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Explore the scenic eastern branch of the Westfield flow at C.M. Gardner State Park. (Photos by Amy Porter)


HUNTINGTON – words is slowly obtaining out that the Charles M. Gardner State Park on path 112 in Huntington has actually reopened. The park, located along the scenic east branch the the Westfield River, to be closed critical year as result of Department of Conservation and also Recreation (DCR) budget and also staffing shortages.Following a visit to the park in November by DCR Commissioner Leo Roy and also Western local Director Dom Sacco, where an ext funds were pledged to western Mass for 2018; the DCR assigned three seasonal staffers to oversee C.M. Gardner State Park come perform everyday operations.

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DCR staffers Jack Lajoie and also Nicolas McClaflin.


C.M. Gardner State Park is currently staffed and open seven days a week native 10 a.m. Come 5 p.m. V Labor Day. Two of the three DCR employee members, forest and park super Nicolas McClaflin and also laboror Jack Lajoie, who were there on a quiet Thursday, said they weren’t sure just how many people know the the park has actually reopened.Underscoring its reputation together a hidden gem, McClaflin, who is from Chester and also Lajoie indigenous Blandford, both said they had actually never been to the park prior to they started working there last month. McClaflin stated their crew also takes care of Sanderson Falls and Boulder Park, the open up section the the Chester-Blandford Campground which has actually remained closed.


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Pavilion and grilling area.


C.M. Gardner functions a picnic area and grills because that cooking, wade trails, birdwatching (the area is a favorite spot for bald eagles), fishing, and also river accessibility for canoes and also kayaks. The park additionally has porta pottys and dumpsters, and also is cleaned every day. McClaflin stated they will carry out garbage bags to people who require them, and also smaller ones to clean up after dogs, that are permitted on leashes.The price is $5 per vehicle for Mass. Residents, and $10 because that out-of-state residents. Season passes allowing unlimited access to all state parks might be purchased because that $60 for Mass. Residents, and also $120 for out-of-state residents. Massachusetts seniors age 62 and also older can additionally purchase a life time pass to every state parks for $10. Much more information on overcome is easily accessible at www.mass.gov/how-to/get-a-parking-pass-for-massachusetts-state-parks. Passes are also easily accessible for purchase at the park.McClaflin claimed weekends are beginning to obtain packed at C.M. Gardner. “Weekends are as soon as it gets lively,” he said, including that ~ above the 4th of July Wednesday, 77 cars to be squeezed right into the lot, a document for the park.


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Picnic top top the Westfield River.

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During the week, however, it stays quiet and also is a great destination because that a picnic and fun v family and also friends. Lug your canoe or kayak (and make certain you have actually a drive back), hiking pair of shoes to check out the river bank, a fishing pole, and something for the grill. “The much more the merrier – at the very least on weekdays,” McClaflin said.