LEOMINSTER STATE FOREST
The Leominster State Forest, a 4,500-acre parcel of forested land managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, is located in the towns of Westminster, Princeton, Leominster, Fitchburg and Sterling. Its history can be traced to Native Americans who used the ledges at Crow Hill for shelter and signaling. A series of land grants in the early 1700s by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony gave this land to heirs of soldiers killed in the French and Indian Wars. Many of these parcels became part of Notown, an unincorporated settlement, until 1838 when these lands were incorporated into the adjoining towns.
From 1932–1938 the Civilian Conservation Corps worked in the park, constructing a network of roads, and developing the area at Crow Hill Pond. Today numerous cellar holes, old stonewalls and fruit trees are visible along the forest roads and trails. The Mid-State Trail passes through the western edge of the park, traversing the Crow Hills. The cave and rock formations at Crow Hills, with twin summits of 1,234 feet and 1,220 feet are a popular rock climbing and hiking destination. Nature lovers enjoy the many hiking trails, mountain laurel blooms in late June and opportunities to observe a wide variety of wildlife.
A park interpreter conducts a variety of interpretive programs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Recreational activities within the forest exist year round ranging from mountain biking, canoeing and lifeguard-staffed swimming in summer to cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in winter.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) strives to protect, preserve, manage and enhance the natural and cultural resources of the Commonwealth in order to promote healthy, livable and sustainable communities, and to connect people to these resources through recreation and education.