Looking for a place to go fishing, hunting, hiking or wildlife watching?
Massachusetts boasts a variety of areas for the outdoor enthusiast, and this section will guide you to the many places you can explore in the Bay State on land or freshwater with binoculars, fishing rod or firearm. Enjoy the outdoors with other users!
REMINDER: Sunday Hunting is Prohibited in Massachusetts
Places to Go
- Wildlife Land Maps
State wildlife lands provide wildlife the habitat it needs and gives people a place to hunt, fish, trap, watch wildlife, and experience nature. Most include unmarked trails or woods roads, with simple, unpaved parking lots. These "lightly" developed areas keep wild places wild while giving people access to nature and an "off the beaten path" experience. These properties are owned and managed by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Reminder: Sunday hunting is prohibited in Massachusetts.
- Pond Maps
Find bathymetric (depth) maps of publicly accessible lakes and ponds.
- Wildlife Viewing Sites
Explore the wild side of the Bay State at 67 sites across the state representing some of the finest wildlife viewing opportunities in a variety of habitats.
- Access Sites
These sites are mostly boat launch areas, boat ramps or designated fishing areas or piers that have been designed and built by the FBA . The table contains links to maps of many of the sites, pond maps from MassWildlife where available, and additional descriptive information such as the facility type and the fish species typically fished for.
- Outdoor Recreation Map file size 3MB
This map, available for free at MassWildlife offices, lists state wildlife management areas, state forests and parks, boat ramp locations and wildlife viewing sites.
- Atlas of Priority & Estimated Habitats-- Habitat alteration within Priority Habitats and Estimated may result in a take of a MA Endangered Species Act state-listed species, and is subject to regulatory review by the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program. Maps are available online or can be ordered in book format or CD.
- Northern Long-eared Bat -- Due to severe population declines, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listed the Northern Long-eared Bat in April 2015. To assist project proponents in complying with the 4(d) rule, the NHESP is providing a map for known locations of winter hibernacula and maternity roost trees.
- Vernal Pools -- Some vernal pools are protected in Massachusetts under the Wetlands Protection Act regulations, as well as several other federal and state regulations, and local bylaws.
- Wildlife Management Zone Map (pdf) –This map is used by deer hunters when applying for antlerless deer permits. Hunters should also refer to this map to determine what other game animals may be hunted in different parts of the state.
- Waterfowl Hunting Zone Map (pdf) – During the waterfowl hunting season the state is divided into three zones as illustrated by this map. Season dates for waterfowl hunting vary by zone at certain times of the hunting season.
- MassGIS Data - BioMap2 Core Habitat and Critical Natural Landscapes -- BioMap Core Habitat depicts the most viable habitat for rare and other native species and exemplary natural communities in Massachusetts. Critical Natural Landscapes identify large, naturally vegetated blocks that are relatively free from the impact of roads and other development and provides buffers to wetland and aquatic Core Habitats. For more information please see our BioMap2 web page.
- MassGIS Data - Natural Communities --Natural communities are assemblages of species that occur together in space and time. These groups of plants and animals are found in recurring patterns that can be classified and described by their dominant physical and biological features. The NHESP Natural Communities datalayer consists of polygons that represent the extent of various natural communities of biodiversity conservation interest in Massachusetts. These polygons are based on records of natural communities maintained in DFW’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) database .