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!
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23
Girard’s Sugarhouse in Simsbury, CT. The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually. Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Health. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25
February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton. This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January posted on Jan 26
January’s contest winner was Renee Finnegan, who photographed a pensive Highland cow at Oak Meadows Farm & Garden in Rutland. Glenn and Mary Kauppila have been farming 100 acres of land in Rutland for approximately 15 years. With the help of their three adult children, they …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January