Benedict Pond, Beartown State
Beartown State Forest
69 Blue Hill Rd.
P.O. Box 97
Monterey, MA 01245
Located at intersection of Brett Road and Blue Hill Road
Beartown State Forest has two distinctly different
worlds between the summer and winter. During the warm months the pristine 35-acre
Benedict Pond attracts swimmers, boaters and fishermen. An extensive
network of trails on over 12,000 acres offers visitors a chance to glimpse deer, bear,
bobcat, fisher and other wildlife, including the park's namesake, the Black Bear. Brooks, beaver ponds, rich deciduous forest, flowering shrubs and wildflowers and fall foliage are plentiful. The Appalachian
Trail passes near Benedict Pond and
offers spectacular wooded views.
The other half of the year the forest becomes
a winter wonderland, where visitors on cross-country skis, snowshoes
or snowmobiles can explore a snow-covered wilderness. The 1.5 mile Benedict Pond Loop Trail is a must in any season. Year-round camping is also available.
Nearby, on US Rte. 7 in Great Barrington, Fountain Pond State Park and Monument Mountain (The Trustees of Reservations) offer a variety of hiking trails and breathtaking views any time of year.
Summer Use Winter Use
Benedict Pond Loop Trail
Things to know before you go…
- The forest is open from sunrise until sunset, year-round. A $5 fee per vehicle is charged from May through Labor Day. Parking is free for ParksPass holders, vehicles with Handicapped, disabled veteran plates/placard, and seniors 62 and above with the Massachusetts Senior Pass.
- Camping is available from mid-May until the night before Labor Day in the designated campground only. Reservations are suggested. Several sites are wheelchair accessible, call for information. No group sites or cabins are available. Campground office hours: 8am-4:30pm.
- Off-season camping is available from Labor Day until Thursday before Memorial Day, available on a first-come/first-served basis. Contact the park for more information.
- Be bear aware: Don't forget you are in Black Bear country. Never physically confront, feed, torment or throw anything at bears. Take appropriate precautions with food so as not to attract bears.
- Unguarded swimming is available at designated area only.
- Pets are permitted except on the beach and adjacent lawn. Pets must be on a 10-foot maximum leash and attended at all times. Must have proof of current Rabies vaccine. Please be courteous and clean up after your pet.
- Grilling is allowed. Charcoal grills are available on site. Visitors may bring charcoal or gas grills
- No hunting is allowed on Arthur Warton Swann State Forest
- Boating: non-motorized boating is available Benedict Pond day-use area (ramp available, day-use fee applies). Stop aquatic hitchhikers; please ensure that your boat and equipment are clean before launching.
- Appalachian Trail access: AT parking is available near intersection of MA Rtes. 23 & 57, at Great Barrington-Monterey town line along Blue Hill Road, at Beartown State Forest day use parking lot via Pond Loop Trail, along Beartown Mountain Road and on Main Road in Tyringham.
- All Terrain Vehicles are permitted during daylight hours on designated trails only. Season generally runs from May 1 through last Sunday in November; however, riding season never begins before May 1st and is often delayed due to wet trail conditions (as is the case this year) please click the hotlink or call the park for current dates. No access from campground. ATVs must be on trailer in campground. Designated parking at selected sites, refer to trail map.
- Snowmobiling is available, conditions permitting (4-inch minimum hard-packed snow base). Parking is available at Benedict Pond day-use area.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on all state lands.
Beartown State Forest is located in the southern Berkshires in western Massachusetts.
From East or West/MassPike (I-90): Take Exit 2 in Lee. Follow MA Rte. 102 west for 4.7 miles to Stockbridge. Turn left and follow U.S. Rte. 7 south for 6.1 miles to Great Barrington. Turn left and follow MA Rte. 23 east for 5.3 miles to Monterey. Turn left onto Blue Hill Road then follow the brown lead-in signs; 0.5 miles to park headquarters on left, or 2.2 miles to park entrance on right (Benedict Pond Rd.).
From North or South/ Rte. 7: From US Rte. 7 in Great Barrington, take MA Rte. 23 east for 5.3 miles to Monterey. Turn left onto Blue Hill Road then follow the brown lead-in signs; 0.5 miles to park headquarters on left, or 2.2 miles to park entrance on right (Benedict Pond Rd.).