Savoy Mountain State Reservation
featuring Borden Mountain
Maintained by the Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) Division of Forests and, Parks on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth, the Forest is a delight for hikers, skiers and naturalists.
Location and Information
Savoy Mountain State Forest, is located in northwestern Massachusetts, specifically the town of Florida, along the Mohawk Trail (Route 2). It is accessible from both Routes 2 and 116.
During the summer, interpretive programs are offered at the park. These programs include guided hikes, natural and cultural history walks, slideshows, games and exhibits at the Interpretive Center.
The campground, located at South Pond, has 45 campsites and is open from mid-May to mid-October. Flush toilets and showers are available. Sites can be reserved in advance. In addition, Savoy Mountain has rustic cabins overlooking scenic South Pond. During the summer the campground sanitary facilities are available but from mid-October to mid-May there is no running water in the Park. The cabins are available year-round and can also be reserved.
The day-use facility at North Pond features picnicking, swimming and fishing. Swimming and fishing are also available at South Pond for campers. However, a lifeguard, is on duty only at North Pond.
Approximately 20 miles of hiking traits offer the visitor a variety of choices. The trails are highlighted by natural or man-made features, such as Tannery Falls, Spruce Hill, Tyler Swamp and Bog Pond.
Hunting, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are popular sports during the fall and winter.
Savoy Mountain State Forest resembles northern New England’s forests because of its altitude and location in Massachusetts. The northern Berkshires are an extension of Vermont’s Green Mountains.
Balsam, fir, red spruce sugar and mountain, maple, yellow and white birch, hobblebush and striped maple are examples of trees and shrubs found here. They are typical of the hemlock/northern hardwood forests of Vermont. Many ferns cover the forest floor and line the trails. Pink azaleas bloom here in mid-June and mountain laurel in early July.
Wildlife is plentiful in Savoy Mountain. Black bear, fish, beaver and porcupines can be seen on occasion. The variety of birds includes many warblers, thrushes, hawks, kingfishers and owls. North Pond has excellent trout fishing while bass and perch can be caught at Bog Pond.
In 1917 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts purchased the first parcel of land in Savoy and erected a fire tower at Borden Mountain, formerly Savoy Mountain. In 1921, 10,000 acres were acquired at approximately $5 per acre. Savoy Mountain State Forest now contains 11,000 acres.
The Savoy area was named after the mountainous region of Europe that has a similar topography. Colonial settlers came to this area to log and farm. Evidence of their industry still exists. Cellar holes, stone walls, family graveyards and sawmill sites are found throughout the forest.
During the early 1930s, four Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) units were stationed at Savoy Mountain State Forest. They planted trees, cleared trails and roads, constructed dams and built cabins.
Improvements at Savoy since the CCC era include upgrading and enlarging the camping area, creating snowmobile trails and increasing the number of hiking trails in the forest.