Ruggles Pond

Last Updated: 3/2018
            There is no state survey found online.
         Miles of dirt roads and hiking trails, several streams, a cranberry bog, and a swimming area.  A fantastic place to explore. There is a ballfield and a pavilion for group events. Groomed trails and a warming room make winter sports fun, an interesting quarter-mile loop trail encircles the 15-acre Ruggles Pond and its swampy eastern side. History buffs can investigate Depression-era CCC work in the park.

     The North Quabbin Trails Association has a excellent map and description.  

Skill Level:              Class 1 - Flat water
Estimated Time:     1 hour
Total Distance:       1.1 miles
USGS Map:             Orange, MA (7.5’x15’)

Physical Features:
  • Area:                  14.8 acres
  • Max depth:           feet
  • Average Depth:    feet
  • Transparency:      feet
  • Terrain Type: Park, Homes, Roadway close to water
Fish Population
  • Unknown

NQTA Trail Map
Ruggles Pond Launch
Position: 43-33.06 N 72-26.95 W
Boat Launch:
Launch between Dam and Beach or at Beach.
Nearest Launch Address:
Ruggles Pond Rd, Wendell, MA 01379
Wendell State Forest Headquarters, travel 0.22 miles down 
Ruggles Pond Road to Picinic Area and Beach.
Put-In Directions (8.3 miles, 17 minutes):
From Route 2 center of the French King Bridge 
  1. At mile 1.2, turn right onto Forest Street.
  2. At mile 1.4, turn left onto Prospect Street and immediately turn right onto Papermill Road.
  3. At mile 1.7, Papermill Road turns slightly left crossing the Millers River and becomes East Main Street.
  4. At mile 1.9, at the stop sign, turn left on Bridge Street.
  5. At mile 2.0, continue onto South Prospect Street.
  6. At mile 3.1, continue straight onto Wendell Road.

  7. At mile 5.0, at the park headquarters, turn left onto Ruggles Pond Road.
  8. At mile 5.2, arrive at the parking, dam, and beach.
Gravel launch area. 
Very shallow, use caution.
Wendell State Forest
             Located south of the Millers River, Wendell State Forest covers 7,566 acres of rolling forested hills, streams, ponds, and trails. Purchased in the 1920s the area had been heavily burned during the early 1900s. Some of the park development and most of the road systems are attributed to Civilian Conservation Corps activities in the 1930s.
            Ruggles Pond is the main day-use area. This 15 acre pond offers crystal clear water for swimming and fishing. Picnic sites and a ball field with a pavilion are located nearby. There is a small boat launching ramp located at the Northern end of Wickett Pond. The Metacomet - Monadnock Trail traverses the forest boundaries and offers a small Adirondack shelter for trail users.
Wendell State Forest
Trail Map
Civilian Conservation Corps (1933-1941)
      America was in the grip of the Great Depression when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated in March of 1933.  More than twenty-five percent of the population was unemployed, hungry and without hope.  The New Deal programs instituted bold changes in the federal government that energized the economy and created an equilibrium that helped to bolster the needs of citizens.  
     The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was created by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression to provide employment opportunities and to improve the country’s forest and recreational resources.  Administration and logistics were the responsibility of the U.S. Army, while work projects were directed by the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service.  Locally experienced men (LEMs) were hired to serve as foremen and liaisons with the community.
      At its peak in Massachusetts, the CCC had a total of 51 camps that enrolled 10,000 men.  The first year was spent setting up campsites and providing access to forest areas.  In the years that followed, the men had fice primary tasks: forest management, fire hazard reduction, pest control, wildlife enhancement and recreational development.  In addition to work experience, a wide variety of educational opportunities were offered ranging from academic coursework to crafts and culinary arts.
       The program not only touched the lives of these Pine Cone Johnnies, but also left a lasting legacy of forest improvements and recreational resources throughout the state.  These included roads, bridges, ponds, picnic areas and campgrounds, wells, hiking, riding and skiing trails, log cabins and bathhouses.  Sixty years later, many of the facilities built by the CCC are still in use.
CCC Legacy