Myles Standish State Forest

Myles Standish State Forest
Massachusetts State Park
Sign at Headquarters
Named for: Myles Standish
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Plymouth
Location Cranberry Rd, Carver, Massachusetts, USA average
 - coordinates 41°51′23″N 70°40′32″W / 41.85639°N 70.67556°W / 41.85639; -70.67556Coordinates: 41°51′23″N 70°40′32″W / 41.85639°N 70.67556°W / 41.85639; -70.67556
 - elevation 150 ft (46 m)
Area 15,000 acres (6,070 ha)
Managed by Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
 - location Park Headquarters
 - coordinates 41°50′21.73″N 70°41′28.77″W / 41.8393694°N 70.691325°W / 41.8393694; -70.691325
Nearest city Plymouth, Massachusetts
Locator Red.svg
Location of Myles Standish State Forest in Massachusetts
Location of Myles Standish State Forest in Massachusetts
Website : MSSF DCR page

Myles Standish State Forest is state forest located in the towns of Plymouth and Carver in southeastern Massachusetts, approximately 45 miles (70 km) south of Boston. It is the largest publicly owned recreation area in this part of Massachusetts and is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).[1]



The landscape of MSSF is part of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion and consists largely of pitch pine and scrub oak forests - at 26 square miles (67 km2), one of the largest such forests north of Long Island. The forest surrounds 16 lakes and ponds, including several ecologically significant coastal kettle ponds. The Plymouth Red-bellied Turtle, an endangered species population found only in this area, exists in about twenty of the ponds of the state forest and the adjacent Massasoit National Wildlife Refuge.

Also located in the forest is the Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Plymouth, a minimum security prison.


Myles Standish State Forest offers camping at five sites, four of which are located at ponds. Campground maps are available at the DCR web page. Campground office hours are 8 am – 8 pm. The regular camping season is from mid-April through mid-October. Trailer and RV dumping is available.

Advance reservation for campgrounds are made by calling 1-877-422-6762, or online at .

Recreational opportunities

Recreational uses include swimming, hunting, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and picnicking. Also bicycling on fifteen miles (24 km) of paved bicycle trails, horseback riding on thirty-five miles (56 km) of horse trails and thirteen miles (21 km) of hiking trails. The "Bicycle Trails of Carver" were included in the Massachusetts Department of Travel and Tourism's list of 1000 great places in Massachusetts.[2] There are popular seasonal day use areas at College Pond and Fearing Pond (closed for 2009 for shore restoration work).

In the summer, the park offers interpretive programs, such as pond shore walks and cranberry bog explorations. Offerings include biweekly fishing clinics, night hikes, and tours of the forest’s working Rocky Pond cranberry bog, and others.[3] For program listings see external links section below.

Hunting is allowed during the season, and two Wildlife Management Areas within the forest are stocked with game birds in October and November.[1]

The forest is home to Cachalot Scout Reservation, an 880-acre (3.6 km2) Boy Scout camp. Camp Squanto is also located within Myles Standish State Forest. Camp Wind in the Pines (a girl scout camp) is located within and next to Myles Standish State Forest.


On May 14, 1977, according to the Plymouth Police Department records, Eric H. Anderson Jr. murdered Ruth Masters (nee' Ruth Rydberg) while she was riding her bike alone on an isolated trail in the park. He was later found guilty and is currently serving a life sentence in Maine State Prison in Warren, ME.[4]

Park photos


External links

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