Cool Off in the Country!

  • Visit North Central

Lake Dennison: photo taken by John Burk

As summer temperatures rise, there’s nothing more tempting than a refreshing dip in a pool, pond or stream.

And when you’re in North Central Massachusetts, you’re always close to a great spot where you can give in to that temptation— because the region has an abundance of cooling attractions.

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 — — for details about the water-related resources available along your route.

The state park system has more than a half-dozen beaches in this region, 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, also offer fishing, picnic areas and hiking trails to round out your day of fun. Dunn Pond in Gardner is part of the state’s Heritage Park system, and is a popular swimming spot for locals.

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.

Got a trip planned but the weather forecast doesn’t look cooperative? Schedule a stay at Great Wolf Lodge, located right off Route 2 in Fitchburg, where you’ll find thrilling water slides, 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 the country — where you’ll find shady forests, cool breezes, and lots of places to take that refreshing dip.



Leominster State Forest
90 Fitchburg Road
Westminster, MA

Dunn Pond
289 Pearl Street
Gardner, MA

Lake Dennison
1366 Main Street
Winchendon, MA

Otter River State Forest
86 Winchendon Road
Baldwinville, MA

Pearl Hill State Forest
New Fitchburg Road
West Townsend, MA

Willard Brook
Route 119
Ashby & Townsend


Philip Weihn Pool
Route 110
Clinton, MA

Gustave Johnson Pool
35 Wanoosnock Avenue
Fitchburg, MA

Coolidge Park Pool
John Fitch Highway
Fitchburg, MA

Leominster State Pool
Viscoloid Avenue
Leominster, MA

Greenwood Pool
69 Park Street
Gardner, MA


Parkhill Park
Beech Street
Fitchburg, MA

Davis’ Farmland
145 Redstone Hill Road
Sterling, MA


Great Wolf Lodge
50 Great Wolf Drive
Fitchburg, MA