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Buckley Dunton Lake and Yokum Pond

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Last Updated: 9/2014
Description of Buckley Dunton Lake:
 
Fishing
       Buckley Dunton offers some of the better bass and pickerel fishing in the region. In addition to the excellent fisheries, the environment is aesthetically pleasing, scenic and relatively quiet. The pickerel are probably the premier game fish here, being both common and of large average size. Largemouth bass are abundant, and large individuals are now reported regularly.
       The density of structure in this pond (it is virtually paved with stumps) almost necessitates the use of “snag proof” lures such as spinnerbaits, weedless spoons and rubber worms. Due to the shallow nature of the water and the poor transparency, surface plugs and poppers are also very effective here. (1998)
 
East Side
       You can put in at the south end of the dam at the boat launch but I prefer the North end of the Dam because you can easily slide a canoe or kayak on grass with out scratching it.  Whatever you choose, the road is an easy access to both.
Start your trip by turning north (right) along the lake shore.  You will immediately get the feeling you are in a wilderness area.  The first bay you come to is a nesting area for ducks and geese.  If they don’t take off immediately, you can be sure they make a ruckus because the will be guarding eggs.
      Continue traveling northwest along the shore.  The prevailing winds are WNW (west northwest or 282 degrees).  If you are bucking head winds, as I have experience more than once, fear not!  You will have a lee more than half of your trip starting at the northwest end.
 
North End
        At about 0.8 miles into the trip, check the map, you will come upon a small beaver lodge leaning against the shore.  Just as you start coming around the bend and heading north, you will be at one mile, a huge beaver lodge will appear just off the shore.  It is quite impressive.  Over the years it has grown to two large humps six to seven feet high.  During late evening and early morning you just may be greeted with a loud wack on the water.  One day my son and I were followed around more than half the lake by a curious beaver.
       The north cove is very shallow and has a small stream entering.  In late summer it can be very weedy and going can be tough.  Keep your eyes open for fish and birds of many kinds.  Next, follow the lake around and another cove, more westerly, has underwater stumps and wildlife.  You might be surprise by one because of the dark color of the water.
 
West Side
       As you head south another small beaver lodge appears attached to the shore.  It is important to note that not one house is visible along this stretch which is all state park.
       Just before you reach the 2 mile mark, you will start hearing some water gurgling.  Three small brooks enter here from the hill side as you travel along.  The biggest one actually has a small delta formed from years of runoff bringing down eroded sediment.
 
South End
      As you approach the southern end of the lake, it becomes a long narrow finger.  This is the only area where private land exists on the lake and only on the east shore.  All four homes are summer residents and very well kept.  My favorite is the one with all the windows facing the lake.  Look for it.  Wouldn’t you just love owning one?   At the end of the lake you can just make out the Yokum Pond Road.
 
At the Dam
      As you leave the south end of the lake you will be traveling north.  Follow the lake around to the right and the dam comes into view.  Follow the dam past the small spillway and you are at the take-out.
 
 Description of Yokum Pond
        The launch area looks like a driveway with high grass leading to the water.  Car top only are possible.
         The lake is extremely shallow in many places.  Even in a kayak I have scraped bottom on much of the shoreline.  Most of the shoreline have fairly large summer homes.  They are set back from the shore.  The south end can have breaking waves on a windy day.
    After paddling Buckley Dunton Lake you may find this pond less interesting.
STATISTICS
 
Skill Level:            Class 1 - Flat water
Buckley Dunton Lake:
Estimated Time:    1.5 hour
Total Distance:      3.6 miles
Launch Address:  
507 Yokum Pond Rd, Becket, MA 01223
Half mile after State Forest Service Garage
Position: 42-18.73 N 73-07.93 W
Boat Launch: Car top launch near dam.
 
Yokum Pond:
Estimated Time:    1 hour
Total Distance:      2.0 miles
Launch Address:  507 Yokum Pond Rd, Becket, MA 01223
Position:  42-18.42 N 73-07.46 W
Boat Launch:  Gravel soft boat ramp
 
USGS Map: Stockbridge, MA and Lee, MA
 
Physical Features:
   Buckley Dunton Lake
  • Area:                161 acres
  • Max depth:         10 feet
  • Average Depth:    6 feet
  • Transparency:     3 to 4 feet
  • Terrain Type: Wooded, State Park
​  Yokum Pond
  • Area:                109 acres
  • Max depth:           8 feet
  • Average Depth:    5 feet
  • Transparency: 
  • Terrain Type: Wooded, Homes
Fish Population (Buckley Dunton Lake)
  • Last survey 1981
  •  Largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead and golden shiner    
   
   
Put-In/Take-Out (6.7 miles)
  • From US Route 90 (Mass Turnpike) take exit 2.
  • After the tollgate, turn left at stop light on Route 20 East going under the highway.
  • Go through 2 more stoplights heading into South Lee on Route 20 East and passing the entrance to the Lee Outlet Village.
  • Continue East on Route 20 passing over the Mass Pike (Route 90). Turn left on Becket West Road at 4.2 miles.
  • The road winds and climbs to about 1900 feet above sea level changing to Tyne Road and then Yokum Road.
  • For Buckley Dunton Lake: At 6.7 miles turn left just before the State Forest Service Garage and travel 0.5 mile more to the Dam.
  • For Yokum Lake: At 6.7 miles turn right on Leonhardt Road.  Immediately turn right down a dirt launch road across from a small white house. 
    
 
    
State Pond Map
Boat Launch
Spillway at Dam
October Mountain State Forest
     At 16,500 acres, October Mountain is the largest state forest in Massachusetts. Here visitors can camp, hike and enjoy the outdoors while they visit nearby Tanglewood and other Berkshire Region points of interest. 47 campsites dot a sunny hillside and offer a great base to explore this vast forest.
        The name of "October Mountain" is attributed to writer Herman Melville, whose view from his home in Pittsfield of these hills in fall impressed him so. The state forest originated from the former estate of William C. Whitney, President Grover Cleveland's Secretary of the Navy. Trails are available for every level of experience, and include the famous Appalachian Trail . One of the most scenic trails leads through Schermerhorn Gorge, a striking natural feature which has intrigued generations of geologists. Countless varieties of wild plants and animals can be found throughout the varied terrain of this vast forest.
State Forest
Trail Map
Camping
      Camping season is from mid-May through mid-October in designated campground only. Reservations are suggested. Several sites are wheelchair accessible. There are three yurts that are available for camping. No group sites are available. Campground office hours: 8am-10pm.
Campground Map
Large Beaver Lodge