Dunn State Park

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Outdoor Recreation and Enjoyment for Everyone!

A popular year-round member of the expansive Massachusetts state recreation system, Dunn State Park in Gardner is an outdoor spot that everyone can enjoy.

Originally donated to the city by local furniture manufacturer John Ainsworth Dunn, the 119-acre park is home to 20-acre pond populated by a wide variety of fish, from pickerel to trout.

Whether your passion is fishing, swimming, hiking, kayaking — or just enjoying a picnic lunch — Dunn Park is an ideal spot for spending an enjoyable spring or summer day. And thanks to the state’s dedication to providing outdoor recreation opportunities in Massachusetts State Parks for visitors of all abilities, a wide range of visitors can take advantage of Dunn Park’s amenities.

In fact, for the past two years, the Massachusetts Statewide Independent Living Council has hosted its ADA Day celebration and picnic at the Gardner park. In addition to its swimming area, lodge, and playground, Dunn Park features a ¾-mile stone dust trail that loops through the forest, making the beautiful setting accessible to all.

The state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation notes that Massachusetts is unique in offering adaptive recreation programs year-round and statewide.

A handy Universal Access brochure, available for download at www.mass.gov/dcr outlines the many opportunities for people of all abilities within the state park system. Staff and volunteers, the brochure notes, are trained in disability awareness, sighted-guide technique, transfers, equipment adaptations and other methods to create an environment of support, as well as a fun and safe experience for all.

The staff at Dunn Park recently launched a “Sundays in the Park” series, with special programs each week. The first Sunday of the month features a jam session with acoustic bluegrass and folk musicians; the second Sunday, a nature photography program; third Sunday, Poetry and Prose of the Outdoor World; and on the fourth Sunday, The Nature of Dunn, a discussion of the park’s flora and fauna, along with a guided tour. Programs are scheduled through April; to see what’s new at the park, visit www.mass.gov/dcr.