Manchaug Pond offers so many recreational opportunities. Fishing, boating, swimming and camping are just a few of the activities seen here daily.

Manchaug Pond Foundation

Public access through the state boat ramp.

Motor boats, sail boats, kayaks, canoes and pedal boats can all be seen on the lake throughout spring, summer, & fall.  During the winter you’ll find folks ice fishing, skating, snowmobiling, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing.  No matter what the season, there’s always something to do on Manchaug Pond.

If you’re an early riser, join the fishing boats on the lake each weekend.  Tournaments happen here often, and there are some good catches to be found in the lake.

Launch Your Boat:

A public access boat ramp, open from dawn to dusk, is offered at Manchaug Pond by the Massachusetts Office of Fishing and Boating and under the management of the Town of Sutton. Weekends are busy with parking limited. Clubs need to register all events with the state Office of Fishing and Boating Access. Please be sure to be respectful of the rules at the ramp, pay the small fee, and park only on paved, designated parking spots as vehicles parked in inappropriate areas will be ticketed.  We also ask that you hose off your boat and trailer at home prior to launching to prevent the spread of invasive species to Manchaug Pond.

Rates are $6.00/car/day for in-state and $12.00/car/day for out-of-state.  A season’s pass can be purchased at the Sutton Town Hall for $20. Your monies are used exclusively by the town for maintenance and improvement of the facility.

Boaters should note that Manchaug Pond is a shallow pond with a mean depth of 13 ft. A number of hazards from many large boulders along the edge of the lake and between the islands to the submerged stone causeway in the channel warrant caution to boaters. Visit our About the Lake and Safe Boating pages for more information before navigating.

Swim and Picnic:

Day swimming and picnicking, fishing and rowboat rentals with a small camp store offering ice cream, candy and more is offered at the Old Holbrook Place for a small fee.

Kids camping Manchaug Pond

Camping in Cabin, Yurt, Trailer or Tent:

Three campgrounds on the lake and a fourth just above the lake at the inlet at Aldrich Mill Pond offer overnight as well as weekly, monthly and seasonal camping.  Each campground has a unique atmosphere all its own and provide extras from boat docking and rentals, to camp stores, to special activities and events.


Rent a Private Cabin or a Lakefront Home:

The Cabin at Hawk Hollow offers a cozy woodland shore retreat where you can stay just a couple of nights or your whole vacation for a quiet, homey nature experience on Manchaug Pond or enjoy a vacation get-a-way in a large Lakefront Home offering peace and quiet with all the amenities you’d expect and so much more.



Summer Day Camp for Children:

The YMCA of Central Massachusetts offers a summer long outdoor day camp for children entering grade 1 through 7 on the shores of Manchaug Pond at the Camp Blanchard facility.

Trails for Hiking and Walking Douglas, Sutton and Beyond:

Visit the Douglas State Forest where hiking trails abound! Hike around the forest with parking just down the road from Manchaug Pond or go further and hike up the Midstate Trail or Southern New England Trunkline Trail.

The Midstate Trail passes through the Manchaug Pond watershed to the west of the lake, running north to south across the Commonwealth from Ashburnham at the New Hampshire border through Douglas to the Rhode Island line.  Join a group and join others on a day hike picking up the yellow triangles in Oxford, Douglas or Sutton.

Southern New England Trunkline Trail, offers 22 miles of rail trail which stretches from the Douglas State Forest to the Franklin State Forest.

Lake Manchaug Greenway and Wildlife Corridor

Waters Farm in Sutton offers a mall network of hiking trails as well as events from walking tours of the historical home donated by past MPA secretary Dorothea Waters Moran to the town of Sutton Conservation Commission, to their October Farm Days Fall Festival.

Sutton State Forest/Purgatory Chasm is a unique natural landmark running for a quarter of a mile between granite walls rising as high as 70 feet. Hiking trails, visitor center with facilities and picnic tables make it a popular destination for picnickers and hikers alike.


Manchaug Pond Overlook

100 acres of gardens and horse pasture, forests and wetlands cascade from the roadside overlook of the Manchaug Pond Foundation’s preserved Waters Road property offering a unique view-shed to the 380 acre Manchaug Pond.

When visiting, PLEASE, no climbing or sitting on the dry stone walls, no walking on the shed roof, nor entering the neighboring private driveways at the home, the private stables, or private gardens. Public parking is available just across the road at Waters Farm Living History Museum homestead, the red colonial house with white trim.

No hunting, horseback riding, boating, vehicles, drone or remote control toy usage, or walking/hiking is permitted on the property in order to protect the extensive water resources in the watershed, ensure the public safety of the many visitors to neighboring Waters Farm as well as the many horses in residence at the private stable, and adhere to the policies and privacy of neighboring properties which must be crossed to gain access to the woodland areas of the Beaton Farm. Hikers are allow across the road on the neighboring Waters Farm property trails according to their rules and policies. Educational events and programs sponsored by the Manchaug Pond Foundation are scheduled and advertised in advance for public benefit.

All photo sessions, events, and the like must be approved prior to the event/photo shoot by the Manchaug Pond Foundation as well as Waters Farm Preservation, Inc.

Horse at Beaton FarmOf utmost importance is:

    • the protection of watershed wetland resources.
  • the preservation of our wild areas which are priority habitat for protected and endangered species.*
  • the safety of the horses in residence at the stable.
  • and the respect of the neighbors and the land-use policies of abutting property owners.


*Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program

On the western hillside of Manchaug Pond, the State has designated a large area as Priority Habitat for endangered species which encompasses the Beaton Farm property ponds, shoreline and some of the forested wetlands parcels in both Sutton and Douglas.