Lake​​ Dennison

Last Updated: 7/2018
       Lake Denison is a fairly small lake, one that can be fished from shore or boat quite effectively and easily. Shore fishing for trout should prove successful in late spring. However, once warmer temperatures arrive, these fish will seek the deeper, colder areas, which will probably necessitate fishing for them from a boat. For Largemouth Bass work the weedy areas and anything affording cover to these structure-oriented fish. This lake is also a good spot to try for chain pickerel action. 


     Lake Dennison Recreation Area is a 121-acre  Massachusetts state park located in the town of Winchendon. It comprises a small portion of the 4,221 acres of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Birch Hill Flood Control Project that are managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and that also include Otter River State Forest. See more about these lands below.
     The shore is undeveloped. Adjacent to the north and east shores is a large camping area. If you are camping, you can keep your non-motorized boat near your site.   Outboard motors larger than 10 hp. are prohibited.
        Aquatic vegetation is scant, dominated by scattered clusters of lily pads in the shallower areas. The water is very light brown in color.

History - 1930s
        By the 1930s Lake Dennison's shores were dotted with summer cottages. Across from the modern day use beach once stood the Fagerstrom House. Children came from all over the Commonwealth to board here for summer camp. A large dance pavilion once stood where the East Camping Area is today. During the day visitors could rent a canoe and paddle the lake or take a steamboat cruise. Any night of the week listening to the sounds of the big bands cost a dime, an extra nickel to dance. When a famous big band came to town, admission was a quarter but the dancing was free.
     Ice fishing was a popular activity on those winter days in the thirties. After a day on the frozen lake, cold anglers often stopped at the Stumble Inn, on what is now Old Route 202, for a warming cup of coffee. Those with bad luck on the lake could pick up dinner at Dolan's Fish Market, in the area now known as Dolan Flats.

Skill Level:  Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    1 hour
Distance around lake:  1.7 miles
USGS Map:  Winchendon, MA

Physical Features:
  • Area:                83.5 acres
  • Max depth:         15 feet
  • Average Depth:    8 feet
  • Transparency:      9 feet
  • Terrain Type: Wooded
Fish Population
  • Last survey 2000
  • 11 species:   Gamefish present included largemouth bass, chain pickerel and rainbow trout. A variety of panfish were present including white perch, yellow perch, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, brown bullheads, and yellow bullheads. Other resident fishes include golden shiners and white suckers. 
State Pond Map
Lake Dennison Launch
Position: 42-38.47 N 72-05.20 W​
Car top boats can be launched at numerous locations along the lake. Choose a picnic area along the lake and launch or unload your boat on the grass near the beach.  Park in the large parking lot, and carry your boat(s) to the lake away from the guarded beach area.
Nearest Launch Address:
66 Royalston Road South, Winchendon, MA 01475
Put-In Directions (7.1 miles, 12 minutes):
From Exit 19 of Route 2:
  1. Head North on Routes 2A & 202 toward 
  2. At mile 6.1, turn left at Main Street at the brown sign for Lake Denison Recreation Area.
  3. At mile 6.5, turn slight right onto New Boston Road.
  4. At mile 6.8, turn slight right onto Royalston Road South.​
  5. At mile 7.1, arrive at launch site on your right.
Pull up to the grassy area near the beach to unload.  Somewhere near the toilet building as seen here.
You can launch near the beach as seen here.
Stay out of the swimming area.
Lake Dennison Recreation Area

       Lake Dennison is a section of the Army Corps of Engineers Birch Hill Flood Control Project. The DCR, via Otter River State Park staff, manages 4,221 acres of Corps land for recreational use. Located in Winchendon, the park has 150 campsites. There is a swimming beach on Lake Dennison.

For more information and reservations click the campground button: 
Lake Dennison Recreation Area
Campground Map
Otter River State Forest

       Otter River State Forest is a publicly owned forest and recreational preserve located in the towns of Templeton, Winchendon, and Royalston in Massachusetts managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. The state forest encompasses the land surrounding the junction of the Otterand Millers rivers. Habitats include freshwater marsh, northern hardwood stands, and pine groves planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps to reforest former farmlands

A Little History
      The forest was the first property acquired by the State Forest Commission in 1915; it was formally established in 1917. A 100-year birthday celebration was held on the forest grounds in August 2015.
        The Civilian Conservation Corps was active in the forest during the 1930s. The Corps' handiwork can be seen in the dam at the northern end of Beaman Pond and the visitor contact station on the east side of the pond. The pond's Corps-built stone bathhouse no longer exists.

For more information click the button below: 
Otter River State Forest​