D.A.R. State Park, Goshen, MA

Our initial experience at the DAR was disappointing. It was our first camping trip with kids (24 months and 6 months old). We thought that the drive-in aspect would be a boon, but it turned out to be a pain. Our fantasy of letting the toddler run free in the woods was quickly dispelled as we realized that our backyard would have afforded us more privacy, more room, and to some extent more nature, than we found here. The campsites are packed together tightly, though they are well maintained. We could see and hear all of our neighbors, and spent most of the weekend explaining to a two year old how an outdoor space needed to be treated like a room with walls. The rest of the weekend involved keeping him out of the road. Though drivers were mainly respectful and drove slowly, it doesn't really matter how slow a car is going when it hits my kid, you know? The lessons from this trip were not really what we were hoping to communicate to our youngsters about nature.
Well, we found an awesome place to camp the next year, Tully Lake. That's another post altogether.
My recent visit to the DAR was a day trip to visit my brother. We used the camper's beach and had a wonderful time. I swam on this lake during the summers when I attended Camp Howe, the 4H camp in Goshen. It's still gorgeous!
The photos above were all taken at the camper's beach - take a look at their website to find out about the day use/camper use restrictions.


  1. Thank you! I am glad that I am not the only one disappointed by the D.A.R.. As a kid I went ther with my mom and friends and we hiked to the fire tower, but with my kid I just don't think this is a great destination. We camped recently at the Group campsite with friends and we were too far away from the rest of things to even use the beach. When I did tour the beach and campsites I was upset to see dogs running around without their owners or leashes. The day beach was so packed that the parking lot was overflowing. Not a future destination in my book even though it is close to home. I'll be curious to hear about Tully Lake. I'm also wondering about Savoy or Florida state parks or possibly Laurel Lake in Erving. If you find that any of these have a playground- swings, slide, etc, I hope you'll mention it in your post. Thanks!

  2. Rebecca - email me! ValleyKidStuff@gmail.com I can let you know some more ideas for camping...