With spring upon us, many people are looking to get out and enjoy the outdoors. One of the best ways to see some of the most beautiful scenery in Massachusetts and enjoy hiking, swimming, biking, fishing, and other activities is to reserve a campsite at one of the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s campgrounds that are located all around the state. For a very reasonable fee, you can find an area close to home or travel a bit if you want to try something different. Western and central Massachusetts offer more remote sites, while eastern Massachusetts offers several campgrounds that provide coastal beach access and forested sites.
At the end of August last year, I took my 12 year-old daughter and eight year-old son to Erving State Forest for four nights of tent camping. We arrived on a Sunday and had the campground to ourselves on the first night, but more people came as the week went on. We enjoyed swimming at Laurel Lake’s beach, fishing in the lake, biking on the lightly traveled park roads, hiking a short loop trail, and time around the campfire and stargazing at night.
The kids made friends with other campers from the Chicago area and we enjoyed s’mores with them at the campfire one evening. After dark on more than one night, we heard a couple of owls, including a very loud great horned owl, roosting nearby. The staff at the state forest was very helpful and friendly, giving the kids coloring books and Smokey the Bear hats that the kids enjoyed wearing (see picture).
Many of the state campgrounds are very popular, particularly on weekends, holiday weeks, and much of July and August, so it makes sense to reserve your campsite. Some state campgrounds open for the spring season on May 4 and most of the rest open by May 24. The DCR campgrounds are open either through Labor Day or Columbus Day, and a few offer off-season camping opportunities. See this chart for the full schedule and enjoy your camping adventure!
Park Profiles: Groundwork Lawrence posted on Jul 15
In late April, Governor Deval Patrick and former Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan joined Mayor Dan Rivera and Senator Barry Finegold to make an exciting announcement. Governor Patrick announced a $2.75 million investment in Lawrence’s Ferrous Site to acquire a three acre …Continue Reading Park Profiles: Groundwork Lawrence
2014 DAR Agricultural Photo Calendar: July posted on Jul 1
July’s Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Tamara Buckley-Leclerc, who photographed pickled green beans or dilly beans at Carraig Farm in Ashby. Tamara says that dilly beans, seen in the July photo, are one of her husband’s favorites. She takes advantage of canning and freezing …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Photo Calendar: July
Asparagus: A Massachusetts Tradition posted on Jun 18
Asparagus is one of the first spring crops we harvest here in Massachusetts. It found its way to Massachusetts in the late 1700’s by way of colonist from the Netherlands who settled in West Brookfield. In the late 19th century Concord began its agricultural focus …Continue Reading Asparagus: A Massachusetts Tradition