So Much Fun for So Little Money
Massachusetts State Forests & Parks
“Come out and play!” “Find yourself in a state park.” “It’s your nature.” These are some of the phrases Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has used over the years to invite visitors to Massachusetts state Forests and Parks. They are all true. Here’s another one: “So much fun for so little money!” It’s unofficial, of my own invention, and so true, too.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation – the state forests and parks – kicks its recreation season into high gear in June. Plan a visit. Plan lots of visits. Let’s talk about the “so much fun” part first. “For so little money” is covered later in this article.
SO MUCH FUN
The first thing to know about your state Forests and Parks is that there are lots of them – approximately 150 sites throughout Massachusetts. They range from small “pocket parks,” such as playgrounds, in eastern Massachusetts, to several thousand acre forests in western Massachusetts. October Mountain in Berkshire County, at over 16,000 acres, is one of the largest.
The point is this: Each park is special in its own unique way, whether it is a geologic wonder, like Natural Bridge‘s marble formations in North Adams; or the state’s highest peak, Mt. Greylock State Reservation, in Lanesboro; or waterfalls like the 80-foot Bash Bish Falls in Mt. Washington; or even re-claimed forest land, such as Erving State Forest and many of our other state forests.
The DCR website, www.mass.gov/dcr, gives a nice overview of the agency and a glimpse of individual parks, including relevant information such as driving directions and what the park offers visitors. There are several ways to search out parks for exploring. I recommend selecting by park name or by geographic region (click “Find a Park” on the home page) or by type of activity that interests you (click on “Activities” on the home page).