Visiting Massachusetts State Parks Guide

Whether you are a regular park visitor or new to Massachusetts state parks, open space is more valuable than ever! You can help DCR keep properties safe, welcoming and more climate resilient by planning your visit in advance. Learn about spring, self-guided and accessible adventures, parking, programs and events, dogs and pet waste, camping, fishing, hunting, and more!

Table of Contents

Find a Massachusetts State Park

150+   Massachusetts State Parks you can visit

The Department of Conservation and Recreation manages over 150 state parks across the Commonwealth. These protected lands include mountains, freshwater beaches, saltwater beaches, and much more. 

Find a park

View the full list of Massachusetts state parks

View the alphabetical list of state parks

View the list of state parks by region

If you know what you want to do in a state park, search parks by recreation type or amenities.


Self-guided opportunities

DCR has many self-guided opportunities to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Visit the DCR Programs and Events page for more info.

Key Actions   for Self-guided opportunities

Parking fees and passes for state parks

Many DCR facilities charge a parking fee. Click the link below to view the most recent parking fees schedule. Note: Resident and non-resident status are determined by the vehicle license plate.

DCR Parking Fee Collection Schedule by Park

Annual Parking Pass

At a cost of $60 for MA residents, the DCR Annual Parking Pass may be a more economical option than purchasing a Daily Parking Pass for each visit.

Passes are available to MA residents only. Your driver's license and vehicle registration must show Massachusetts residency to be eligible for an Annual Parking Pass.

Learn how to get an Annual Parking Pass for DCR parks

Daily parking fees are waived for vehicles with a:

· Handicapped license plate or placard

· Purple Heart Recipient license plate or placard

· Disabled veteran license plate or placard

Senior Parking Pass

Massachusetts residents age 62 or over are eligible for a Senior Parking Pass. Senior Passes are valid for life and grant access to DCR parks that charge a parking fee. Senior Parking Passes can be purchased by mail or online.

* Note: The Senior Parking Pass is not valid for on-street meter parking on DCR roadways in Cambridge, or for parking at the Quabbin boat ramp, or the hourly rate parking lot at North Point Park in Cambridge.

Learn how to get a lifetime Senior Parking Pass

Key Actions   for Parking fees and passes for state parks

Additional Resources   for Parking fees and passes for state parks

Find park information and restrictions

It is important to be prepared for your trip to a state park. Make sure you have a map, know park restrictions, and have a parking pass.

Look for these symbols at the top of state park pages to find out more about the park.

icons indicating transit friendly, historic site, wheelchair accessible, and dogs allowed

Check the "Accessibility" and "Restrictions" sections of park web pages for more information on rules and accessible recreation. 

Accessibility at state parks

The Department of Conservation and Recreation's Universal 
Access Program
 ensures that people of all abilities can enjoy the Massachusetts state parks system. 

Through the Universal Access Program, DCR offers accessible recreation at parks across the state, including:


Key Actions   for Accessibility at state parks

Trail maps

Prepare for hiking, biking, and other recreation with a printable trail map. Every park with a trail map will have a download link for the map at the top of the park's web page. A full list of trail maps is linked below.

View all DCR park trail maps


Reserve a campsite or day use site

Are you planning a big event or simply looking to go camping for the weekend? There are 29 state parks that allow camping and many have facilities for daytime use.


State parks with campgrounds will have the following link on their page:
Reserve a campsite

Through the "Reserve a campsite" link on park web pages you can find:

  • Camping rates
  • Amenities at campsites
  • Available campsite types
  • Camping season information
  • Campground rules

View parks with camping 

View all park camping fees

Day use

There are 22 Massachusetts state parks with sites that can be rented for daytime use. Pavilions, picnic areas, and other sites are available for events, such as field trips, family reunions, and weddings. 

Find and reserve sites for group use

Key Actions   for Reserve a campsite or day use site

Weddings and other special events

Special Events

You need a special events permit to hold weddings, concerts, races, and other events at Massachusetts state parks.

Apply for a state parks special use permit

Learn about weddings at state parks

How to get recreational permits or licenses

To keep park patrons and the environment safe, the Commonwealth offers services that prepare you for various types of recreation. 


Hunting is allowed at numerous state parks. It is important to know the hunting regulations for state parks to ensure everyone has a safe and fun time.

Learn about hunting in state parks

Buy your Massachusetts hunting license


Fishing is popular at inland and coastal parks. In addition to acquiring a freshwater or saltwater fishing license, you will need to follow the fishing rules of the park you visit.

Learn more about fishing in state parks

Buy your freshwater fishing license

Buy your recreational saltwater fishing permit


Many state parks have boat ramps for public use. All motorized boats are required to be registered with the Massachusetts Environmental Police, Bureau of Registration and Titling

Find places to boat in state parks

Register your boat


Educational programs and park events

Many DCR state parks offer activities for all age groups. These activities can include:

  • Nature walks
  • Historical talks
  • Tours
  • Birdwatching 

Parks that list educational programs will have a "Find park programs and events" link at the top of the park web page or at the bottom in the "More info" section. Through the link below you can view upcoming park events or search events by park.

Find park events and programs

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