QUABBIN RESERVOIR PARK; 

BELCHERTOWN/WARE, MASSACHUSETTS

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:      April 14, 2012

Length:                Quabbin Reservoir Park Loop;  9.8 miles

                              Quabbin Observation Tower Spur; 0.4 miles

Difficulty:            Moderate to Difficult (depending on what kind of shape your in). Hilly paved park road (shared with vehicles, but very slow traffic). Not recommended for small kids because of the steep hills.

                              On-road section along Route 9 if you wish to complete a loop. Not recommended for inexperienced bikers as there is little shoulder along Route 9.

Directions:

Take exit 8 off of I-90 (Mass Pike) to Route 32 north and continue 8 miles to the town of Ware. Turn left on Route 9 and follow west for 7 miles. Turn right at the green sign marked "Quabbin Reservoir - Winsor Dam" (Note: This will be the second green sign on your right) and follow to the parking lot.

Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest man-made public water supplies in the United States. Created in the 1930s by the construction of two huge earthen dams, the reservoir is fed by the three branches of the Swift River, and seasonally by the Ware River. Quabbin Reservoir was built between 1926 and 1939 and flooded 39 square miles of land. Four towns were abandoned from the area, including the town of Dana, which is where another biking area is located. See; Quabbin Reservoir East. A 60 mile pipeline and aqueduct delivers water to the Boston area. Because this is MDC land, dogs are not allowed. Portable toilets are located along the roads because this is part of the watershed. The loop trail follows park roads and travels over two dams (closed to traffic). It includes a long steep accent and descent, along with an on-road section along Route 9 in order to complete a loop. If you don't feel comfortable traveling along this high speed road you may simply double back through the park. I've included a map of the area below, along with other biking and hiking trails at the reservoir. A third biking area is located at the northern end of the Reservoir. See; Quabbin Reservoir North . For more information visit;  QUABBIN RESERVOIR .

Starting from Quabbin Park Visitor Center; The Visitor Center has some interesting pictures of before & after this area was flooded. A restroom is also located here. After checking out the Visitor Center head right (north) past the poles & gate and travel over Windsor Dam, which is closed to traffic. The dam is 2600' long. Turn right and travel across the spillway, then past the gate to Quabbin Hill Rd. Turn left and travel on-road along this park road (low volume/low speed traffic). You'll follow alongside the 400 ' long Windsor Dam Spillway and past a boat launch for the State Police/DRC at about a mile. Here begins the strenuous park of your trek, a long assent up Quabbin Hill. You may catch your breath at Windsor Memorial Park where you'll find an overlook of the dam & reservoir along with benches and picnic tables. Continuing your climb the road now heads inland and brings you to another overlook at mile 2. Keep an eye on the horizon and there's a good chance of spotting a lumbering military transport plane making a banking turn towards Westover AFB. Continue uphill to a rotary at 2.2 miles where the road tops out.

Note; If you head right and travel uphill a bit more this road will bring you to the Quabbin Observation Tower after 0.4 miles. A large restroom is located just below the stone tower that you may climb to the top for fantastic 360 degree views.

Travel around the rotary and begin your descent down Quabbin Hill Rd. You'll come to Enfield Lookout at 2.6 miles with more views of the reservoir and its islands. The trail finally levels off after 3 1/4 miles as it passes by Hanks Meadow. Here the road is referred to as Old Ware-Enfield Rd. After passing Brown's Field you'll come alongside the reservoir with views of Goodnough Dike. At 4.7 miles you come to an intersection. Turn left and travel past the gate to another road closed to vehicles. Bear left at an intersection and you'll soon be crossing over the 2140' long Goodnough Dike. You reach the end of the dam at 5.2 miles where you encounter Gate 50. Turn right and follow the road back below the dam before another steep assent returns you to Old Ware-Enfield Rd after 6.5 miles. 

Note; If you wish to avoid looping back via Route 9, turn back here and retrace your route to the Visitor Center.

Continuing along Old Ware-Enfield Rd you'll come to Route 9 at 7.4 miles. Turn right and travel on-road.

Note; You can check out the Quabbin Park Cemetery across the road.

There is no shoulder to speak of along Route 9 and you face a bit of a hill right off. As you pass by a pond on your right, look up to spot the Quabbin Observation Tower. After cresting your final hill, as you travel downhill you'll come to a sign at 8.6 miles reading "Windsor Dam Entrance". Turn right and follow Windsor Dam Rd back into the park. You return to the spillway and cross back over Windsor Dam to the Visitor Center for a loop of 9.8 miles.

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CLICK HERE FOR EAST QUABBIN MAP

CLICK HERE FOR NORTH QUABBIN MAP

CLICK HERE FOR QUABBIN PARK MAP

 

BEFORE YOU SET OUT BE SURE TO READ THE

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLAIMER

 

BIKE IT OR HIKE IT

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