Beartown State Forest
|Beartown State Forest|
|Massachusetts State Forest|
|Elevation||1,722 ft (525 m) |
|Area||10,411 acres (4,213 ha) |
|Management||Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|- location||69 Blue Hill Road|
|Website: Beartown State Forest|
Beartown State Forest is a publicly owned forest with recreational features located in the towns of Great Barrington, Monterey, Lee, and Tyringham, Massachusetts. The state forest's more than 10,000 acres (4,000 ha) include 198 acres (80 ha) of recreational parkland. It is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The forest was established with the state's purchase of 5000 acres in 1921. Forest roads were created by workers with the Civilian Conservation Corps beginning in 1933. Major CCC projects included the building of an earthen dam to create 35-acre (14 ha) Benedict Pond. The CCC camps were active here until 1940.
Flora and fauna
Wildlife include deer, bobcats, fishers, black bear, and beaver. Flora includes deciduous forests, various flowering shrubs and wildflowers. Two areas of old growth forest exist in the park. At Burgoyne Pass ( ), there are 10 acres (4.0 ha) of old-growth eastern hemlock, northern red oak, eastern white pine, sweet birch, and yellow birch. At East Brook, there are 12 acres (4.9 ha) of old-growth eastern hemlock and yellow birch.
Activities and amenities
The forest has trails for horseback riding, mountain biking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and all-terrain vehicle use. A 1.7-mile (2.7 km) interpretive trail loops around Benedict Pond and a 7.5-mile (12.1 km) stretch of the Appalachian Trail passes near the pond and across the forest. Swimming, fishing, and a ramp for non-motorized boating are offered on Benedict Pond. There are also facilities for camping, picnicking and restricted hunting as well as handicapped-accessible beaches and restrooms.
- "Beartown State Forest". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "2012 Acreage Listing" (PDF). Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Beartown State Forest". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "The Civilian Conservation Corps: A Statewide Survey of Civilian Conservation Corps Resources". Prepared by Shary Page Berg (Beth McKinney, ed.) for the Massachusetts Office of Historic Resources. January 1999. pp. 77–79. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- Davis, Mary Byrd (January 23, 2008). "Massachusetts" (PDF). Old Growth in the East: A Survey. Archived from the original on September 19, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- D'Amato, A.; Orwig, D.; Foster, D. (2006). "New Estimates of Massachusetts Old-growth Forests" (PDF). Northeastern Naturalist. 13 (4): 495–506. doi:10.1656/1092-6194(2006)13[495:NEOMOF]2.0.CO;2. Retrieved 2008-12-31.