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Benedict Pond

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Last Updated: 9/2014
 Fishing
       The most abundant fish in this pond are golden shiners and largemouth bass. Fishing pressure is high, however, with the result that there are few bass larger than 12 to 15 inches. Pan-fish are also fished hard, and in general are below average in size and numbers. Despite the relatively small average size of the fish here, this pond continues to provide fair to good fishing action, particularly for those camping out in the state forest. It should also be a good place to trap shiners.
 
Description
       Benedict Pond is a shallow, 35 acre man-made lake at a surface elevation of 1,580 ft. It supplies Stony Brook, a tributary of the Housatonic River.
       This dense forest was mostly cleared throughout the early 1800s for farming and grazing. The remaining forest was practically stripped away in the later part of the 1800s for charcoal to fuel local iron furnaces. Fred Benedict, for whom Benedict Pond was named, once owned the surrounding farmlands. He and other farmers would cut ice from what was then a much smaller pond in winter and haul it by sled to his barns, where insulated with hay, it would keep his dairy products cool during the summer. His house, Blue Hill Farm, still remains nearby. In 1921 the state acquired the land from later owners lumber dealer Warren H. Davis who had cleared off much of the timber, and the former estate of millionaire Fred Pearson.
        A five dollar use fee per car may have to be paid during peak season.  I have personally only paid it once in all my visits over the years.
 
Repair of the Dam in 2012
       Built in the 1930s, Benedict Pond was created for visitors to enjoy water related recreational activities in the state forest, but the poor state of the dam challenged DCR’s ability to safely continue those activities at the site. The area reopened 23 October 2012 after a $630,000 rehabilitation project to significantly improve the infrastructure of the dam.
         The project included reconstructing the dam’s upstream-facing construction, re-grading the dam crest and downstream slope, adding a universal access pathway across the entire 800 feet of the dam crest and improving day-use facilities that were disturbed by the construction work on the dam. The universal access path features an accessible deck over the spillway; the path now links the beach and parking area to campsites on the other side of the dam.
        The pond’s parking area, picnic tables, benches and five campsites were also restored, offering parking for approximately 75 vehicles. The pond now boasts 12 campsites – with some of the sites right on the water.
 
Paddle Description
      This small pond is very isolated and receives few visitors.  As a result, it is possible to find yourself completely alone in the area and possibly the only boat on the pond.
        Hikers may be seen all the way around the pond on the pond loop trail.  At the east end of the pond the AT (Appalachian Trail) passes.  On the South West shore is camping and the south shore has a small beach and beach house.
STATISTICS

Skill Level:            Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    1 hour
Total Distance:      1.5 miles
USGS Map:             Great Barrington, MA (7.5’x15’)
Launch Address:  Benedict Pond Rd, Monterey, MA 01245

Boat Launch:         Car top launch near beach or use the boat ramp.
Position:   42-12.20 N 73-17.33 W
 
Physical Features:
  • Area:                35 acres
  • Max depth:         8 feet
  • Average Depth:  5 feet
  • Transparency:    7 feet
  • Terrain Type: Wooded, State Park
Fish Population
  • Last survey 1979
  • Largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed and golden shiner. Chain pickerel are present as well.     

Put-In/Take-Out (9.2 miles, about 21 minutes)
  • From US Route 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) take exit 2.
  • After the tollbooths, turn left at light.  Pass under the Mass Pike and turn right on Route 102 West.
  • Travel 2.6 miles on Route 102 West into South Lee.
  • Turn left on Meadow Street and an immediate right on Pine Street.
  • Pine Street goes straight  into Beartown Mountain Road. Road conditions can be poor.
  • In 2.1 miles the road becomes Benedict Pond Road.
  • Pass Camping on left, pass Beach and Beach House on left, and then arrive at the boat ramp on left.    

    
State Pond Map
Beartown State Forest
       Beartown State Forest has two distinctly different worlds between the summer and winter. During the warm months the pristine 35-acre Benedict Pond attracts swimmers, boaters and fishermen. An extensive network of trails on over 12,000 acres offers visitors a chance to glimpse deer, bear, bobcat, fisher and other wildlife, including the park's namesake, the Black Bear. Brooks, beaver ponds, rich deciduous forest, flowering shrubs and wildflowers and fall foliage are plentiful. The Appalachian Trail passes near Benedict Pond and offers spectacular wooded views.
       The other half of the year the forest becomes a winter wonderland, where visitors on cross-country skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles can explore a snow-covered wilderness. The 1.5 mile Benedict Pond Loop Trail is a must in any season. Year-round camping is also available.
          Learn more at the state website:
Beartown State Forest
Benedict Pond Loop Trail
       Benedict Pond Loop Trail begins at the boat launch area. Route length is 1.7 miles. Hike is easy to moderate with little elevation change. Footing may be wet and uneven in places. Plan on 60 minutes hiking at a moderate pace. Follow the blue blazes and trail signs. There is a $5 parking fee, weekends May-June; then daily late-June through Labor Day.
Appalachian Trail
Footpath for the People
       The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.
National Park Service - AT
The National Forest Service
   The Appalachian Trail travels through Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.  Search the NPS website for details in each one:
National Forest Service
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy
   The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.  Learn more at their website:
 Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Boat Ramp
Beach Area
Picnicking near Boat Ramp
Great Bath House
Refurbished Dam and Pathway