You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Massachusetts State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Connecticut River Valley Region
Catamount State Forest
Chickadee ©
Keep On Leash ©
Availability Search
The Catamount State Forest, located in Massachusetts, is a captivating and lush recreational area that offers a diverse range of outdoor activities. This enchanting forest is known for its dense and picturesque woodlands, intricate trail systems, and serene flowing streams. Visitors can indulge in hiking or engaging in thrilling bike rides through the forest's intricate pathways, or simply find solace in its tranquil surroundings while picnicking or birdwatching. Additionally, Catamount State Forest presents opportunities for camping, fishing, and swimming, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts seeking a memorable and revitalizing escape.
History of the Area
Catamount State Forest, located in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, has a rich history that dates back centuries. Here is a brief overview of its history:

1. Early Settlement: The area now known as Catamount State Forest was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Mohicans. They thrived in the region, utilizing its abundant wildlife, fresh water sources, and fertile lands.

2. European Colonization: In the early 18th century, European settlers arrived in the area and founded towns like Monterey, which now surrounds Catamount State Forest. These settlers began clearing land for agriculture and building a thriving community.

3. Logging Era: By the mid-19th century, a significant portion of the forest had been cleared for timber. The lumber industry boomed in this region, with large-scale logging operations extracting trees for local use and the expanding cities of the Northeast.

4. Recreational Development: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the logging industry declined, focus shifted towards recreational use of the forest. The Catamount Ski Area, established in the 1930s, became a popular destination for skiing and other winter activities. Visitors from all around the region came to enjoy the slopes.

5. State Ownership: Recognizing the ecological and recreational value of the land, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) acquired the Catamount State Forest in the 1980s. The DCR's mission is to preserve the natural beauty and enhance public enjoyment of the forest while protecting its ecological integrity.

Catamount State Forest offers a wide range of recreational activities for visitors, including hiking, camping, bird watching, and cross-country skiing. It remains an important part of the region's natural heritage, providing both local residents and tourists with a place to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains.
Nearby Vacation Rentals
Search for a vacation rental

1. Catamount State Forest Loop: This is a 3-mile loop trail that offers moderate difficulty for hikers, perfect for those seeking to explore the forest's diverse flora and fauna. It features beautiful wildflowers during springtime.

2. Tully Trail Section: A challenging hike of approximately 22 miles in length, this section takes you through some steep inclines with scenic views over Royalston Falls and Doane's Falls before looping back around into the heart of Catamount State Forest.

3. Birch Hill Dam Pathway: An easy-to-moderate hiking path stretching about two miles long along an old railroad bed leading up to Birch Hill Dam offering stunning water vistas throughout its course.

4. The Long Pond Road Hike: Approximately four miles round trip on mostly flat terrain; it provides excellent opportunities for bird watching as well as fishing at Long Pond itself.

5. The Otter River Trailhead: Located near Templeton town center, this five mile out-and-back trail runs alongside Otter river providing serene waterside scenery while also passing by several historical sites within the state forest area.

6. Royalston Eagle Reserve Trails: These trails offer shorter hikes ranging from one-half mile to three-quarters of a mile each featuring viewpoints overlooking wetlands where eagles are often spotted nesting or hunting.

7. Tully Mountain Summit Route: Roughly six-mile strenuous trek ascending towards Tully mountain summit which rewards climbers with panoramic views across Massachusetts' North Central region including Monadnock mountains visible in distance on clear days.

8. The Jacob's Ridge Family Walks: Two separate short walks (0:75mile) designed specifically keeping families & young children in mind showcasing various tree species found inside catamount forests accompanied by informative signage explaining their ecological significance.

9. Spirit falls via tulli lake route: Around eight kilometers moderately difficult pathway starting off from tulli lake campground heading northwards culminating at the breathtaking spirit falls, a popular spot for picnics and swimming during summer months.

10. The Catamount Hill Trail: This is an 8-mile trail that takes you through dense forests to reach the summit of Catamount hill offering panoramic views over surrounding landscapes.

11. The Doane's Falls Hike: A short but steep hike leading up to series of cascading waterfalls known as doanes' falls; especially beautiful in autumn when surrounded by vibrant fall foliage colors.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
April 3 beautiful place by runner
park review stars; one to five Catamount is beautiful. I grew up with Catamount as my back yard, and am sad to see (on a regular basis) 4-wheelers still ripping up the main trails.
September 29 Area Campground Closure
park review stars; one to five Shady Pines Campground seems to no longer be in operation. Shady Pines Campground 547 Loop Road Savoy, MA 413-743-2694
August 30 Surprised by Lizz Bartlett
park review stars; one to five I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new road has not increased the trash, user impact at MacLeod Pond. I thought that it would. I made 2 visits this weekend that were beautiful and peaceful.
write a review read more reviews
Share On

Area Campgrounds
Barton Cove Campground
99 Millers Falls Road
Northfield, MA
Traveler's Woods of New England, Inc
152 River Street
Bernardston, MA
Peppermint Park Camping Resort
169 Grant Street
Plainfield, MA
Mohawk Park Camping
559 Tea Street
Charlemont, MA
Shady Pines Campground
547 Loop Road
Savoy, MA
Country Aire Campground
1753 Mohawk Trail
Shelburne Falls, MA
White Birch Campground
214 North Street
Whately, MA
Foolhardy Hill
232 Zoar Road
Charlemont, MA

1. Start by heading west on Route 23 from Great Barrington.
2. Continue on Route 23 for approximately 8 miles until you reach South Egremont.
3. In South Egremont, turn left onto Mount Washington Road (also known as Jug End Road).
4. Follow Mount Washington Road for about 5 miles until you see signs indicating the entrance to Catamount Ski Area and Catamount State Forest.
5. Turn right into the designated parking area.

state route ranger badge

Massachusetts State Parks