Washington Mountain Marsh

Becket, Massachusetts

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Hike around a defunct reservoir–turned-marsh. Zigzag around Washington Mountain Marsh on hundreds of feet of plank walkways and wooden bridges; pass within feet of active beaver dams, and see fine examples of the huts in which beavers live. October Mountain State Forest is Massachusetts’s largest state forest at 16,500 acres. Almost every topographic map shows this body of water as Washington Mountain Lake. The strange thing is that this was never a lake. A leaky dam in a failed flood-control project prevented the lake from ever being formed, resulting in the marsh that exists today.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Berkshires

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Easy Day Hikes: Berkshires

by Jim Bradley (Falcon Guides)

Hike around a defunct reservoir–turned-marsh. Zigzag around Washington Mountain Marsh on hundreds of feet of plank walkways and wooden bridges; pass within feet of active beaver dams, and see fine examples of the huts in which beavers live. October Mountain State Forest is Massachusetts’s largest state forest at 16,500 acres.

Almost every topographic map shows this body of water as Washington Mountain Lake. The strange thing is that this was never a lake. A leaky dam in a failed flood-control project prevented the lake from ever being formed, resulting in the marsh that exists today.

©  Jim Bradley/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Becket
Distance: 3.1
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Local Contacts: October Mountain State Forest
Local Maps: USGS East Lee; park map available at October Mountain Campground and on the park website
Driving Directions: Directions to Washington Mountain Marsh

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Apr 2018