October Mountain State Forest
|October Mountain State Forest|
|Massachusetts State Forest|
|Towns||Becket, Lee, Lenox, Washington|
|Elevation||1,841 ft (561 m) |
|Area||16,460 acres (6,661 ha) |
|Management||Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation|
|Website: October Mountain State Forest|
October Mountain State Forest is a 16,460-acre (6,660 ha) forest and recreational preserve located primarily in the town of Washington with adjoining parcels in Becket, Lee, and Lenox. It is the largest state forest in Massachusetts and is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The forest came into state ownership via the estate of William C. Whitney, President Grover Cleveland's Secretary of the Navy. The purchase of the initial 11,000 acres (4,500 ha) was made in 1915 for a total of $60,000, part of which came through the pledge of a group of Berkshire residents. The area was opened to the public that year. The name "October Mountain" is said to have been bestowed by author Herman Melville, whose home in Pittsfield overlooked the area.
Activities and amenities
Forest trails are available for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and off-road vehicle use. Trails include a 2.7-mile (4.3 km) interpretive trail around Washington Mountain Marsh, a portion of the Appalachian Trail, and a trail through scenic Schermerhorn Gorge. The forest has 47 campsites including wheelchair-accessible sites. Recreational opportunities include non-motorized boating, fishing, and restricted hunting.
- "October Mountain State Forest". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "2012 Acreage Listing" (PDF). Department of Conservation and Recreation. April 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- "October Mountain State Forest". Sports and Recreation in the Berkshires. The BerkshireWeb. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- "October Mount State Forest". MassParks. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
- "Washington Mountain Marsh Interpretive Trail" (PDF). Department of Conservation and Recreation. August 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- October Mountain State Forest Department of Conservation and Recreation