Western Mass Attractions: Quabbin Reservoir Reply

The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest body of water in the Commonwealth. Its construction in the 1930’s displaced families and erased the towns of Dana, Prescott, Greenwich, and Enfield from the map. Every year on Memorial Day weekend, area towns gather at Quabbin Park Cemetery to remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice from the four communities lost to the Quabbin.

The Quabbin Reservoir supplies water for Boston, but it also is a great place to picnic, hike, birdwatch, bicycle, fish, or take in the breathtaking views. The Friends of the Quabbin maintain an informative website about the reservoir.

A Maple Tree provides shade near the Quabbin Visitor Center in Belchertown, MA.

The Quabbin Visitor Center is a Federal style building that is open 7 days a week except on certain holidays. Here you will find general information about the Quabbin Reservoir. The Massachusetts State Police also have a barracks here. Workshops are also hosted there.

The Quabbin Reservoir Spillway

The view of the Quabbin Reservoir from the Enfield Lookout.

Motorcyle at Quabbin

The Quabbin Reservoir is a favorite stop for motorcycle enthusiasts.

After 9/11 baricades were installed to prevent vehicles from driving across the Windsor Dam. It is still open to pedestrian traffic, however.

This monument greets you as you arrive at the Winsor Dam.

This perspective shows both sides of the Winsor Dam.

The Quabbin Observation Tower offers spectacular panoramic views.

The view as you approach the top of the Quabbin Observation Tower.

The southern view from the Quabbin Observation Tower. The panel reads: “Welcome to the Quabbin Lookout Tower. Built in 1940-41, the Tower rises 84 feet from its base elevation of 1,036 feet above sea level. It provides spectacular views of the Quabbin Reservoir watershed and surrounding areas. The four panels in the Tower identify notable landscape features, both natural and humanmade, and points of reference.
The southern end of the 18-mile long Quabbin Reservoir disappears behind the knoll, which obscures the view of Winsor Dam, the main impoundment structure that holds back the reservoir’s 412 billion gallons. On a clear day the cities of Springfield, MA and Hartford, CT can be seen to the south, the latter some 50 miles away. Directly south lie the hills in Palmer and Brimfield. To the southeast Turek’s Swamp is visible, bordered by Route 9.”

From the top of the observation tower facing west. The board reads: ““A number of mountains are visible from this westward perspective. The Mt. Tom and Mt. Holyoke ranges appear to be one continuous ridge, but are actually separated by the Connecticut River, which cuts between them.
Mt. Greylock is visible on the horizon 62 miles to the northwest, the greatest sight distance from this tower. This peak is the highest point in the [sic] Massachusetts, rising to an elevation of 3,491 feet above sea level.
Gate 8 (Boat Lauch area III) is located on the west arm of the reservoir, visible along the far shore just beyond the southern terminus of the Prescott Peninsula.”

The eastern view from the observation tower. The panel reads: “
“The large radio antenna on the ridge to the east is situated in New Braintree. To the left, a section of the Reservoir is visible just north of Goodnough Dike, the second impoundment structure that holds back the Quabbin’s water.
Mt. Wachusett in Princeton just up above the horizon to the northeast. The thin line of the main baffle dam connects the mainland to Mount Zion, the largest of the reservoirs islands. The baffle dam’s function is to divert waters from the Swift River East Branch and the Ware River, in a counterclockwise direction around Mt. Zion.”

A look north from the top of the observation tower. The panel reads: “The view encompasses a majority of the reservoir’s 120,000 acre watershed, or drainage basin. Approximately 60% of the land in the Quabbin watershed is owned and carefully managed for public drinking water quality by the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
The main body of the reservoir is visible to the northeast, with a number of islands, the remnants of former Swift River valley hills, dotting its surface. Most prominent among these 60 islands are Mt. Pomeroy, Mt. Zion and Little Quabbin.
On the northern horizon lies Mt. Monadnock, the inverted bowl-shaped mountain that lies in southern New Hampshire some 40 miles from this point. Due north lies the Prescott Penninsula, a ridge of land which separates the main reservoir from the western arm of the reservoir, visible further to the left.”

Another view looking north from the Quabbin Observation Tower.

A look at the top of the Quabbin Observation Tower.

Thank you for looking at photos of the Quabbin Reservoir. If you know anyone looking to buy or sell a home in western Massachusetts, call Michael Seward at 413-531-7129.

Specializing in western Mass real estate, call Michael Seward at 413-531-7129 if you are looking to buy or sell a home in the Pioneer Valley.

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