Pittsfield State Forest
Guide

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Introduction

Pittsfield State Forest is a sprawling 11,000-acre area of Massachusetts state forest that offers some great RV camping and recreational activities. Located in the town of Pittsfield and managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the forest contains some of the best flora and fauna in the state. One of the main highlights of Pittsfield State Forest is Berry Pond. Sitting atop of Berry Mountain, the pond is at an elevation of 2,150 feet and is the highest natural body of water in the state. The pond will also give you some opportunities to soak in an awesome view of the Berkshires. A lot of the recreation at Pittsfield State Forest occurs in or the pond as it is a popular choice for swimming, boaters and fisherman. The trails at the park make for some great hiking and mountain biking and you can also hunt during the set seasons. During the winter the park gets especially cold because of its elevation. There will be plenty of snow around for you to make the most of, with snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross country skiing all being very popular.

Pittsfield State Forest has two different campgrounds within the park. In total there are 40 sites, with the majority of these being primitive sites. There are however two RV suitable sites that you can use and we recommend reserving one well in advance of your trip as their availability is limited. Peak season at Pittsfield State Forest runs from mid-May to mid-October.

RV Rentals in Pittsfield State Forest

Transportation in Pittsfield State Forest

Driving

Pittsfield State Forest is located near the town of Pittsfield in far west Massachusetts. The forest is located very close to the New York border and has one access road that leads into the office and campgrounds. There are many towns located near the forest so you will have no trouble getting supplies. Pittsfield is only around five miles away and Albany is around 40 miles to the west of the forest. There will be heavy snowfall through the winter months at Pittsfield State Forest so make sure you check the forecast before you leave for your trip.

There are a few different ways to access the park. If you are coming from either the east or the west you can take the I-90 (Massachusetts Turnpike). Exit at Lee if you are coming from the east, or exit at West Stockbridge. Continue on Swamp Road from West Stockbridge until you reach West Street. Turn left then follow the signs to the park. From Lee, continue on Highway-20 until you make it to Pittsfield. Take a left onto West Street and follow the signs to the park. If you are coming from the north or the south the most popular way to access the park is from US-7.

Parking

There is plenty of parking available at Pittsfield State Forest.

Public Transport

Unfortunately there are no public transport options to reach Pittsfield State Forest.

Campgrounds and parking in Pittsfield State Forest

Campsites in Pittsfield State Forest

Reservations camping

Parker Brook Campground

There are three different campgrounds at Pittsfield State Forest (Berry Pond, Parker Brook and Bishop Field) but Parker Brook is the only one that has RV suitable camping. This campground is quite small but still has some great facilities. The camping area has hot showers, flushable toilets and a dump station. You should be able to find some cell phone reception in the campground. Note that you are not allowed to bring firewood from outside the park but you can purchase some from the park office if you want to have a fire. Since the campground is located close to the town of Pittsfield you can purchase any supplies for your trip from there before you get to the park.

There are only two sites within the campground that are RV friendly. Due to this limited availability, make sure that you reserve one of them before you get to the park. During the winter time you might have trouble camping here, so make sure you call the park and see if the conditions are suitable for camping.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Pittsfield State Forest

In-Season

ATV Riding

Love to ride ATV's? If you do, Pittsfield State Forest is a must to visit during the warmer months. There are around 16 miles of trails that are ATV accessible scattered throughout the forest. Most of the trails are fast, smooth and wind through a mix of hardwood forests. You will need a daily permit to ride within the forest, but this can be easily attained by visiting the park office. There are no ATV's available for hire at Pittsfield State Forest so you will have to bring your own or rent one through a private company.

Mountain Biking

Pittsfield State Forest is a great place for those who love to ride mountain bikes. There are many miles of trails that are suitable for mountain bike riders within the forest and they are very popular. The trails range from being easy to challenging, so no matter what your skill level you will be able to find some enjoyment. Riders have noted that the most interesting rides are from the north and south of the top of the ridge near Berry Pond. You can start out in either direction on the Taconic Skyline Trail and make your way downhill for a nice ride.

Fishing

Looking to go fishing? Berry Pond is the largest fishing area within Pittsfield State Forest and will offer great fun for anglers of all skill levels. It is a natural pond with a mud bottom and brown water that has around seven feet of transparency. Around 500 trout are stocked in the pond each year so it can be a great trout fishing destination. Other species found in the lake include yellow perch, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead and golden shiner.

Off-Season

Hunting

Like to hunt? Well, you are in luck! The gigantic forest located within Pittsfield State Forest provides a great hunting environment, with restricted hunting allowed during the specific hunting season. Common species that can be found in the park include deer, snowshoe hares and pheasants. If you do plan to go hunting within Pittsfield State Forest it is advised that you read the hunting rules as stated on the Massachusetts State Government website. Also remember to check into the park office before you begin to make sure there is no vital information that you need.

Winter Recreation

Once the snow starts to fall Pittsfield State Forest transforms and becomes a popular spot for winter recreational activities. There are specifically marked trails for those who want to do some cross country skiing, snowmobile trails when there is enough snow coverage and a ski lodge that is available all throughout the winter. Snowshoeing is another popular winter activity that can be done all over the forest. If you are wanting to do some winter recreation pack the appropriate gear necessary as there are no rentals available from the park office.

Hiking

Hiking fans should also be excited to visit Pittsfield State Forest due to the hiking opportunities available at the park. There are many different trails available that will provide you with hours of fun throughout the year. The trails are very well maintained and attract people from all over due to the lovely forest setting. Some of the more popular hiking trails at Pittsfield State Forest state park include the Taconic Crest Trail, Lulu Brook Trail, Turner Trail and Berry Pond Trail.

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