Lake Mansfield

Last Updated: 4/2016
     This pond receives considerable pressure from local anglers, and due to its small size, it cannot keep up with demand. All the game and pan fish species appear to be of low average size and moderately to heavily over fished. The only species not being over fished is the white perch, which has always been notoriously difficult to catch. Target these tasty pan fish during the winter through the ice, or by drifting small worm/spinner combinations during the spring and summer. The few hundred trout stocked here each spring help dissipate the pressure on the resident fish, but the fishery is so small and of such limited duration that it is primarily of interest only to local anglers. This is a pretty little pond, however, and always a pleasant place to spend a day dunking worms.
Lake History
        Lake Mansfield was originally a private pond. After the formation of the Great Barrington Fire District in 1884 and the establishment of the Mansfield Lake Aqueduct Company in 1887 by Edward Searles, the GBFD paid for the installation of seven fire hydrants.  The lake was part of providing safe drinking water.  Until of the end of 1973 there was no public access even though a swimming area was created in 1959.  Through the multiple purchasing of land and the building of a road, the groundwork was in place to provide reasonable access.  Ownership, as of 2007, is now the Town of Great Barrington.
The Lake, swimming area, gravel parking area, and adjoining 29.08 acres parcel of land are all managed by Great Barrington Conservation Commission who are developing a trail system.   The entire history is fascinating and can be read by accessing the website below.
      If you are a paddler looking for a long interesting paddle this lake is not for you.  If you are fisher who wants an exciting and robust day of fishing, this is not the lake for you.
      I recommend this lake for someone looking for a place to paddle, picnic, swim, and a short hike with family.  Launch your kayaks or canoe and have them near the picnic area so that family can play with them on short paddles around the lake.
      Lifeguards are on duty 11:30am to 5:30pm, Memorial Day Weekend through August, cross-lake swimming is allowed.

Skill Level:            Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:    1 hour
Total Distance:      1.0 miles
USGS Map:            Great Barrington, MA (7.5’x15’)
Launch Address: 
  9 Lake Mansfield Rd, Great Barrington, MA 01230
Boat Launch:         Car top launch near beach.
Position:    42-12.06 N 73-22.05 W
Physical Features:
  • Area:                 40 acres
  • Max depth:        16 feet
  • Average Depth:   7 feet
  • Transparency:     8 feet
  • Terrain Type: Wooded, Homes, Town Park
Fish Population
  • Last survey 1981
  • 10 species: chain pickerel, brown trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch, white perch, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, rock bass, lake chub sucker and golden shiner.     
Put In and Take Out: 12.6 miles, 21 min.
  • From US Route 90 (Mass. Turnpike) take exit 2:
  • At the end of the ramp, turn left at light.  Pass under the Mass Pike and turn right on Route 102 West.
  • At mile 4.8, turn left on Route 7 South at the Red Lion Inn in the center of Stockbridge.
  • Follow Route 7 South down the hill and into Great Barrington.
  • After passing over the Housatonic River on a metal bridge, at mile 11.4, turn right at the stoplight on Route 41 North.
  • Pass under a narrow railroad bridge and at mile 11.6 turn 45 degrees left on to Christian Hill Road.
  • At mile 11.9 turn left on to Dehon Road.
  • At mile 12.2 turn left on Lake Mansfield Road.
  • At mile 12.4 you will pass over a speed bump.  You can park here and launch a car top boat at the park/swimming area or continue.
  • At mile 12.6, at the south end of the lake, there is an unimproved gravel boat ramp. Gas engine crafts are prohibited. Park on road nearby.
State Pond Map
Boat Ramp
Lake Mansfield Alliance
      The Lake Mansfield Recreation Area is a community natural resource area featuring a 29 acre pond and the adjacent 29 acre Conservation Forest. The area is a vital natural habitat and treasured community space. Visitors are responsible for their own safety and must be mindful of their impact on the delicate habitat and the enjoyment of others. The Lake and Conservation Forest are owned by the town of Great Barrington and overseen by the Parks and Conservation Commissions. Stewardship is provided by Lake Mansfield Alliance.
         The pond is open to the public for seasonal recreation. Visitors are welcome. A parking area provides access to the sandy beach front, grassy shaded picnic area, swings, and forest trails. Portable toilets are available May thru September. Visitors to the Lake Mansfield Recreation Area enjoy swimming, boating, picnicking, fishing, walking trails and nature watching. (Recreation) The beach area is closed to pets. Dogs are welcome to access the lake at the boat launch area. The Lake Mansfield Recreation Area allows for road and forest trail walks, giving visitors opportunities to enjoy the beauty and wildlife of the lake and forest. The Lake Mansfield Conservation Forest features an accessible trail network within a 29-acre woodland. The majority of the trail is built to accessible standards, including gentle slopes and a crushed stone trail surface. The shady trails provide a complement to the open lake.
          For details on trails and more  visit the website below:

Lake Mansfield Alliance
The Beach