- Department of Conservation & Recreation
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Reopens Massasoit State Park Campground
Olivia Dorrance, Press Secretary
TAUNTON — After years of being closed following a lightning storm event that disabled the park’s underground electrical system, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced that Massasoit State Park’s campground will reopen to the public starting on Friday, August 24, 2018. In recognition of the campground’s reopening, the Administration is providing free camping on Friday, August 24, 2018 through Sunday, August 26, 2018. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which manages Massasoit State Park, invested more than $5 million to reinvigorate the property’s facilities and make them operational. Included in the project is a state-of-the-art, fully accessible playground to provide children with additional outdoor recreational opportunities.
“Massasoit State Park is an important natural resource within the City of Taunton, and since coming into office, the reopening of the park’s facilities has been a priority of our Administration,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration is committed to projects like Massasoit State Park that provide Massachusetts’ residents with access to safe, clean, open spaces, across the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s 450,000 acres of forests, beaches, campgrounds and mountains.”
“Massachusetts is home to an extensive state park system offering incredible recreational opportunities within every region of the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I am thrilled for the people of Taunton and for campers from all over the country who will welcome the reopening of Massasoit State Park’s campground, which will provide additional access to the park’s 1,200 acres of protected space.”
Initially closed in 2008, the Baker-Polito Administration reopened the gates to Massasoit State Park in 2015 for passive recreation, such as hiking, fishing, and mountain biking. In order to reopen the campground facilities, the DCR has rehabilitated 94 campsites, upgraded the electric hookups to 20/30/50 amps, and added water to each site in two of the loops for campers. Additionally, 16 miles of trail maintenance has been completed. To assist in the operations of the park, the agency has hired seasonal staff members, who will maintain the park and oversee its campground operations. Additional work at the park included:
- The renovation of the park contact station;
- The installation of new signage;
- The restoration of running water and power to the park and campground;
- The repair and re-paving of park roadways;
- The renovation of the entrance station;
- The installation of lighting along the path to the campground and playground;
- The restoration of Campers Beach;
- The management of water vegetation overgrowth; and,
- The restoration of four campground comfort stations.
“As the world becomes more connected, it is important to seek outdoor recreational space to disconnect and engage with nature,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration is proud of the years of hard work put into the rehabilitation of Massasoit State Park and we will continue in providing a high level of access to the state park system for Massachusetts residents and visitors to enjoy and benefit from.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration has dedicated considerable time, effort, and capital to the reopening of Massasoit State Park and its facilities, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation is honored to manage this state park ” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “Visiting a State Park is a priceless experience for children and families, and now the South Coast can resume creating memories at such a unique reservation.”
While camping will be free from Friday, August 24, 2018 through Sunday, August 26, 2018 (there will be an online transaction fee of $8.65), the DCR highly recommends campers consider making reservations in advance. During the remainder of the season, camping fees will be $17 for instate residents, and $27 for out-of-state residents.
"I am very pleased that with the authorization of funds from the legislature Massasoit State Park and its new-and-improved campgrounds will once again be open to the public,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), “94 campsites and 16 miles of trail have been renovated and upgraded with new roadways, new lights, and new playgrounds. Revitalizing Massasoit was a considerable project and I’m glad the park and its facilities have been restored for everyone to enjoy.”
“I am thrilled that the Baker-Polito Administration saw the value of Massasoit State Park in our area and grateful that they put the time, effort, and funding into restoring this hidden gem,” said State Representative Keiko Orrall (R-Lakeville). “The new playground and restored campground will provide many happy memories for years to come!”
The public can make reservations starting tomorrow, Thursday, August 16, 2018, online (www.reserveamerica.com) or by phone (877-422-6762) for the upcoming free weekend, or any day through October 7, 2018, the last day the campground will be open for the season. Additionally, on August 24, 2018, a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 3:30PM. That evening, the public is invited to gather around a community campfire and roast s’mores to celebrate the campground’s reopening.
Furthermore, this year the DCR is celebrating 125 years of stewardship. The agency (then as the Metropolitan Parks Commission) acquired the Waverly Oaks in the Town of Belmont, which became Beaver Brook Reservation in 1893. One of the agency’s newest acquisitions was the purchase of Paine’s Campground earlier this year in the Town of Wellfleet. The DCR will begin managing the Cape Cod campground starting next year. For more information regarding DCR’s Massasoit State Park, please visit the park’s webpage.