Lake Garfield

Last Updated: 5/2018
Big Benton offers a true smorgasbord of fishing opportunities, but a canoe or boat is almost a necessity due to the poor shoreline access. There is good trout fishing action throughout the year, although most of the pressure occurs in April and May. The bass — both smallmouth and largemouth — are fairly abundant and of good average size. They provide fair to good action throughout the year, but keep in mind that swimming, water skiing and other recreational use of this pond is high, particularly during mid summer, and adjust your fishing schedule accordingly. Bass anglers should concentrate their efforts around the structure provided by the numerous islands and rocks.
This is an excellent pond for ice fishing, producing an occasional large chain pickerel along with large numbers of nice yellow perch.  (1998)
     There is an excellent public boat ramp and parking lot on Lake Garfield located at the extreme western end of the lake off Tyringham Road. Unfortunately, the town of Monterey closes it to trailer boats during the swimming season from June 15 through September 6. Those who want to launch trailer boats during the summer can do so for a fee at a commercial boat ramp on the south shore slightly east of the center of town. Shore fishing is not possible since the shoreline is privately owned and generally developed.
       Launch your boat next to the Town Beach.  There is parking across the road on the grass if you cannot park closer.
West End along the South Shore
       Follow the south shore by many homes along the shore for the first half-mile. At mile 0.6 you will pass into the main part of the lake.  Because the lake is completely surrounded by private land, most non-boaters never get to see the lake.  For nearly a mile the shore is wooded with no lakeside homes.  To the north is the widest part of the lake and on windy days it can be a challenge to paddlers.  At mile 1.5 a private boat launch is nestled among lakeside homes and docks.  It is difficult to find.
      To the north views of Hunger Mountain in Beartown State Forest can be had.  Follow the south shore for another mile.  The end of the lake is marked by very shallow water and marsh.  There are no houses and if you explore into the narrow stream that feeds the lake, you will find a beaver lodge and other dam structures.
North Shore Westward
      At the East end of the lake to the north is a canal that end at a boat dock.  This canal is so regular that it must have been dugout rather than a natural feature.  There are several houses the boarder the canal at mile 2.5.
      Travel west along the wavy north shore of the lake.  At mile 3.0 the shore turns northwest At 3.8 miles there is a small cove. At mile 4.0 is a second cove with a small waterway that you can paddle into for a quarter of a mile.  One more cove and then at mile 5.0 you will reach the end of a point of land where you traveled at the beginning of your paddle.  Following numerous summer homes around the north side of the east end of the lake back to the town beach.
Brewer Lake
     Just north, almost bordering the town beach, are three culverts that pass under Tyringham Road.  A canoe or kayak can easily pass under.  If you feel adventurous, pass into the little lake and explore.  It’s 0.6 miles around with an earthen dam and outlet at the southwest end.

Skill Level:             Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    2 hour
Total Distance:      5.7 miles (0.6 miles for Brewer Lake)
USGS Map:            Otis, MA (7.5’x15’)
Launch Address:  74 Tyringham Rd, Monterey, MA 01245

Boat Launch:        Car top launch next beach.
Position:   42-11.39 N 73-12.57 W
Physical Features:
  • Area:                262 acres
  • Max depth:         31 feet
  • Average Depth:  16 feet
  • Transparency:     11 feet
  • Terrain Type: Wooded, Homes
Fish Population
  • Last survey 1979
  • 12 species recorded - Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, chain pickerel, yellow perch, white perch, pumpkinseed, bluegill, brown bullhead, rock bass, white sucker, golden shiner, Stocked every spring with trout.    
Put-In/Take-Out (8.9 miles, about 20 minutes)
  • From US Route 90 (Mass Turnpike) take exit 2.
  • Turn left at the stop light and travel under Mass Pike.
  • Turn immediately right before next light on Route 102 West
  • At the new Big Y stop light, turn left on Tyringham Road
  • Pass through the center of Tyringham and at 5.8 miles turn right on Monterey Road.
  • Follow Monterey Road up a very long hill and continue on.
  • At 8.9 miles you will come to the west end of Lake Garfield at the town beach.  The boat launch, for car-top boats, is next to the beach.
State Pond Map
According to a sign:
Launching between 10 AM and 6PM requires police supervision.
Roadside Parking
According to the Police Department:
Trailer launching between 10 AM and 6PM needs to be supervised for safety reasons.  This does not include kayaks and canoes. (4/11/16)
Boat Ramp is next to the Beach
Also parking across the street