Myles Standish State Forest

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Myles Standish State Forest
Map showing the location of Myles Standish State Forest
Map showing the location of Myles Standish State Forest
Location in Massachusetts
LocationCarver, Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates41°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
Area12,029 acres (48.68 km2)[1]
Elevation144 ft (44 m)[2]
Established1916 [3]
Named forMyles Standish
Governing bodyMassachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
WebsiteMyles 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   Remarks  
Barrett 16 17 Southwest Check mark Check mark Check mark Public swimming area posted for elevated bacteria levels during the 2010 swimming season.
Bumps 20 4 East No access No access No access
Charge 23 17 South Check mark Check mark Check mark
Cherry 2 - North-central LA LA LA
College 53 24 Central Check mark Check mark Check mark Public swimming area posted for elevated bacteria levels during the 2010 swimming season.
Curlew 43 31 Northwest Check mark Check mark Check mark Public swimming area posted for elevated bacteria levels during the 2010 swimming season.
Doctors 2 3 Southeast NFA NFA NFA
East Head Reservoir 86 10 Southwest NP Boat only Check mark Owned by the Davison Partners. Property line is six rods (99 feet) from high-water mark.
Fearing 24 20 South-central Check mark Check mark Check mark Public swimming area posted for elevated bacteria levels during the 2010 swimming season.
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 Check mark LA
New Long 23 6 Central NFA Check mark Check mark
Rocky 20 19 Northwest NFA Check mark Check mark
Round 10 12 Central LA LA LA
Three Cornered 14 4 Central LA LA LA Located northeast of New Long Pond and southwest of College Pond; water quality impaired due to non-native aquatic plants.
Torrey 3 4 Central NP NP NP
Widgeon 24 12 Northwest NFA Check mark Check mark

Check mark = 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, 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), a teacher in nearby Hanson, Massachusetts, 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. ^ "2012 Acreage Listing" (PDF). Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "Myles Standish State Forest". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  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. ^ "Resource Management Plan: Myles Standish Planning Unit" (PDF). Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. December 2011. p. 17. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  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]