Windsor State Forest is located 12 miles northeast of Pittsfield, the seat of Massachusetts' westernmost county of Berkshire. This part of the state is known for the Berkshires, a wild, hilly extension of Vermont's Green Mountains. Windsor State forest is a stunning slice of remote New England wilderness. These lush, verdant hills are the main draw bringing RVers to the park.
Nestled within the state forest, you'll also find the Windsor Jambs, a stunning series of rapids and waterfalls worth exploring. But that's not all. Many exciting outdoor activities are available to campers. These include hiking, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, snowmobiling, hunting, and cross-country skiing.
The list of amenities available for RV travelers is short, but the state forest does make for a stunning short stopover. Picnic tables and restrooms are available. The state forest is directly adjacent to the town of Windsor for basic necessities, and the county seat and cultural hotbed of Pittsfield is just around the corner. Average highs in the park in summer get up to 78 degrees, and in winter averages drop to eleven degrees so make sure to pack accordingly.
Windsor State Forest is a mere 12 miles up the road from Berkshire's county seat of Pittsfield. Take Massachusetts Route 8A northeast. Just before the town of Windsor, Route 8A turns abruptly at a junction to a more northerly direction. If you ignore the turn and continue straight ahead, you will find yourself on Route 9. Take the second left and continue straight on, and you will be in the state forest.
Routes 8A and 9 are mostly three lanes of gently winding country highway. The route is short, and there are no major obstacles. The rolling hills provide only gentle inclines. Watch out for deer. Ice and snow can be issues in the winter. Once you turn off onto the country road, the route becomes much narrower. Watch out for farm equipment. Halfway between Route 9 and the state forest the country road becomes unsealed.
Parking is available in the state forest, particularly near the picnic area by the lake. The parking lot is designed to accommodate boat trailers due to the adjacent boat launch, so it is a great place to park an RV.
Windsor State Forest offers a day-use area and a rustic camping area along the banks of the Westfield River. There are 24 unserviced campsites available here with no showers, flush toilets or hookups for RVs. Facilities include a swimming area, sandy beach, and a shady picnic area. These campsites are available from May to Labor Day on a first-come, first-served basis or by phoning ahead.
A popular feature of the state forest is the modestly named Windsor Pond, which is a lake with dozens of homes along its shores. Beside the parking lot and boat launch, there is a nicely maintained sandy beach. Enjoy a dip in the cooling waters or spend a nice summer day sunbathing on the sand. For the more equipped and adventurous, drop your boat in and get out into the middle of the lake before jumping in for a refreshing swim.
Windsor State Forest has plenty of roads and trails for you to enjoy on horseback. The parking lot at the lake is the best option for leaving your horse trailer and setting off to soak up the tranquility of Berkshires on horseback. Many of the trails and roads are ideally suited for horses. This is an unbeatable way to experience the state forest. Just be careful about local traffic and farm equipment, as there are many homesteads in the area.
Windsor Pond, actually a decently sized lake, is an excellent spot to try your luck with a fishing pole. If you have a boat, the boat launch gives you a great place to stretch its legs. There are also various streams in the park if you prefer fly fishing. In either case, see if you can find a local resident to give you some tips on what's biting. Be sure to check local regulations, too.
With its lovely rolling forested hills and miles of trails, Windsor State Forest is an ideal location to commune with nature on a pair of cross-country skis. Most of the trails are accessible from the south end of River Road within the state forest. The parking lot where Westfield Road meets River Road is the perfect starting point. A map of the trails is available on the park service website. Be prepared for unmaintained trails.
If you prefer your winter recreation to have a bit more speed and thrills, snowmobiling in Windsor State Forest is for you. The trails and country roads provide plenty of terrain for ripping around on your snow machine. Traffic is low and the two hills in the northern part of the park provide some extra challenge. Both the main parking lot on River Road and the one by Windsor Pond are both good starting points.
Whether you have snowshoes for winter hiking or visit in a shoulder season, Windsor State Forest offers plenty of trails for you to soak up the beauty of the Berkshires. The top attraction in the state park is the Windsor Jambs, a fairy tale waterfall in the south of the park. It is a very short hike from the parking lot where Lower Road and Schoolhouse Road meet. A longer, lovely hike takes you there from the parking lot at River Road.