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Where is Gate 37?
For detailed information on Gate 37, click on this link: https://quabbinvalley.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/gate-37-the-road-to-rattlesnake-hill-south/
To answer a simple question, Gate 37 is a way’s off of Route 122 in Petersham, Massachusetts on a road called “Monson Turnpike.”
Is it ok to get on and off boats while boating in the Quabbin Reservoir?
Simply put, NO. The only place you are supposed to disembark a boat is at an approved boat mooring area (of which there are only 3), or anywhere you see a sign indicating that there are restrooms located on shore. Keep in mind that Prescott Peninsula, the southernmost portion of the water, and ALL islands are always off-limits and you could be prosecuted for trespassing if seen in any of these areas without specific authorization. For more information on this, visit: https://quabbinvalley.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/quabbin-waters-gate-31-fishing-area-2/
Where/What is Soapstone Hill?
Soapstone Hill is located in Petersham, Massachusetts off of Route 122 by the Federated Women’s Club State Forest. It is just beyond the actual Gate entrance (Gate 36) and is the only place in the Quabbin Reservoir where camping is allowed. Soapstone Hill, in my opinion, provides the greatest natural view of the reservoir in its entirety. See my description here: https://quabbinvalley.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/soapstone-hill/
For camping info call the Dennison Lake Recreation Office at (978) 939-8962
What is the Quabbin Valley?
This question is posed, more times than not, to solicit a definitive boundary of who and what lies within the confines of a region of Central Massachusetts (i.e. what are its geographic boundaries). When it’s not asked for this reason, it’s to ask what the Quabbin Valley is, as the inquirer may be genuinely curious. The latter of the 2 questions is easier to answer. The Quabbin Valley is a region of Central Massachusetts formerly known as the Swift River Valley. The first question is much more complex and fueled by subtle controversy, as it’s become more a matter of opinion and desire to belong than it is about borders. For more info, visit Google, Bing, or Ask and you’ll be inundated with responses, no two the same!
Are there any houses or structures left under the water of the Quabbin Reservoir?
No, but there may be some cellar holes. There are also other structures that exist in the watershed and even on the islands. See the following for proof:
and lastly, scroll down toward the middle to see pictures of the greatest of Quabbin Relics, Dugmar’s Clubhouse:
Where can I go to find out where all the Reservoir Gates are?
For starters, the reservoir! It’s flanked by only 4 roads: Routes 202, 122, 32A, and 9. Drive, bike, or walk your way around until you see the gate you’re looking for. For the more well hidden gates, get to where you think you’re close and stop and ask a store clerk or someone walking by (Quabbinite’s are some of the friendliest people you’ll meet –especially when talking about their beloved Quabbin- so don’t be shy).
Not the spontaneous type? Go buy a map for $6.95 at North Quabbin Woods in Orange. Visit them here at:
Still not satisfied? Contact the Mass Dept of Conservation & Recreation at:
http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/ or call (413) 323-7221
All else aside, I will be posting my own detailed maps to this website very soon!
Is shore fishing allowed?
Yes, in unrestricted areas. Restricted areas will probably be posted as such, but a safe rule is that pretty much everywhere but the South Quabbin allows shore fishing. For specific rules, see:
For a quick reference:
Where is Herrick’s Tavern?
I get asked this a lot, believe it or not. If you mean the present-day Herrick’s Tavern, it’s on Route 202 in Orange. If you mean the original one in the Quabbin, it’s inside Gate 29. Picture and commentary here:
What is the max horsepower allowed for a boat in the reservoir?
Can you swim anywhere in the reservoir?
Can you reserve a boat at the Quabbin Reservoir?
No. First come, first serve!
You’ve claimed to be the first and only one to write about Briggs Brook, but I see it all over the internet.
The claim I have laid to being the first to “discover” Briggs Brook in the Quabbin, and without doubt to have written about it first in a public forum, is true. What most people who ask me this question are referring to is a place called Briggs Brook Falls, located along the Metacomet-Monadnock (M&M) Trail. These two locations are very different, though both very impressive and spectacular. If there are other entries found today about Briggs Brook in the Quabbin, they were written/posted to the internet after I stated that claim. The Briggs Brook I talk about is written here:
How do I find Gate 52?
Gate 52 can be found inside Quabbin Park by taking Route 9 in Ware, Massachusetts, and turning north on the east entrance into Quabbin Park. Follow the road until you get to Gate 52 on the right. For more details on Gate 52, see
What is the greatest depth of the reservoir?
When at full capacity, the Quabbin Reservoir’s greatest depth reaches 150 feet right in front of Winsor Dam.
Where is the old fish hatchery?
It’s next to Quabbin Quarry inside Gate 41. Read about it here:
Which gates ultimately lead to water, which do not?
