Upper and Lower Highland Lakes

Last Updated: 3/2018
          The Highland Lakes are popular warm water angling areas. The upper lake has become popular with local trout anglers in the spring, and although it has fewer and smaller bass and pan fish than the lower pond, it has the best smallmouth bass population. It’s the one to fish in spring and early summer. The lower lake has more and bigger largemouth bass and yellow perch than the upper pond, and is definitely the better of the two ponds for ice fishing action.
    The Highland Lakes consist of two impoundments located about a quarter mile apart on the west branch of the Mill River.
      Lower Highland Lake covers 88 acres. The bottom consists of rubble and rock and aquatic vegetation is scarce. The shoreline is moderately developed with seasonal residences. Access is provided by a paved ramp located on the northern tip of the pond off Moore Hill Road. It is suitable for light trailer boats, canoes and car top boats. There are parking spaces for six vehicles. As with both ponds, there is a fee to enter, at least during the summer recreation season.
     Upper Highland Lake covers 53 acres. It is similar to its sister pond in that the bottom is rubble and rock, aquatic vegetation is uncommon. The shoreline, however, is virtually undeveloped. Access is provided by an informal ramp, suitable for canoes and car top boats, located on the south end of the pond off Moore Hill Road. No gasoline-powered craft are allowed on this lake, although electric motors are permissible.

Skill Level:            Class 1 - Flat water
USGS Map: Goshen, MA (7.5’x15’)
Upper Highland:
Estimated Time:  1 hour
Total Distance: 1.9 miles
Launch Address:    Moore Hill Road, Goshen, MA 01032   
Boat Launch: State Boat Ramp.
Position:   42-27.44 N 72-47.50 W

Lower Highland:
Estimated Time:  1 hour
Total Distance: 2.2 miles
Launch Address:      
Boat Launch: State Boat Ramp.
Position:   42-27.29 N 72-47.90 W

Physical Features:
Upper Highland:
  • Area:                  53 acres
  • Max depth:         14 feet
  • Average Depth:    8 feet
  • Transparency:    Poor 
  • Terrain Type: State Park, Summer Camp, Woods
Lower Highland:
  • Area:                  88 acres
  • Max depth:         16 feet
  • Average Depth:    9 feet
  • Transparency:      5 feet 
  • Terrain Type: State Park, Summer Camp, Homes, Woods
Fish Population
  • Last survey 1980
  • Upper Highland with 7 species: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, rock bass, white sucker and golden shiner. It is also stocked with trout every spring.
  • Lower Highland 9 species: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, rock bass, white sucker and golden shiner, bluegill and brown bullhead. It is not stocked with trout. 
Put-In/Take-Out (16.3 miles, about 28 minutes)
  • Take Interstate 91 north.
  • Take Exit 19 in Northampton and follow Route 9 West for 16 miles through Northampton, Florence, Williamsburg to Goshen.
  • Turn right onto MA Route. 112 north (toward Ashfield/Buckland) and continue for 0.7 miles.
  • Turn right on to Moore Hill Road just before DAR State Forest sign and enter park.
Camp Holy Cross (CHC)
             This is a private facility of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.  Camp Holy Cross has been a part of the Diocese of Springfield since 1930 and contains over 250 acres of woods and fields situated off of route 9 in Goshen, MA.
        Our camp program offers a place for all youth ages 8-15 to call home for a week or two! We aim to provide a fun filled summer camp experience that provides campers with the supervision and support to feel safe and nurtured, all while having fun! From our beautiful waterfront, to Arts and Crafts, to recreational activities, there's something for everyone to try and enjoy. Daily faith based activities are an integral part of our program, allowing campers to explore their relationship with God in many different ways. 

4H Camp Howe
      (affiliated with UMass Extension)

         Camp Howe provides day, overnight and weekly camping programs for persons of all ages with a primary focus on creating a community in which everyone is included and has a sense of belonging. The camping experience is tailored to accommodate the skill level and changing needs of individuals for the purpose of enhancing their experiences, skills, and abilities in a totally inclusive manner. The intent of the program is to make sure that every camper is comfortable and happy with his or her achievements and limitations.
       Camp Howe promotes respect for and appreciation of the religious, racial, ethnic, social, family structure, ability, sexual orientation and economic diversity by reflecting that diversity in its membership, leadership, and program and by eliminating institutional discrimination in summer camp. The camp program is designed to foster understanding and appreciation of individual differences, group cooperation, and understanding of differing cultural values of the campers and staff. It truly is a camp for all youth! 

Camp Howe
State Pond Map
DAR State Forest
       The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) donated 1,020 acres to the Commonwealth for a state forest in 1929. Since then more than 750 additional acres have been acquired to include Upper and Lower Highland Lakes, which offer a popular swimming beach, shady picnic area and a group picnic pavilion. Located in the eastern foothills of the Berkshires, discover 15 miles of mixed-use trails through northern hardwood-conifer forest. Climb the Goshen fire tower for spectacular views of the Connecticut River Valley and into five states.
       The campground offers 51 wooded campsites featuring modern comfort stations with showers and a private beach. Wheelchair accessible campsites are also available. In summer other activities include: non-motorized boating, hiking, fishing, horseback riding (bring your horse), and mountain biking. In winter ice fishing, skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling are popular.
DAR State Forest
Trail Map
Campground Map
Upper Highland Boat Ramp
Lower Highland Boat Ramp
Upper Highland Refurbished Dam