Quabbin Reservoir and Ware River Watershed School Programs
Quabbin Interpretive Services staff offer classroom programs and remote programs via Zoom to schools and groups in or bordering the watershed areas and to MWRA service communities. Guided outdoor hikes in Quabbin Park are also available.
Program topics include:
- Watersheds and watershed management
- Cultural history of the Quabbin and Ware River Valleys
- Wildlife and wildlife habitats
For more information on programs or to schedule a program please contact: QuabbinVisitor.Center@mass.gov
If you plan to visit to Quabbin Reservoir or the Ware River Watershed with your students or group please remember:
- Groups of over 25 people must have an Access Permit. There is no charge for permits for educational groups. Click here for the online Group Permit Application.
- Please schedule programs at least two weeks in advance.
- Please be prepared when visiting Quabbin Reservoir: dress appropriately for the weather and outdoor recreation; especially be aware of ticks.
- All DWSP rules and regulations apply; dogs are not allowed anywhere at the Quabbin Reservoir.
DCR Quabbin Interpretive Services staff offer a variety of public programs throughout the year exploring the history, natural history, and management of the Quabbin Reservoir and Ware River Watersheds. An annual speakers’ series is hosted from January to March. For current information on public programs and presentations please review Quabbin Visitor Center Events, call (413) 323-7221, or email QuabbinVisitor.Center@mass.gov.
Groups are welcome to contact DCR to arrange programs on site at the Les and Terry Campbell Quabbin Visitor Center. Quabbin Interpretive staff are also available to visit libraries and community groups in the watershed area or via Zoom for MWRA service communities.
If you are interested in being added to an email list sharing information about upcoming programs, please email your contact information to QuabbinVisitor.Center@mass.gov.
The Les and Terry Campbell Quabbin Visitor Center
The Les and Terry Campbell Quabbin Visitor Center (QVC) is located on the first floor of the DCR Quabbin Administration Building in Belchertown and is currently open 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Thursday thru Tuesday; the QVC is closed on Wednesday. The QVC is closed for holidays in November and December and may be subject to closings due to severe weather. Call 413-323-7221 to confirm open hours before visiting.
Stop by the Visitor Center for an introduction to the history and construction of both the Quabbin Reservoir and the Ware River Watersheds, an overview of the DCR/MWRA water supply system, DCR's Division of Water Supply Protection's watershed management activities, and information about wildlife and other natural resources. A variety of self-guided educational opportunities exist for groups visiting Quabbin Park and Reservation, including over 100 miles of trails and roads open for hiking and limited biking.
Vital Records for the disincorporated towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott are available for genealogical research; please call ahead to schedule an appointment.
The QVC was formally re-named the Les and Terry Campbell Quabbin Visitor Center by Chapter 325 of the Acts of 2022. Les Campbell, a sanitary engineer at Quabbin Reservoir, founded the QVC in 1984 and his wife Terry was the first volunteer to staff the center. The couple also helped form the Friends of Quabbin and Les was a renowned photographer, particularly of the watershed.
Maps, books, trail guides and related materials are available for purchase at the QVC from the Friends of Quabbin.
Les and Terry Campbell Quabbin Visitor Center
485 Ware Road (Route 9)
Belchertown, MA 01007
Videos - Virtual Field Trips
Videos - Quabbin Visitor Center Presentations
The Les and Terry Campbell Quabbin Visitor Center offers a variety of programs to the public. Presentations are provided by DCR staff as well as experts from outside the agency. The following are recordings of programs. Click here for more Watershed Management videos.
Self-guided Tours, Interactive Trail Map, and Other Activities To Do On Your Own
Self-guided Trail Guides
Be a History Detective at Quabbin Reservoir! This is a DCR Tip-Trip Itinerary. Discover three unique areas in the Quabbin Reservation that spotlight what life was like before four towns were removed to build the reservoir.
Quabbin Spring Ramble. This is a DCR Tip-Trip Itinerary. While it says "Spring", these three trips are excellent adventures any time of the year!
A variety of non-staffed educational opportunities exist for groups visiting Quabbin including the Forest Stewardship Trail, eagle watching at Enfield Lookout, and 22 miles of walking routes with a descriptive guide (available for purchase at the Visitor Center).
Interactive Trail 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.
Please see the Instructions for Using the Quabbin Reservoir Public Access Road and Trail Interactive Map for information about the mobile app.
DCR staff is also available to consult with teachers planning Quabbin or water related programs in their school, or for those interested in a group visit to Quabbin. If you are interested, you can contact the Interpretive Services at (413) 323-7221.
Posters with information about various sites, facilities, and history are posted on kiosks around the Quabbin Reservoir watershed and in the Quabbin Visitors Center.
- Drinking Water System History
- Watershed Protection (original)
- Watershed Protection 2023
- Reservoir Elevation
- The Lost Valley
- Rabbit Run Railroad
- Women of the Valley
- Quabbin Park Cemetery
- Bald Eagles
- Three Views of Enfield
- Prescribed Burns
- Quabbin Tower
- Creepy Critters
- Ice on the Reservoir
Why Dogs Aren't Allowed at Quabbin Reservoir
Dogs are not allowed on any DCR Division of Water Supply Protection lands in the Quabbin Reservoir watershed. Dog waste is full of harmful bacteria, excess nutrients, and sometimes parasites and viruses. Parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium can last for long periods of time in dog waste. When dog waste is left on the ground, heavy rain and snowmelt wash the waste into streams and tributaries, compromising water quality.
While all the open space around the Quabbin Reservoir seems like a good place to walk a dog, it is not allowed by DCR's Watershed Protection regulations. People are encouraged to take their pets to visit other DCR property that allow dogs and reminded to always pick up their waste. DCR has produced a brochure and videos to further explain the impact dogs have on drinking water supplies.
Quabbin Reservoir Historic Photograph Collection Digital Access Project
DCR's Archive program has made thousands of historic photos available that document the construction of the DCR/MWRA water supply system. The following is a presentation on Quabbin Reservoir Historic Photograph Collection Digital Access Project.