Ware River Watershed


Oakham Field Office Ware River Watershed, Oakham, MA 01068

Details   of Ware River Watershed

Overview   of Ware River Watershed

DCR owns approximately 23,000 acres in the Ware River watershed. Located in Central Massachusetts between the Quabbin Reservoir and the Wachusett Reservoir, the Ware River watershed is the land and water which drain to the MWRA diversion facility on the Ware River in Barre. The water that enters the intake travels to either the Quabbin or Wachusett Reservoir through an underground tunnel, the Quabbin aqueduct. The watershed includes some or all of Barre, Hubbardston, Oakham, Phillipston, Princeton, Rutland, Templeton, and Westminster.

Hours   for Ware River Watershed

Dawn to dusk

Parking   at Ware River Watershed


Services   at Ware River Watershed

Recreational activities available in the Ware River watershed include:

  • Shoreline Fishing
  • Biking (allowed on designated trails only)  
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Snowshoeing
  • Hunting (Restrictions)
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling (Restrictions)
  • Horseback Riding Trails (Restrictions)

Click here for public access maps and policy summaries.

DCR permits public access and recreational activities which are compatible with protection of the drinking water supply, and these other objectives:

  • apparent wilderness character stewardship
  • natural resource management
  • historic and prehistoric site preservation
  • long-term ecosystem health improvement/biological diversity.

Restrictions   at Ware River Watershed

The primary purpose of DCR watershed lands is drinking water supply. Public access, therefore, is carefully regulated and controlled to protect over 3 million people’s source of drinking water. State regulations require all entry and exit through gates or other designated areas only. Anything that could pollute the water supply system, such as litter or refuse of any sort, is prohibited. Please observe restrictions on recreational activities. Direct water contact activities, such as swimming and wading, are strictly prohibited by regulation. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (“Drones”)  are not allowed.

Ware River Public Access Management Plan

DCR's Ware River Watershed Public Access Management Plan describes the management policies that allow people to recreate on Ware River watershed lands while still protecting water quality. The Division of Water Supply Protection completed the Ware River Watershed Public Access Management Plan Update (2023) in September 2023.  2023 Ware River Watershed Public Access Management Summary provides an overview of these polices by activity; click here for additional maps and fact sheets.  

More info   for Ware River Watershed

Image credits:  DCR DWSP

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