In some way all gates lead to the water, but some are much shorter distances than others, some are much flatter, some paved, some more direct. In the West, Gate 16 would be the most direct and least gradient avenue. In the South, Gate 5 or just about any gate in Quabbin Park. The East, Gate 41 would bring you to Pottapaug Pond very quickly, but as the East has the greatest watershed mass, Gate 37 might be your best bet for actual Quabbin Waters. The North has some of the quickest avenues to water. Gates 26, 31, 32, 33, and 35 are very short jaunts that are more or less completely flat and even paved in some cases. Using the search engine on this site, search for any of these gates, depending on the region you wish to visit, for detailed info.
What’s a good place for kids at the Quabbin?
This question could mean anything. Defining a “good” place for kids could mean any number of things. My kids love Quabbin Quarry:
Some kids may love the water:
Others might like a little adventure:
But as long as your child/teen likes the outdoors, any location would be a “good” place to take kids. The only consideration would be an age-appropriate hiking distance and amount of time to spend. Gate 35 is my choice of locations for my kids. Click below to read why:
Can you bicycle in the Quabbin? ATV?
You can ride non-motorized bicycles in approved areas in the Quabbin Reservoir. These trails are marked with a bicycle sign and it’s normally safe to assume that any paved road allows bicycles, although many dirt roads/paths also allow them. Here are a few references:
How much is it to rent a boat?
I get inundated with questions about fishing in general, so I have this resource from the State to answer most of your questions, but in short, an all-day boat rental as of 2014 is $40 + a $6 parking fee. A half day rental (beginning at 12:30 PM) is $30+parking.
How many Rattlesnake Hills are there and where are they?
There are 2 locations in the Quabbin Reservoir called “Rattlesnake Hill.” One is in the north (New Salem), best visited from Gate 29 or 30, and the other is the East Quabbin (Petersham), but is referred to as “Rattlesnake South” due to its direction from the Rattlesnake Hill in New Salem.
My piece on Rattlesnake North:
And a bit on Rattlesnake South:
How many places can you launch a boat from and what are they?
You are allowed to launch a motor boat from 3 locations in the Quabbin Reservoir:
Gate 8, which is on Route 202 in Pelham, the turn leading to Fishing Area 1, which is in Belchertown.
Gate 31 (Fishing Area 2), located on Route 122 in New Salem.
Gate 43 (Fishing Area 3), located along Greenwich Rd (off of Route 32A) in Hardwick
Where is the Dana Town Common?
Go through Gate 40 and follow the paved road for approximately 1.75 miles. Read more for details:
What kind of skills or equipment are needed to hike in the reservoir?
Nothing extraordinary. Food, water, adequate hiking boots. Maybe a walking stick. Definitely something to take pictures with! There’s no reason why anyone should ever need rock climbing gear or anything like that. If you were feeling bold, you could bring a rope to help negotiate steep slopes if you chose to go down them rather than follow a much safer path.
What/Where is Keystone Bridge?
Keystone Bridge is located immediately inside Gate 30. It’s a bridge that was built in the 1800’s by a man named Adolphus Porter. If you conduct an internet search, you’ll get varied specs on this story, but it’s an impressive feat of engineering nevertheless. Click here for more:
What kinds of Wildlife are there in the Quabbin Valley?
There are so many forms of wildlife in the Quabbin Valley and with such overwhelming abundance that you could literally write a book on each. There are even some of the more “exotic” forms of wildlife such as moose, bald eagles, bears, and bobcats.
Does wildlife exist in isolation on any islands?
There has never been any known confirmation of wildlife “trapped” on a Quabbin Reservoir island. Had they been trapped during the flooding, they probably would have already died by now unless they could fly or swim, in which case they would not really meet the definition of “existing in isolation.” Some islands such as Mt. Zion are large enough to have sustainable resources for wildlife and it’s actually connected to the mainland by a narrow ledge. In most cases, however, it’s simply not known whether or not any island serves as a primary habitat for wildlife. I’m sure though that smaller islands like Bassett Island and islands closer to the mainland like Mt Russ do see visitors frequently.
What is the tower in the Quabbin Reservoir?
The tower located in Quabbin Park in the Southern-most point in the reservoir is known by a few names: Quabbin Tower, Quabbin Observation Tower, Winsor Tower, Enfield Tower, Quabbin Reservoir Tower, Quabbin Park Tower, and a few others. On clear days you can see all the way from New Hampshire to Connecticut and it is open to the public during certain times of day and year. Visit below to see more:
Where are Gates 14 & 23?
According to a DCR Official, Gate 14 was located at a dangerous intersection and was therefore discontinued. You can access the same location through Gate 15 today. Gate 23 was discontinued as well once Gate 22 had been moved to a position further north of its previous location.
How big is the Quabbin Reservoir?
The Quabbin Reservoir is 38.6 square miles and holds 412.24 billion gallons of water when at full capacity. FOr a more in-depth look at Quabbin Reservoir specs, visit https://quabbinvalley.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/quabbin-waters-gate-31-fishing-area-2/