Housatonic River, Lee, MA
256 Woodland Road
At 16,500 acres, October Mountain is the largest
state forest in Massachusetts. Here visitors can camp,
hike and enjoy the outdoors while they visit nearby Tanglewood and
other Berkshire Region points of interest. 47 campsites dot a sunny hillside and offer a great base to explore this vast forest.
The name of "October Mountain" is attributed to writer Herman Melville, whose view from his home in Pittsfield of these hills in fall impressed him so. The state forest originated from the former estate of William C. Whitney, President Grover Cleveland's Secretary of the Navy. Trails are available for every level of experience, and include the famous Appalachian Trail. One of the most scenic trails lead through Schermerhorn Gorge, a striking natural feature which has intrigued generations of geologists. Countless varieties of wild plants and animals can be found throughout the varied terrain of this vast forest.
View on screen | Download printable version (pdf)
Summer Use Winter Use
Washington Mountain Interpretive Trail
Hiking/Riding Trail Mileages
Things to know before you go…
- The forest is open from sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Access is free.
- Camping season is from mid-May through mid-October in designated campground only. Reservations are suggested. Several sites are wheelchair accessible. There are three yurts that are available for camping. No group sites are available. Campground office hours: 8am-10pm.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on all state lands.
- 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.
- Pets are permitted, except in yurts and on yurt sites. 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.
- All Terrain Vehicles: Are permitted during daylight hours on designated trails only, from May 1 through last Sunday in November (call ahead for details). 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).
- Universal Access: a wheelchair accessible day-use area and trail are available at Washington Mountain Marsh. Refer to trail map.
- Boating: car top boating is available at Housatonic River (public access nearby at New Lenox Rd.), Buckley Dunton Reservoir and October Mountain Reservoir day-use area. Stop aquatic hitchhikers; please ensure that your boat and equipment are clean before launching.
- Appalachian Trail access: is available on U.S. Route 20 at Becket-Lee town line, 5 miles east of downtown Lee; and on Pittsfield Rd./Washington Mountain Rd. in town of Washington.
October Mountain State Forest is located in the central Berkshires, western Massachusetts.
From the East or West/Mass Pike (I-90): Take Exit 2 in Lee. Follow U.S. Rte. 20 west 1.1 miles through downtown Lee to Center Street. Turn right onto Center St. and follow (becomes Columbia St.) for 1 mile to Bradley Street. Turn right onto Bradley St. (becomes Woodland Rd.) and follow brown lead-in signs 1 mile to campground entrance.
From North or South/Rte. 7: In Lenox Rte. 7 is merged with U.S. Rte. 20. At Walker Street stoplight turn left from north, or right from south and continue into Lenoxdale for 1 mile. Turn right onto Mill Street, cross bridge and continue for 0.5 miles to Bradley Street. Turn left onto Bradley St. (becomes Woodland Rd.) and follow brown lead-in signs 1 mile to campground entrance.