October Mountain Lake

Washington, Massachusetts

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October Mountain State Forest is the largest public reserve of its kind in the commonwealth, boasting more than 16,000 acres of forest, swamps, and lakes. Within its borders are four nice paddling lakes with quite individual personalities. October Mountain Lake, second largest of the four, is a composite of human influence and true wilderness, an odd combination which has long defined October Mountain State Forest. The lake is held within its banks by two earthen dams that form opposing shores, and the dams are never out of view. Off-road trails, which run along portions of the shore, are host to ATVs that lend their high-pitched, gritty sounds to the song of the wind and the birds. Nothing’s perfect. Even though the sounds of people are almost always nearby, chances are you will be the only canoe or kayak on the entire lake. The drive to the lake is over miles of rocky roads, and then there is the 1,000-foot-long portage of gear and boat from the parking area to the lake. All told, that demands more effort than many are willing to expend. October Mountain Lake is at an elevation of about 1,700 feet and is entirely within October Mountain State Forest.
Water Trails of Western Massachusetts

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Water Trails of Western Massachusetts

by Charles W. G. Smith (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

October Mountain State Forest is the largest public reserve of its kind in the commonwealth, boasting more than 16,000 acres of forest, swamps, and lakes. Within its borders are four nice paddling lakes with quite individual personalities. October Mountain Lake, second largest of the four, is a composite of human influence and true wilderness, an odd combination which has long defined October Mountain State Forest. The lake is held within its banks by two earthen dams that form opposing shores, and the dams are never out of view.

Off-road trails, which run along portions of the shore, are host to ATVs that lend their high-pitched, gritty sounds to the song of the wind and the birds. Nothing’s perfect. Even though the sounds of people are almost always nearby, chances are you will be the only canoe or kayak on the entire lake. The drive to the lake is over miles of rocky roads, and then there is the 1,000-foot-long portage of gear and boat from the parking area to the lake. All told, that demands more effort than many are willing to expend. October Mountain Lake is at an elevation of about 1,700 feet and is entirely within October Mountain State Forest.

©  Charles W. G. Smith/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Washington
Distance: 1.6
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day use, camping available
Class: Class I
Season: Best spring through fall
Local Contacts: October Mountain State Forest
Driving Directions: Directions to October Mountain Lake

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Apr 2018