Beartown State Forest has two distinctly different worlds between the summer and winter. During the warm months the pristine 35-acre Benedict Pond attracts swimmers, boaters and fishermen. An extensive network of trails on over 12,000 acres offers visitors a chance to glimpse deer, bear, bobcat, fisher and other wildlife, including the park's namesake, the Black Bear. Brooks, beaver ponds, rich deciduous forest, flowering shrubs and wildflowers and fall foliage are plentiful. The Appalachian Trail passes near Benedict Pond and offers spectacular wooded views.
The other half of the year the forest becomes a winter wonderland, where visitors on cross-country skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles can explore a snow-covered wilderness. The 1.5 mile Benedict Pond Loop Trail is a must in any season. Year-round camping is also available.
Nearby, on US Rte. 7 in Great Barrington, Fountain Pond State Park and Monument Mountain (The Trustees of Reservations) offer a variety of hiking trails and breathtaking views any time of year.