DCR Watershed Public Access Rules and Maps

Find rules and maps that describe public access activities in DCR's drinking water supply watersheds.

DCR Division of Water Supply Protection (DWSP) manages over 100,000 acres of land and 30,000 acres of water across the watershed system that provides the source waters to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) for treatment and distribution to more than three million people.  

Public access and recreational uses of water supply property are complex issues.  Any human activity on or near water supply source waters can introduce disease-causing agents or pollutants to the drinking water supply.  Water supply managers must exercise caution when considering policies for public access and recreation on water supply lands. 

DWSP and MWRA must meet strict state and federal laws as one of the few unfiltered drinking water supplies in the nation.  At the same time these reservoirs and lands are valuable natural resources that attract the public to explore and recreate.  DWSP's public access management plans determine the levels of access that may be reasonably allowed without risking water supply safety, security, or quality.

Table of Contents

Rules and Regulations

All of DWSP's Public Access Policies are based on 313 CMR 11.09, the General Rules and Regulations for the Protection of Watersheds and Watershed System.

Watershed Protection General Rules and Regulations 313 CMR 11.09

Each of the four watersheds have policies developed through a Public Access Management Plan.  The maps below reflect these policies.

Click here to view entire Public Access Management Plans.

Quabbin Reservoir Watershed

Quabbin Reservoir

The Gate 30 parking area off Route 122 in New Salem, and all access to the Quabbin Reservation from this location, is closed as of July 10, 2021.  The road just inside Gate 30 crosses the Swift River over a keystone bridge; DCR engineers have determined that damage to both the bridge and road make them no longer safe for public use until repairs can be completed.  DCR recommends using Gate 29 on Route 202 to access this section of the Quabbin Reservation.

Interactive Map

The Division of Water Supply Protection has developed an interactive map with detailed information about public access roads and trails around the Quabbin Reservoir.  There are two ways to access this map: one is an online program that is accessible from your desktop computer or mobile device’s web browser; the other is through an App you can download directly to your mobile device and use in the field.  The mobile device App is recommended for use in the field.

Click here to directly access the on-line Quabbin Reservoir Public Access Road and Trail Interactive Map. 

Please see the Instructions for Using the Quabbin Reservoir Public Access Road and Trail Interactive Map for information about the mobile app.

Quabbin Park Access 

Bicycle Access 

Fishing Access

Other Access

Additional Resources

Ware River Watershed

Additional Resources

Wachusett Reservoir Watershed

Additional Resources

Sudbury Reservoir Watershed

Additional Resources



100 Winsor Dam Rd.
Belchertown , MA 01007


Field Headquarters (508) 792-7806
Watershed Rangers (978) 365-3800


Field Headquarters
180 Beaman St.
West Boylston, MA 01505

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