Myles Standish State Forest
|Myles Standish State Forest|
|Massachusetts State Forest|
Sign at Headquarters
|Named for: Myles Standish|
|Location||Cranberry Road, Carver, Massachusetts, USA|
|- elevation||144 ft (44 m) |
|Area||12,029 acres (4,868 ha) |
|Management||Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|- location||Park Headquarters|
|Website: Myles Standish State Forest|
Myles Standish State Forest is state forest located in the towns of Plymouth and Carver in southeastern Massachusetts, approximately 45 miles (70 km) south of Boston. It is the largest publicly owned recreation area in this part of Massachusetts and is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
The landscape of MSSF is part of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion and consists largely of pitch pine and scrub oak forests - at 26 square miles (67 km2), one of the largest such forests north of Long Island. The forest surrounds 16 lakes and ponds, including several ecologically significant coastal kettle ponds. The Plymouth Red-bellied Turtle, an endangered species population found only in this area, exists in about twenty of the ponds of the state forest and the adjacent Massasoit National Wildlife Refuge.
Activities and amenities
Recreational uses include swimming, hunting, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and picnicking. Also bicycling on fifteen miles (24 km) of paved bicycle trails, horseback riding on thirty-five miles (56 km) of horse trails and thirteen miles (21 km) of hiking trails. The "Bicycle Trails of Carver" were included in the Massachusetts Department of Travel and Tourism's list of 1000 great places in Massachusetts. There are popular seasonal day use areas at College Pond and Fearing Pond (closed for 2009 for shore restoration work).
In the summer, the park offers interpretive programs, such as pond shore walks and cranberry bog explorations. Offerings include biweekly fishing clinics, night hikes, and tours of the forest’s working Rocky Pond cranberry bog, and others. For program listings see external links section below.
Hunting is allowed during the season, and two Wildlife Management Areas within the forest are stocked with game birds in October and November.
Myles Standish State Forest offers camping at five sites, four of which are located at ponds. Campground maps are available at the DCR web page. Campground office hours are 8 am – 8 pm. The regular camping season is from mid-April through mid-October. Trailer and RV dumping is available.
- Curlew Pond area
- Fearing Pond area 1
- Fearing Pond area 2
- Charge Pond area - Swimming permitted. A portion is set aside for equestrian camping.
- Barrett Pond area - Swimming permitted.
Advance reservation for campgrounds are made by calling 1-877-422-6762, or online at http://www.reserveamerica.com.
The follow tabel lists the ponds and recreational activities available at each in Myles Standish State Forest.
|Pond Name||Size (acres)||Maximum Depth (feet)""||Location in MSSF||Swimming||Fishing||Boating|
|Bumps||20||4||East||No Access||No Access||No Access|
|East Head Reservoir*||86||10||Southwest||NP||Boat Only||yes|
- East Head Reservoir is owned by the Davison Partners. The property line is located six rods (99 feet) from the high-water mark around
- Public swimming area was posted for elevated bacteria levels during the 2010 swimming season
yes = FORMAL ACCESS is available for recreational activity. NFA = Recreational activity is permitted, but NO FORMAL ACCESS is available LA = LIMITED ACCESS for low impact recreational use is permitted, sensitive pond shore habitat. NP = Recreational access NOT PERMITTED, habitat protection area
Cachalot Scout Reservation encompasses 880 acres surrounding beautiful Five Mile Pond and adjacent to Myles Standish State Forest an 880-acre (3.6 km2) Boy Scout camp. Camp Squanto is also located within Myles Standish State Forest. Camp Wind in the Pines (a girl scout camp) is located within and next to Myles Standish State Forest.
On May 14, 1977, according to the Plymouth Police Department records, Eric H. Anderson Jr. murdered Ruth Masters (née Ruth Rydberg) while she was riding her bike alone on an isolated trail in the park. He was later found guilty and is currently serving a life sentence in Maine State Prison in Warren, ME.
- "Myles Standish State Forest". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey.
- "2012 Acreage Listing". Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- "Myles Standish State Forest". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- Boston Globe (2010-07-12), "1,000 places to visit in Massachusetts", The Boston Globe (boston.com), retrieved 2010-08-10
- Knox, Robert (2009-07-23), "State forest offers access to nature", The Boston Globe (boston.com), retrieved 2009-10-31
- Myles Standish Planning Unit, Resource Management Plan, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2011, p. 17
- "Camp Cachalot". Narragansett Council – Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- Ellement, John (2003-11-11), "Man guilty in 1977 murder", The Boston Globe, retrieved 2009-10-17
- Myles Standish State Forest Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Trail map - summer Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Trail map - winter Department of Conservation and Recreation
- Friends of Myles Standish State Forest