Cookson State Forest Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Thousand Acre Swamp Boat Launch
Hotchkiss Road, New Marlborough, MA

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  • Dogs allowed
  • Family Friendly
  • Free
  • Parking
  • Scenic View
  • Trailhead
Safety Tips
Thousand Acre Swamp Boat Launch in New Marlborough, MA | Berkshires Outside
Thousand Acre Swamp Boat Launch in New Marlborough, MA | Berkshires Outside
Thousand Acre Swamp Boat Launch in New Marlborough, MA | Berkshires Outside
  • Public Land
  • Private Land
  • Bus Route
  • Trail
  • Major Trail

About Thousand Acre Swamp Boat Launch

The Thousand Acre Swamp Boat Launch on Hotchkiss Road in New Marlborough provides boating access to the Thousand Acre Swamp Reservoir. Kayaking, canoeing, and standup paddleboarding are excellent ways to traverse the swampy waters, which are surrounded by seemingly endless forests. Anglers know this reservoir as one of the best warm-water fishing ponds in Western Massachusetts, and bass are especially abundant. Ice fishing is also excellent when the water freezes over in the winter, as yellow perch and pickerel are commonly reeled in through the ice.

Those looking to explore the water can circle its 2-mile perimeter, which offers peeks into the surrounding Cookson State Forest in a serene natural environment. Wildlife viewing and birding opportunities are plentiful both in and around the water. Small and large mammals roam the forests, while amphibians, reptiles, and insects thrive in and around the water. Typically, the water is dense with lily pads and vegetation that can make navigation a bit tricky, but they also incubate a vibrant aquatic ecosystem. Those looking to avoid most of the vegetation will have the best luck in the spring.

In addition to the main reservoir, a half-mile portage trail connects the reservoir to East Indies Pond, a small but beautiful pond deeper into the forest. Locating and navigating the portage trail is difficult, so a map and compass are recommended. East Indies Pond is quiet and serene, harboring unique bird populations with an enchanting natural beauty. Since the only access to this pond is through the portage trail, it is extremely quiet and serves as a fantastic spot to reconnect with nature. Fishing is less common here as populations dwindle away from the main reservoir, so it is best suited for those looking to immerse themselves in the natural environment of one of the most remote areas of the Berkshires. In the late spring, blooming mountain laurels provide incredible scenery around the pond.

While the boat launch can accommodate boats of all sizes, large and motorized boats are not recommended due to the density of vegetation. In addition to the launching site, a hiking trail circles the reservoir and can be navigated toward East Indies Pond, giving visitors additional opportunities to explore the area. The boat launch can be accessed from a small parking area off Hotchkiss Road.

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

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Hotchkiss Road, New Marlborough, MA

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