Dunn State Park
|Dunn State Park|
|Massachusetts State Park|
|- elevation||1,119 ft (341 m) |
|Area||132 acres (53 ha) |
|Management||Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|Website: Dunn State Park|
The land for Dunn State Park was originally donated to the city of Gardner, MA by John Ainsworth Dunn upon his death in 1915. Dunn was the owner of the John A. Dunn Furniture Company, which went out of business during the Great Depression. The land was later transferred to the state.
Dunn Pond is located on Rt. 101 (on Pearl St.) just off 140 and Rt 2. It is frequented by Picnic goers and family swimmers. There is a picnic area with almost a dozen picnic tables and fireplace grills. There is a nearby grassy knoll which is great for playing games or sports like Frisbee. A trail that encircles the pond has exercise, "Vita Courses" along the way. There are also little trails that veer off the main path for adventuring, fishing, or just to get a better view of the parks natural scenery.
There are several locations around the lake to sit on a bench, and there are even more docks to fish from. One such location is accessible by car via Betty Spring Road. Visitors can drive up and park behind the lake and sit on the benches, the fishing dock, or visit the wooden bridge. Every year, the lake is stocked with fish, and fishing derbies are held, (usually on Sundays). The state also hosts a myriad of events at the pond; from cross country races, to log rolling and chain saw contests.
During the summer, you can often catch the ice cream truck, which sometimes stops here. This is great for the kids, as are the two playgrounds by the public swimming area. There are Life guards on duty during daytime hours in the summer. At times, you can rent a paddle boat or canoe and take it out on the water. In the fall, runners from the nearby Gardner High School use the recently built bike trail. This is a great place to run or walk your stroller, dog, or friend for some exercise, and is a scenic and serene trek through the forest.
The winter season is less frequented by visitors. At times the city does clear the ice for skating however, which is very nice because of the lodge on the Dunn park grounds. There is a warm fireplace and couches to sit on. Vending machines and public bathrooms are also in the lodge and available year round for changing or snacking. Park rangers are around all year to answer any wildlife or activity questions.
A Totem Pole was created in 1980's by Ralph Fleurant. It is located towards the entrance.
The following Information is taken from the official Department of Conservation and Recreation website:
- All activities offered by the park are accessible to people with disabilities.
- Parking fees are in effect
- Vehicles bearing a HP or Veterans license plate or placard as well as Massachusetts seniors who are 62 years of age or more and have a Mass. Senior Citizen Pass from the DCR are allowed in free of charge as long as space is available.
Dunn State Park is located in the northern part of central Massachusetts.
From east or west: Rte. 2 to exit 24 (Rte. 140 north), left at second light onto Rte. 101 south. Park will be on the left.
From the South (i.e. from Worcester): take 190 North to Rte. 2 West. Follow East/West Directions above.
From the North ( i.e. from New Hampshire): take Rte 12 South to Rte 140 South to the traffic light in Gardner at Pearl Street and Rte 101, turn right. The park entrance is 1-mile (1.6 km) on the left.
- Publicly guarded swimming area
- Picnic area
- Wheel Chair Accessible
- Boating (non-motorized)
- Pay-per-ride Paddle Boating
- Boat Ramp
- Skiing (Cross-Country)
- Visitor's Center
- Walking Trails
- Ice Skating (sometimes)
- Dunn State Park Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Dunn State Park Trail Map Department of Conservation and Recreation