Otter River State Forest
Guide

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Introduction

Located in northern Massachusetts, Otter River State Forest is a quiet waterside RV destination with excellent hiking, mountain biking, and water activities. There are miles of trails leading you through the hardwood stands and pine groves, where you’ll find a wide range of different bird and mammal species. Many of the trails are multi use, allowing for mountain biking and cross-country skiing. Should you want a longer hike, you can connect directly to Birch Hill Wildlife Management Area, a nature reserve with over 9,000 acres of woodlands.

There is also a large pond near the main campground, giving RV campers access to excellent fishing, swimming, and boating. The waters are teeming with large and smallmouth bass, trout, panfish, and bream, and you may even be able to ice fish in the winter. The hardwood trees provide great cover from the sun, making for relaxing kayaking and canoeing. There are also two swimming beaches on the pond.

There are over 70 RV sites in the campground, where you’ll have views of the water and access to all of the parks hiking trails from your rig. You’ll also be minutes away from the park’s recreational facilities, including a ball field, a basketball court, and a volleyball court.

RV Rentals in Otter River State Forest

Transportation in Otter River State Forest

Driving

Located near the northern edge of Massachusetts, Otter River State Forest can be reached from major cities such as Boston, Providence, and New York. The main campground is close to a main road, making it easy to access via RV.

If you are coming from Boston, take MA-2 west from the city and you’ll reach the park in around an hour and a half. From Providence, the forest is just an hour and a half drive along MA-146. If you are driving from New York, take I-95 north and you’ll get to the park in around three and a half hours.

As you approach the forest, take US-202 until you reach Graves Avenue, then take a left toward the main entrance. The campsites are just a short drive away, and you don’t need to worry about any narrow roads with tight turns. There may be icy road during the winter, so drive with caution after heavy winter storms.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Otter River State Forest

Campsites in Otter River State Forest

Reservations camping

Otter River State Forest Campground

There are 73 sites located within the campground in the forest for tents and RVs. The sites do not have hookups of any kind, but every site has a fire pit and a picnic table. You’ll have access to modern restrooms with hot showers and flush toilets, as well as drinking water. The campground is dog-friendly, provided that they stay on a leash.

The campground is located right next to Beaman Pond, giving you easy access to swimming and fishing. You’ll also be right next to most of the forest’s recreational facilities, including basketball and volleyball courts and a ball field.

All of the sites can be reserved in advance online up to six months in advance, and you must book at least a day before you arrive. The forest is a popular summertime destination, so plan on booking early if you are going to visit during peak season.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Otter River State Forest

In-Season

Swimming

Beaman Pond is a great place to relax and enjoy the water on a hot summer day. You’ll be near a number of picnic areas, where you can have a snack after swimming. You’ll also be close to the park’s recreation facilities, including a volleyball court. Dogs are allowed on the shore, although you’ll have to keep them on a leash.

There are two swimming beaches, both of them within walking distance of the campground. The swimming beaches are not monitored, so be careful while swimming with children.

Recreation

In addition to its natural sites, you’ll find a range of recreational facilities at Otter River State Forest. There is a ball field that can be used for football, softball, or baseball, as well as a basketball court and a volleyball court. All of the facilities are open for use by RV campers.

There are also a number of picnic areas near the recreational facilities where you can relax and enjoy the day. Pets are allowed, although you’ll have to keep dogs on a leash.

Hiking

Otter River State Forest has a range of hiking trails that lead through the surrounding hardwood stands, marshland, and pine groves. You’ll see catbirds, warblers, herons, and vireos, as well as a variety of mammal species, including white tailed deer, beavers, and chipmunks. You may also be able to spot a black bear.

In addition to the trails found in the park, you can connect to the Birch Hill Wildlife Management Area, which has an additional 9,000 acres of forest for you to explore.

Off-Season

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowmobiling

If you visit the forest during the colder months of the year, bring a pair of skis along with you. The network of hiking trails turns into a beautiful cross-country skiing course, taking you through the hardwood stands and pine groves and across the marshland. You’ll see dozens of different types of birds, as well as a range of mammal species, including white tailed deer and black bears.

You can also snowmobile on many of the trails. Just use caution, as there are tight turns on the trails, and they are shared with snowshoers and cross-country skiers.

Fishing

There are also a number of angling opportunities for RV campers Otter River State Forest. Beaman Pond has a range of different fish species, including panfish, bream, large and smallmouth bass, and trout. You can fish from the shore or take a canoe out onto the water.

The park does not rent boats or fishing gear, so bring all you need along with your rig. Fishing tends to be best beginning in spring, when trout populations increase. However, you should still get bites just about any time of the year.

Mountain Biking

Many of the forest’s trails are open to mountain biking, should you want a faster paced way around. If you want to extend your ride, you can connect to trails leading into Birch Hill Wildlife Management Area, where you’ll find over 9,000 acres of woodlands.

Use caution while riding on the trails, as they are shared with hikers. Check with the park office for a full trail map with all of the trails that are open to mountain biking.

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