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Pittsfield State Forest

Monday, July 11, 2016

Alt Names

Balance Rock State Park, Potter Mountain, Churchill Brook Trail, Skyline Trail, Taconic Skyline Trail, Snake Brook Trail

Last Known StatusOpen

Located in northwestern Massachusetts, this area has about 16 miles of ATV trails that wind through a mixed hardwood forest. Most of the trails are fast and smooth and are marked with orange and yellow triangle blazes on the trees.

A daily riding permit is required which can be obtained by visiting the ranger station on Cascade Street and Shamrock Blvd but there is no access to the trails from this location since all of the trails here are for hiking or mountain bike use. Balance Rock and Potter Mountain Staging areas are the only two parking areas that provide direct access to the ATV trails (Balance Rock has plenty of parking for larger trailers while Potter Mountain is better suited for smaller vehicles).

The forest offers three campgrounds to choose from but machines must be hauled to and from the staging areas. The Lulu Brook Day Use Area has numerous BBQ grills and picnic tables. Forest hours are from sunrise to 8pm, year-round. Snowmobiles are permitted during winter months.

**Note: A permit is now required to ride the trails at Pittsfield State Forest. There is no fee but a maximum of 50 permits will be issued per day. Permits can be reserved by calling (413) 358-2172 or via e-mail at ohv-permits@state.ma.us

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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Nearest CityPittsfield, MA
Go Back To Massachusetts List
Street Map
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Pittsfield, MA
1) Head west on West Street about 2 miles
2) Turn right (north) on Churchill Street, continue 1.7 miles
3) Turn left (west) on Cascade Street, continue .7 miles
4) Turn right (north) on Shamrock Blvd, continue about .5 miles
5) Ranger station is on the left (west).*

*Note: The above directions are to the ranger station to obtain the daily riding permit. To access the ATV trails you must stage at either Balance Rock or Potter Mountain Road Staging Area.

For Potter Mountain Staging Area:
6) Leave ranger station by heading south on Shamrock Blvd about 1 mile
7) Turn left (east) on Cascade Street, continue .5 miles
8) Turn left (north) on Churchill Street, continue 2.1 miles
9) Turn left (west) on Potter Mountain Road, continue .4 miles

For Balance Rock Staging Area:
10) Turn right (east) on Potter Mountain Road, continue .4 miles
11) Look for gate and sign for Balance Rock State Park on the left (west), turn here.
12) Continue about .5 miles toward staging area.

TYPE OF AREA

AreaTrail
LandState Forest, State Park

RATINGS

Prosscenic forest
Conssmall area, additional permit required to ride trails
Our RatingRatingGood    
Recommended StayHalf Day
Comments(Scroll Down For Visitor Reviews & Comments)

TERRAIN

Square Miles15
Miles Of Trail16
Climate TypeForest
Elevation1200 to 2000 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly MaintainedTrails are marked with orange and yellow blazes.
Loose DirtThis trail has little loose dirt.Little
Hard PackThe trail has mostly hard pack terrain.Mostly
SandThis trail has little sandy areas.Little
MudThe trail has little mud after it rains.Little
DustThe trail has little dust on typical days.Little
RocksThis trail has some rocks.Some
TreesThe trail has almost all trees.All
Steep HillsThis trail has few steep hills.Few
Water CrossingsThe trail has few water crossings.Few
Small JumpsThis trail has no small jumps.None
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has few berms.Few
Sand/Gravel PitsThis state forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
IntersectionsThis trail has some intersections.Some
Rider TrafficThe state forest has few rider traffic on typical days.Few
ShadeThis state forest has some shaded areas.Some
Ranges/GunfireThis state forest has some shooting ranges or gunfire.Somearea open during hunting season
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards not marked)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has mostly beginner terrain.Mostly
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has some intermediate level terrain.Some
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has little expert terrain.Little

REGULATIONS

Permit RequiredYesPittsfield State Forest Trail Permit and MA Registration Sticker
Dates OpenMay through the last Sunday in November
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (96 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthYes (50 inches)has entrance gate or posts
vehicles under 900lbs dry weight and 50 inches wide permitted
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles MotorcyclesPermitted
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsPermitted(maximum width 50 inches)
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTVs / SXSPermitted(maximum width 50 inches)
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs / Jeeps (registered)Prohibited
Dune Buggy/Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
Prohibited
Two Strokes /
2 Cycle Engines
No Restriction
Helmets RequiredYesrequired by state law
BicyclesNo Restriction
HikingNo Restriction
HorsebackNo Restriction
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areas(camp in developed sites only)
permitted at Bishop Field, Parker Brook & Berry Pond Campgrounds
Campfire Restrictions CampfiresSome Areas(permitted in developed campsites only)
Night RidingNo
Cross CountryProhibitedno trailblazing
AlcoholProhibited
FireworksProhibited
FirearmsSome Areasarea open during hunting season
Emergency / Law EnforcementManyOn-Site Office/Station
Gate Inspection
Insurance*Disclaimer: RiderPlanet strongly recommends that all riders obtain medical insurance and buy motorcycle insurance or ATV insurance before visiting any of the locations depicted on this website.
CommentATVs and motorcycles must be registered in Massachusetts, no reciprocity with other states.

