Lake​​ Denison

Last Updated: 3/2018
       Lake Denison is a fairly small lake, one that can be fished from shore or boat quite effectively and easily. Shore fishing for trout should prove successful in late spring. However, once warmer temperatures arrive, these fish will seek the deeper, colder areas, which will probably necessitate fishing for them from a boat. For Largemouth Bass work the weedy areas and anything affording cover to these structure-oriented fish. This lake is also a good spot to try for chain pickerel action. 


     Lake Dennison Recreation Area is a 121-acre  Massachusetts state park located in the town of Winchendon. It comprises a small portion of the 4,221 acres of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Birch Hill Flood Control Project that are managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation and that also include Otter River State Forest.
     The shore is undeveloped because the area is part of the Birch Hill Flood Control Project under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Adjacent to the north and east shores is a large camping area.

Note: outboard motors larger than 10 hp. are prohibited. Aquatic vegetation is scant, dominated by scattered clusters of lily pads in the shallower areas. The pond averages about 9.0 feet in transparency; the water is very light brown in color.

History - 1930s
        By the 1930s Lake Dennison's shores were dotted with summer cottages. Across from the modern day use beach once stood the Fagerstrom House. Children came from all over the Commonwealth to board here for summer camp. A large dance pavilion once stood where the East Camping Area is today. During the day visitors could rent a canoe and paddle the lake or take a steamboat cruise. Any night of the week listening to the sounds of the big bands cost a dime, an extra nickel to dance. When a famous big band came to town, admission was a quarter but the dancing was free.
     Ice fishing was a popular activity on those winter days in the thirties. After a day on the frozen lake, cold anglers often stopped at the Stumble Inn, on what is now Old Route 202, for a warming cup of coffee. Those with bad luck on the lake could pick up dinner at Dolan's Fish Market, in the area now known as Dolan Flats.

Skill Level:  Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    1 hour
Distance around lake:  1.7 miles

Nearest Address:  
{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DStartFragment%2D%2D%3E {cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2DEndFragment%2D%2D%3E166 Royalston Road South, Winchendon, MA 01475
Position:  42-38.80 N 72-05.55 W
USGS Map:  Winchendon, MA
Boats can be launched at the public gravel ramp located off Royalston Road on the western shore. Parking space is available for eight to ten vehicles.  

Physical Features:
  • Area:                83.5 acres
  • Max depth:         15 feet
  • Average Depth:    8 feet
  • Transparency:      9 feet
  • Terrain Type: Wooded
Fish Population
  • Last survey 2000
  • 11 species:   Gamefish present included largemouth bass, chain pickerel and rainbow trout. A variety of panfish were present including white perch, yellow perch, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, brown bullheads, and yellow bullheads. Other resident fishes include golden shiners and white suckers. 

Put-In/Take-Out Directions (7.1 miles, 12 minutes):
From Exit 19 of Route 2 
  1. Head North on Routes 2A & 202 toward Phillipston/Winchendon
  2. At mile 6.1, turn left at Main Street at the brown sign for Lake Denison Recreation Area.
  3. At mile 6.5, turn slight right onto New Boston Road.
  4. At mile 6.8, turn slight right onto Royalston Rd South.
  5. At mile 7.1, arrive at launch site on your right.
State Pond Map
Otter River State Forest

       Otter River State Forest is a publicly owned forest and recreational preserve located in the towns of Templeton, Winchendon, and Royalston in Massachusetts managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. The state forest encompasses the land surrounding the junction of the Otterand Millers rivers. Habitats include freshwater marsh, northern hardwood stands, and pine groves planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps to reforest former farmlands

A Little History
      The forest was the first property acquired by the State Forest Commission in 1915; it was formally established in 1917. A 100-year birthday celebration was held on the forest grounds in August 2015.
        The Civilian Conservation Corps was active in the forest during the 1930s. The Corps' handiwork can be seen in the dam at the northern end of Beaman Pond and the visitor contact station on the east side of the pond. The pond's Corps-built stone bathhouse no longer exists.

For more information click the button below: 
Otter River State Forest​
Lake Dennison Recreation Area

       Lake Dennison is a section of the Army Corps of Engineers Birch Hill Flood Control Project. The DCR, via Otter River State Park staff, manages 4,221 acres of Corps land for recreational use. Located in Winchendon, the park has 150 campsites. There is a swimming beach on Lake Dennison.

For more information and reservations click the campground button: 
Lake Dennison Recreation Area
Campground Map