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Massachusetts State Parks

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USA Parks
Connecticut River Valley Region
Wendell State Forest
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Montague Rd.
Wendell, Massachusetts   01379

Phone: 413-659 3797
Located south of the Millers River, Wendell State Forest covers 7,566 acres of rolling forested hills, streams, ponds, and trails. Purchased in the 1920s the area had been heavily burned during the early 1900s. Some of the park development and most of the road systems are attributed to Civilian Conservation Corps activities in the 1930s.

Ruggles Pond is the main day-use area. This 10 acre pond offers crystal clear water for swimming and fishing. Picnic sites and a ball field with a pavilion are located nearby. There is a small boat launching ramp located at the Northern end of Wickett Pond. The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail traverses the forest boundaries and offers a small Adirondack shelter for trail users.
History of the Area
Wendell State Forest is a 7,566-acre state forest located in the town of Wendell, Massachusetts. It has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century.

The forest was originally part of a larger tract of land owned by the Wendell family, who were among the early settlers of the area. In the early 1800s, the land was utilized mostly for farming and timber harvesting. However, Wendell State Forest, as we know it today, came into existence in the early 1900s when the state of Massachusetts began acquiring tracts of land to create a public forest.

In 1910, the first parcels of land were purchased, and by 1916, the Wendell State Forest was formally established as a state forest. The initial purpose of the forest was to provide timber resources for local industries, as well as opportunities for recreational activities such as hunting and fishing.

During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a significant role in developing the infrastructure of the forest. The CCC was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942, employing young and unemployed men to work on various conservation projects. In Wendell State Forest, the CCC constructed trails, campsites, picnic areas, and fire roads, contributing to the overall recreational development of the forest.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Wendell State Forest underwent further improvements and expansions. Additional land was acquired, increasing the forest's size, and recreational facilities such as the Ruggles Pond swimming area and the Wendell State Forest campground were established.

Wendell State Forest is a popular recreational destination for hiking, fishing, camping, picnicking, and nature observation. The forest offers over 20 miles of trails, including the popular Wendell State Forest Loop Trail, which provides visitors with an opportunity to explore the diverse ecosystems and serene beauty of the forest.

Wendell State Forest's history reflects the transition of land from private ownership to public conservation, highlighting the state's commitment to preserving natural resources and providing recreational opportunities for its residents and visitors.
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1. Ruggles Pond Loop: A 2-mile trail that circles the beautiful and serene Ruggles Pond, offering stunning views of water bodies.

2. Metacomet-Monadnock Trail: This is a long-distance hiking trail stretching over 114 miles from Connecticut to New Hampshire with part passing through Wendell State Forest.

3. Mormon Hollow Brook Trail: An easy-to-moderate difficulty level hike along the brook featuring diverse flora and fauna in its surroundings.

4. Hidden Valley Trail: As suggested by name, this path leads hikers into secluded areas within forest providing an opportunity for solitude amidst nature's beauty.

5. Wickett Pond Outflow Hiking Area: It offers scenic trails around Wickett pond where you can enjoy bird watching or fishing activities as well.

6. Brooks Woodland Preserve Trails: These are network of interconnected paths covering various landscapes including wetlands, uplands forests etc., ideal for both short walks or longer hikes depending on your preference.

7. Montague Plains Wildlife Management Area Trails: Located near Wendell state forest these trails offer unique sandplain habitat exploration opportunities attracting many wildlife enthusiasts every year.

8. Wendell Road Pathway: This pathway runs parallel to wendel road giving visitors chance to explore different parts of park without straying too far away from main access points.

9. Ridge Top Way: A challenging uphill trek leading towards top ridge line rewarding climbers with panoramic view across entire region.

10. Pine Hill Trial: Known for dense pine tree cover, it provides cool shade during summer months making it popular choice among regular walkers & joggers alike.

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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
Lamb City Campground
85 Royalston Road
Phillipston, 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

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 Athol.

2. Take Exit 16 for MA:78 E towards North Adams/Winchendon.

3. Merge onto MA:78 and continue driving for about 4 miles until reaching a roundabout.

4. At the roundabout, take the second exit onto Petersham Road/MA:32 S.

5. Continue straight on this road for approximately 6 miles until reaching Wendell Depot Road.

6. Turn left onto Wendell Depot Road and drive for another mile before turning right into Montague Rd/Wendell Rd/Millers Falls Rd (signs may vary).

7. Continue following Millers Falls Road/Wendelldale Ave/Main St., which will lead directly into Wendell State Forest after around half a mile of driving.

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Massachusetts State Parks