Big Pond

Otis, Massachusetts

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Years ago there was a large, very attractive body of water in Otis. For generations it was called Great Lake, a name that suited it well. From anywhere on its shore it seemed enormous in a wonderfully deceptive way. In the middle of the lake was a large island, which at first glance appeared like the distant shore. It wasn’t. Careful observation revealed traces of a broad sweep of water far beyond the island. Great Lake, while not in the same league as those showoffs in the Midwest, was of respectable size for western Massachusetts. If you look for Great Lake on a current map you won’t find it. It isn’t around anymore. Somewhere along the way someone changed the name of Great Lake to Big Pond. (It was probably the same person who changed the Ford Silver Sword to the Edsel.) But what is in a name? Whether called Great Lake or Big Pond, this body of water promises a great time in a big way. The trip begins with a pleasant paddle along a quiet riverlike channel where river otter live. The waterway leads to a rocky gateway that ushers you into the wide expanse of Big Pond. From there you can paddle around many islands, the largest nearly 12 acres, and paddle by an extensive 242-acre forested wetland on the north shore. There are no public areas on Big Pond, but it is a pleasant paddle nonetheless.
Water Trails of Western Massachusetts

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Water Trails of Western Massachusetts

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

Years ago there was a large, very attractive body of water in Otis. For generations it was called Great Lake, a name that suited it well. From anywhere on its shore it seemed enormous in a wonderfully deceptive way. In the middle of the lake was a large island, which at first glance appeared like the distant shore. It wasn’t. Careful observation revealed traces of a broad sweep of water far beyond the island. Great Lake, while not in the same league as those showoffs in the Midwest, was of respectable size for western Massachusetts. If you look for Great Lake on a current map you won’t find it.

It isn’t around anymore. Somewhere along the way someone changed the name of Great Lake to Big Pond. (It was probably the same person who changed the Ford Silver Sword to the Edsel.) But what is in a name? Whether called Great Lake or Big Pond, this body of water promises a great time in a big way. The trip begins with a pleasant paddle along a quiet riverlike channel where river otter live. The waterway leads to a rocky gateway that ushers you into the wide expanse of Big Pond. From there you can paddle around many islands, the largest nearly 12 acres, and paddle by an extensive 242-acre forested wetland on the north shore. There are no public areas on Big Pond, but it is a pleasant paddle nonetheless.

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

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Otis
Distance: 4
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day use
Class: Class I
Season: Best spring through fall
Driving Directions: Directions to Big Pond

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Apr 2018