In 1958 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Buffumville Dam in Charlton, Massachusetts to provide flood risk management for downstream communities. Flood waters due to large amounts of rainfall or spring snow melts are stored on 480 acres of land. The lake is also managed for recreation and environmental stewardship. Buffumville offers year-round recreation and park rangers are available to assist you during your visit.
Buffumville Lake provides excellent boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking and swimming opportunities. Hikers and bikers enjoy exploring the 7.2-mile Lake Shore Trail, which begins at the beach and circles the lake. Scenic and wildlife viewing opportunities are plentiful along the trail. The Buffumville Lake Disc Golf Course has an 18 hole professional layout and a 12 hole amateur layout that wind through the scenic project lands. The hilly terrain contains a mixture of open fairways, woods and water hazards. A concrete boat launch and courtesy dock allows boat access to the lake. Both sides of the lake are accessible by a twelve foot wide culvert under Oxford Road and there are no motor horsepower restrictions on the lake. Two barrier free fishing platforms are located within the boat launch area. Dogs are allowed in project recreation areas and shall be on a leash under six feet in length.
Park rangers provide special interpretive programs on the cultural and natural environment, water resources, water safety, dam tours and flood risk management. Special use permits are available upon request for various lake events.
Buffumville Lake Park is open daily from 8am-8pm, from the 3rd Saturday in May through the 2nd Sunday in September. The park is a day use fee area containing over 50 picnic sites with tables and grills. The fee to enter the park is $5.00 per car, $2.00 walk-in, $20.00 commercial vehicles. Annual park passes are available upon request. The Corps maintains a swimming area with a 300 foot long sandy beach and pirate ship play spot. This area also includes two picnic shelters that may be reserved for a fee, a life jacket loaner station, reservable horseshoe pit and volleyball court, and modern handicap accessible restrooms.
America the Beautiful Federal Passes are sold at the ranger station. Please call 508-248-5697 to schedule an appointment.
The property at Buffumville is comprised of a diverse array of natural plant and wildlife habitats. The scenic 200-acre lake is surrounded by mixed forests of white pine, hemlock, red maple, alder and birch trees. Fall colors are spectacular in the region. Wildlife enthusiasts may spot fox, fishers, woodchucks, coyotes, hawks, and a wide variety of songbirds and migratory waterfowl. Game fish species include largemout bass, bluegill, northern pike, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, chain pickerel, brown bullhead, and black crappie. Hunting is not permitted in developed areas of the park and dam site. All federal, state and local laws apply.
Hodges Village Dam, West Thompson Lake Campground
Charges & Cancellations
Fees are non-refundable. Refunds will only be authorized if shelter is in unusable condition during reservation date.From the Massachusetts Turnpike, take the Sturbridge exit and follow Route 20 to Charlton. Turn right on Route 31 and follow the brown signs to the park.
From I-290, take exit 4B to Oxford Center and follow brown signs to park508-248-5697N