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Massachusetts State Parks

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Connecticut River Valley Region
Leverett State Forest
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Leverett State Forest, located in the picturesque state of Massachusetts, is a captivating natural haven that provides a diverse range of recreational opportunities for nature enthusiasts. Nestled amidst lush greenery, the forest boasts a tranquil atmosphere and invites visitors to immerse themselves in its beauty. With its extensive trail network, including the scenic Pocumtuck Ridge Trail, hikers can marvel at panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and breathe in the fresh, crisp air. The forest is also home to a variety of wildlife, making it a fantastic spot for birdwatching and wildlife observation. Additionally, Leverett State Forest offers cozy picnic areas, inviting visitors to savor delicious meals amid the serene landscape. Whether seeking an adventurous hike, a peaceful escape, or a memorable outdoor picnic, Leverett State Forest is a natural paradise that promises an enriching experience for all who venture into its sprawling wilderness.
History of the Area
Leverett State Forest is located in the town of Leverett, Massachusetts and has a rich history dating back centuries. Here is an overview of its historical background:

1. Native American Influence: Before European settlers arrived, the land where Leverett State Forest now stands was inhabited by the Pocumtuc tribe, an Algonquian-speaking Native American group. They lived in the area for thousands of years and utilized the forest for hunting, gathering, and spiritual practices.

2. Colonial Settlement: Leverett, named after John Leverett, the former Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, was settled by English colonists in the mid-18th century. These early settlers began farming and logging activities in the surrounding area, though the forest itself was primarily used for timber production.

3. Rise of Conservation: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the industrial revolution progressed, the Leverett area experienced significant deforestation due to logging, agriculture, and increased settlement. Recognizing the need for conservation, various efforts were made to protect forested areas, including Leverett State Forest.

4. CCC Involvement: In the 1930s, at the height of the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) undertook projects in the forest. The CCC was a New Deal program initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide employment to young men and conserve natural resources. The CCC carried out reforestation efforts, fire prevention measures, trail construction, and the creation of recreational facilities in Leverett State Forest.

5. Recreational Development: Leverett State Forest has been a popular recreational area since the mid-20th century. The state forest offers various activities such as hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, picnicking, and camping. The CCC's contributions to recreational facilities, including the construction of picnic areas, campsites, and trails, have helped establish Leverett State Forest as a cherished recreational destination.

Throughout its history, Leverett State Forest has witnessed a transition from the primary use of the land for timber production and farming to its conservation and recreational value. Today, it continues to be managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, preserving its natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.
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1. Rattlesnake Gutter Trail: This is a 3-mile round trip trail that takes you through the unique geological feature known as "Rattlesnake Gutter." The path follows an ancient riverbed with towering cliffs on either side, offering stunning views of rock formations and lush vegetation.

2. East Leverett Meadow Loop: A relatively easy 2-mile loop around the scenic meadows in Eastern part of the forest. It's perfect for bird watching or just enjoying some peace and quiet amidst nature.

3. Brushy Mountain Summit Trail: This moderate difficulty trail stretches about 4 miles to reach one of highest points within Leverett State Forest - Brushy Mountain summit at over 1000 feet elevation providing panoramic vistas across Pioneer Valley below.

4. Roaring Brook Nature Walk: An educational half mile walk along roaring brook where interpretive signs provide information about local flora & fauna found here including several species native only to this region like certain types amphibians, birds etc., making it ideal choice families children interested learning more environment they're exploring.

5. Dudleyville Historical Site Pathway: Short but interesting pathway leading up towards remnants old mill town called 'Dudleyville' which was once thriving community during early colonial times before being abandoned due economic downturns; offers glimpse into area's rich history while also showcasing its natural beauty.

6. Long Pond Circuit: Around five-miles long circular route encircling serene waters Long Pond, featuring variety landscapes from dense woodlands open fields wetland areas ; great spot wildlife spotting especially waterfowl such ducks geese who frequent these parts year-round.

7. Metacomet-Monadnock (M&M) Section Hike: Part renowned New England National Scenic hiking system stretching Massachusetts Hampshire border southwards Connecticut state line.

8. Shutesbury Road Trail: This is a 1.5-mile trail that runs parallel to the road, offering an easy walk through mixed hardwood and pine forests.

9. Echo Lake Path: A tranquil half mile loop around picturesque echo lake, perfect for those looking quiet reflective stroll amidst serene surroundings.

10. Brushy Peak Loop: An adventurous three miles long hike taking you up steep inclines towards peak of brushy mountain where breathtaking views surrounding landscape await; not faint hearted but rewards are definitely worth effort put in!

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Area Campgrounds
Barton Cove Campground
99 Millers Falls Road
Northfield, MA
Traveler's Woods of New England, Inc
152 River Street
Bernardston, MA
Country Aire Campground
1753 Mohawk Trail
Shelburne Falls, MA
The Wagon Wheel Campground
909 Wendell Road
Warwick, MA
White Birch Campground
214 North Street
Whately, MA
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Pipione's Sport Shop
101 Avenue A
Turners Falls, MA
(413) 863-4246
Flagg's Fly & Tackle
189 Daniel Shays Hwy
Orange, MA
(978) 544-0034
Sugarloaf Tackle Co Fly Shop
3 Hager Cross Rd
South Deerfield, MA
(413) 665-7379

1. Start by heading east on Route 2 (also known as the Mohawk Trail) if you are coming from Greenfield or west on Route 2 if you are coming from Orange.

2. Continue driving along Route 2 until you reach Exit 16 for MA:63 South towards Montague Center/Amherst.

3. Take this exit and merge onto MA:63 South/Montague Road.

4. Follow MA:63 South for approximately 7 miles until you reach a roundabout near Montague center.

5. At the roundabout, take the second exit to stay on MA:63 S/South Street and continue straight ahead.

6. Continue following this road through Wendell Depot into New Salem where it becomes Daniel Shays Highway/MA:202 North after crossing over Quabbin Reservoir Bridge.

7. After about another mile, turn right onto Cave Hill Rd which will lead directly into Leverett State Forest parking area.

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Massachusetts State Parks