FEES & PASSES

ParkingYes ($2.00)
Fee charged May through early September
EntryNo ($0.00)
RidingNo ($0.00)
CampingYes
Tent: $17.00
RV: $17.00
Addtl. Vehicle: $0.00
Non-residents - $20/night

KEY SERVICES

First Aid First Aid1-5 Miles (SE)Berkshire Medical Center (413) 447-2000
Gasoline Gasoline1-5 Miles (SE)Exxon/Mobil (413) 499-1416
Diesel Diesel1-5 Miles (SE)Exxon/Mobil (413) 499-1416
Potable Water Water1-5 Miles (SE)Hidden Valley Campground (413) 447-9419 or  (877) 392 2267
RV Hookups RV Hookup1-5 Miles (SE)Bonnie Brae Cabins & Campsites (413) 442-3754 or (413) 445-9358
RV Dump Station RV Disposal1-5 Miles (SE)Bonnie Brae Cabins & Campsites (413) 442-3754 or (413) 445-9358
Primitive Camping CampgroundOn SiteBerry Pond and Parker Brook Campground (413) 499-5112
Convenience Store Conv Store1-5 Miles (SE)Getty Food Mart (413) 499-9271
Swimming Swim Area1-5 Miles (SE)Burbank Park Beach (413) 499-9344
Body of Water Water BodyOn Site
Boating Launch Boat Ramp1-5 Miles (SE)Pontoosuc Lake Boat Ramp (413) 496-9160

OFFICIAL CONTACTS

Contact InfoPittsfield State Forest
1041 Cascade Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 442-8992
pittsfield.forest@state.ma.us
www.mass.gov
Contact InfoMassachusetts DCR OHV Permit Program
(413) 358-2172
ohv-permits@state.ma.us
www.mass.gov
Contact InfoMassachusetts Environmental Police
251 Causeway Street, Suite 101
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 626-1610
www.mass.gov
CommentATV/Motorcycle Registration Info
Contact InfoReserve America
(877) 422-6762
(877) 620-2267
mass.wildlife@state.ma.us
www.reserveamerica.com
CommentCampground Reservations

RECENT COMMENTS & REVIEWS

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Pittsfield State Forest Trail

Most of the ATV trails look like this - smooth and flat.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Scenery at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

Lulu Brook

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Some terrain at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

There are a few berms to be found here.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

OHV at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

Balance Rock, a 165-ton limestone boulder.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Pittsfield State Forest Trail

The trails can get a little muddy during wet weather.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Scenic view at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

The Lulu Brook Day Use Area offers a pleasant looking pond and plenty of picnic sites. ATV parking and swimming is not permitted here.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

A trail at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

Most of the trails are flat and smooth, making it a good choice to bring a beginner.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

RV Trailer Staging Area and Camping at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

The Balance Rock State Park sign marks the main entrance to the eastern staging area.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

RV Trailer Staging Area and Camping at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

The Potter Mountain Staging Area offers a small but level parking area and a map kiosk.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Scenic view of Pittsfield State Forest Trail

Lulu Brook Day Use Area

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Some terrain at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

Another smooth section of trail.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Example of terrain at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

One of the few sections of the trail that is slightly rocky.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Terrain example at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

This is the trailhead at Balance Rock. ATVs must be less than 50 inches wide to pass around the gate.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

RV Trailer Staging Area and Camping at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

There are no services at Balance Rock Staging Area except for a vault toilet so come prepared.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

RV Trailer Staging Area and Camping at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

Balance Rock Staging Area provides plenty of turnaround room and level parking for larger vehicles.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Pittsfield State Forest Trail

One of the bridge crossings.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

Scenic view at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

Water crossing on main trail from Balance Rock.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

A trail at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

The trailhead at Potter Mountain is open to machines less than 50 inches wide. As you can see, the trail veers left and around the gate.

Pittsfield State Forest Trail Photo

OHV at Pittsfield State Forest Trail

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