willard brook covered bridge

Willard Brook State Forest
Address: 599 Main St, West Townsend MA 01474
Phone: 978-597-8802
Time from Boston: 1 hour, 25 minutes (52 miles)
Website: www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-central/willard-brook-state-forest.html

Camping at Willard Brook State Forest

About 50 miles northwest of Boston sits Willard Brook State Forest, nearly 3,000 acres of woods. Despite the huge land mass of the forest, the campground here is very small – just 21 campsites under pine trees.

The park’s name comes from Willard Brook, which criss-crosses Main Street (Route 119) in West Townsend. Activities offered in the park include swimming, hiking, fishing, and horseback riding, plus the usual trail sports in winter.

The campsites are located around Damen Pond, which can be reached by taking Route 119 to Hosmer Road. Water is located between sites 3 and 4 and between 9 and 10. There’s one restroom between sites 8 and 9, and a dumpster between sites 20 and 21. Take a look at the forest campground map here.

As of this writing, the campground office is open from 9 am to 10 pm. Camping season runs from late May to early September.

Reservations can be made here. Sites can be reserved up to six months ahead of time. There are no showers here, so the camping is rustic. If you come in June, you’ll get to see the bloom of the mountain laurel, which is abundant here.

Willard Brook State Forest is one of the best campgrounds to visit if you’re looking for some great hiking with your camping. A new hiking trail – the Friends Trail – links Damen Pond with Pearl Hill State Park. The four-mile trek can take more than two hours to hike, so come prepared.

The state forest has other interesting things to see, such as the Willard Brook Covered Footbridge, shown in the photo at the top of this post.

Images: Creative Commons user jeanettevictoria