Myles Standish State Forest

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Myles Standish State Forest
Massachusetts State Forest
Named for: Myles Standish
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Plymouth
Towns Carver, Plymouth
Elevation 144 ft (44 m) [1]
Coordinates 41°51′23″N 70°40′32″W / 41.85639°N 70.67556°W / 41.85639; -70.67556Coordinates: 41°51′23″N 70°40′32″W / 41.85639°N 70.67556°W / 41.85639; -70.67556
Area 12,029 acres (4,868 ha) [2]
Established 1916 [3]
Management Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
 - Park Headquarters Cranberry Road, Carver
 - coordinates 41°50′21″N 70°41′28″W / 41.83917°N 70.69111°W / 41.83917; -70.69111
Location in Massachusetts
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).[4]


The forest 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.


Species commonly found in Southeast Massachusetts pine barrens:[5]









Activities and amenities[edit]

Recreational uses include swimming, hunting, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and picnicking. Day-use areas are found at College Pond and Fearing Pond. Hunting is allowed during the season, and two Wildlife Management Areas within the forest are stocked with game birds in October and November. In the summer, the park offers interpretive programs, such as pond shore walks and cranberry bog explorations.[4]


The forest offers fifteen miles (24 km) of paved bicycle trails, 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.[6]


Camping is offered at five sites, four of which are located at ponds: Curlew Pond, Fearing Pond, Charge Pond, Barrett Pond. A portion of the Charge Pond area is set aside for equestrian camping.


The follow table lists the ponds and recreational activities available at each in Myles Standish State Forest.[7]

Pond name   Size
Location in
Swimming    Fishing   Boating  
Barrett 16 17 Southwest yes†† yes yes
Bumps 20 4 East No Access No Access No Access
Charge 23 17 South yes yes yes
Cherry 2 - North-central LA LA LA
College 53 24 Central yes†† yes yes
Curlew 43 31 Northwest yes†† yes yes
Doctors 2 3 Southeast NFA NFA NFA
East Head Reservoir 86 10 Southwest NP Boat Only yes
Fearing 24 20 South-central yes†† yes yes
Grassy 3 - Southeast NP NP NP
Hooper 3 - North-central NP NP NP
Little College 3 - North-central NFA NFA NFA
Little Widgeon 7 5 Northwest LA LA LA
Manters Hole 2 - Northwest NP NP NP
New Grassy 6 4 Southeast LA yes LA
New Long 23 6 Central NFA yes yes
Rocky 20 19 Northwest NFA yes yes
Round 10 12 Central LA LA LA
Three Cornered 14 4 Central LA LA LA
Torrey 3 4 Central NP NP NP
Widgeon 24 12 Northwest NFA yes 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 the Reservoir. ††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.

Three Cornered Pond[edit]

Three Cornered Pond is a 14-acre (57,000 m2) pond in the Myles Standish State Forest in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The pond is located northeast of New Long Pond and southwest of College Pond. The water quality is impaired due to non-native aquatic plants.


Cachalot Scout Reservation, a Boy Scout camp, encompasses 880 acres (360 ha) surrounding Five Mile Pond adjacent to Myles Standish State Forest.[8] Camp Squanto is also located within Myles Standish State Forest[9] as is Camp Wind-in-the-Pines, a girl scout camp.[10]


A state correctional facility, MCI - Plymouth, is also located in Myles Standish State Forest.[11]

In the news[edit]

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 sentenced to life imprisonment in Maine State Prison in Warren, Maine.[12]


  1. ^ "Myles Standish State Forest". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "2012 Acreage Listing" (PDF). Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Fifty-second Annual Report of the Commissioners on Fish and Game for the year ended November 30, 1917" (PDF). Retrieved May 29, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Myles Standish State Forest". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Pine Barrens of Southeast Massachusetts" (PDF). The Nature Conservacy. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  6. ^ Great Places in Massachusetts Commission (July 12, 2010). "1,000 places to visit in Massachusetts". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  7. ^ Myles Standish Planning Unit, Resource Management Plan (PDF), Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2011, p. 17 
  8. ^ "Camp Cachalot". Boy Scouts of America, Narragansett Council. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Camp Squanto". Old Colony Council. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Camp Wind-in-the-Pines". Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  11. ^ "MCI-Plymouth". Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  12. ^ Ellement, John (November 11, 2003). "Man guilty in 1977 murder". Boston Globe. Retrieved October 17, 2009. 

External links[edit]