest.

During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a significant role in developing the state forest. CCC workers constructed roads, trails, picnic areas, and campgrounds, leaving behind many of the features that visitors can still enjoy today.

In 1931, the state officially designated the area as Sandisfield State Forest. It covers approximately 6,000 acres and is currently managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Sandisfield State Forest has remained popular for outdoor recreational activities. Visitors can engage in hiking, camping, fishing, and picnicking while enjoying the scenic beauty of the forest. The forest sustains a variety of wildlife, including deer, turkeys, and various bird species.

Sandisfield State Forest stands as a testament to the importance of preserving natural resources and providing opportunities for people to connect with nature. Through its historical roots and ongoing conservation efforts, it continues to be a valued natural treasure in Massachusetts.
Sandisfield State Forest does not have any camping facilities within the forest itself. However, there are several campgrounds and RV parks located nearby:

1. Laurel Ridge Camping Area: Located in East Otis, this campground offers tent sites as well as cabins for rent.

2. Windy Pines Campground: Also situated in East Otis, it provides a variety of campsites including those with electric hookups.

3. Tolland State Forest Campground: This is another option close to Sandisfield where you can enjoy fishing or boating on its freshwater lake along with your stay at one of their 92 campsites.

4) Prospect Lake Park: A family:friendly park that has been operating since 1919 offering various amenities like swimming beach area and boat rentals apart from camping options.

5) Woodland Hills Campground: It's around half an hour drive away but comes equipped with modern conveniences such as Wi:Fi access across all sites.
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1. York Lake Loop Trail: This is a 2-mile loop trail that circles around the beautiful York Lake, offering stunning views of water and wildlife.

2. Sandisfield State Forest Nature Trails: These are several short trails ranging from half to two miles long, perfect for bird watching or enjoying wildflowers in spring and summer months.

3. Abby's Pathway: A moderate difficulty level hiking path stretching about three miles through dense forest areas with occasional streams crossing paths.

4. West Branch Overlook Trail: An approximately four mile round trip hike leading up to an overlook providing panoramic views of the surrounding area including Clam River and its valley below.

5. Upper Spectacle Pond Shoreline Walks: Two separate walks along both sides of this serene pond offer peaceful strolls amidst nature's beauty; each walk being roughly one mile long.

6. The Old Growth Forest Hike: It takes you deep into some parts untouched by logging activities where trees have grown undisturbed for centuries over a distance spanning nearly five miles.

7. Clam River Loop: Approximately six:miles-long challenging trek featuring river crossings on footbridges as well as steep inclines but rewards hikers with scenic vistas at various points throughout.

8. South Quarter Circuit: Roughly seven-mile circuitous route taking visitors across diverse terrains such as wetlands, hardwood forests & pine groves while also passing historic sites like old stone walls indicating past human habitation.

9. Beech Hill Road Route: Longest trail within park extending eight:plus-miles traversing mixed woodlands interspersed with small brooks making it ideal choice among experienced trekkers seeking solitude amid wilderness.

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Area Campgrounds
Prospect Lake Park
Prospect Lake Road
North Egremont, MA
Camp Overflow
PO Box 645
Otis, MA
Mountain View Campground Inc
1856 South Main Street
Otis, MA
Laurel Ridge Camping Area
40 Old Blandford Road
East Otis, MA

Sandisfield State Forest is located in the southern part of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.

From east or west: Mass Pike (Rte. I-90) to exit 2, Rte. 20 east, Rte. 102 west, Rte. 7 south, Rte. 23 east, Rte. 57 south, follow signs.

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Massachusetts State Parks