Cool Off in the Country!

  • Visit North Central
  • Posted on June 22, 2021

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.


Leominster State Forest: photo taken by SEE/SWIM

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

Dunn Pond

289 Pearl Street

Lake Dennison

1366 Main Street

Otter River State Forest

86 Winchendon Road Baldwinville

Pearl Hill State Forest

New Fitchburg Road
West Townsend

Willard Brook

Route 119
Ashby & Townsend


Philip Weihn Pool

Route 110

Gustave Johnson Pool

35 Wanoosnock Avenue

Coolidge Park Pool

John Fitch Highway, Fitchburg

Leominster State Pool

Viscoloid Avenue

Greenwood Pool

69 Park Street


Parkhill Park

Beech Street

Davis’ Farmland

145 Redstone Hill Road


Great Wolf Lodge

50 Great Wolf Drive