A Dip in Time

  • Visit North Central

On a warm summer day, there’s nothing more tempting than a refreshing dip in a pool, pond or stream.

And when you’re in Johnny Appleseed Country, you’re in luck — because the region is a treasure-trove of places where you can give in to that temptation.
Local and state parks, swimming pools, and even zero-depth “splash playgrounds” await your visit in communities throughout the area. When you’re planning your trip, be sure to check out the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation website — www.mass.gov/dcr — for details about the water-related resources available along your route.

The state park system has more than a half-dozen beaches in Johnny Appleseed Country, stretching from Willard Brook State Forest in Ashby and Townsend to Lake Dennison in Winchendon.  Pearl Hill State Park in West Townsend, for example, includes a five-acre pond, complete with sandy beach, created by the seasonal damming of Pearl Hill Brook. Many of the state parks, like Otter River State Forest in Baldwinville, offer campsites, along with fishing, picnic areas and hiking trails.

Dunn Pond in Gardner is among the state parks that are also open to canoes — and as a special treat, Dunn Pond has paddle boats available in the summer, so you can get a little exercise before taking that cooling dip.

If sparkling ponds and sandy beaches aren’t your thing, how about stopping by one of the area’s public swimming pools? The state has pools in Clinton, Fitchburg and Leominster; and the city of Gardner is home to the community’s Greenwood Memorial Pool.

For the younger set, the splash park at Parkhill Park in Fitchburg is pure joy. And if you’re planning a trip to Davis’ Farmland in Sterling, be sure to pack the kiddies’ bathing suits so they can enjoy the splash play area there. Fitchburg’s Coolidge Park has both a full swimming pool and a toddler water feature area, too.

Rainy day? Don’t let it spoil your fun! Just head over to the CoCo Key Water Resort, located right off Route 2 in Fitchburg, where you’ll find exciting water slide,  pools and even a lazy river to float along. It’s always a comfy temperature there, and there’s plenty of activity to keep the kids from getting bored.

When it’s just “too darn hot” in the city, come on out to Johnny Appleseed Country — where you’ll find shady forests, cool breezes, and an abundance of places to take that refreshing dip.