Tully Lake
GOOD FOR: Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:2 Athol-Richmond Road, Royalston, MA
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Bathrooms: At the recreation area
Water/Snacks: None

Swimming, kayaking, and hiking to waterfalls are just some of the activities available at Tully Lake.

Rent kayaks at Tully Lake Campground.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Tully Lake, located on the east branch of the Tully River, is part of a network of flood-damage-reduction dams on tributaries of the Connecticut River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the 1,300-acre reservoir area, including the Tully Dam, which was built to reduce flood damage on the Millers and Connecticut rivers. Trails and a campground, however, are maintained by The Trustees of Reservations.

You can enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities year-round, but if you can get out on the water in summer, that would be my first recommendation. Numerous islands and inlets on the lake are a blast to explore. From the recreation area next to the dam, you can hike the 4-mile Lake Trail, which brings you all the way around the lake. Doane’s Falls, a cascading waterfall, is a popular stop along the way. You can also paddle most of the way to the falls (you have to dock the boat and hike in a bit). The 22-mile Tully Trail is a popular trek for experienced hikers and leads to Tully Mountain. A 7.5-mile mountain bike trail goes along the Tully River and Long Pond.

When the snow arrives, head to Tully Lake for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the ungroomed trails. This is also a great place to look for animal tracks in the snow.

Remember: You can rent kayaks and canoes at Tully Lake Campground even if you aren’t staying overnight. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.

Plan B:

Camp at the excellent campground run by The Trustees of Reservations. The tent-only campground is on the shores of the 200-acre lake and doesn’t have drive-up sites—you have to carry your gear in, which makes for a very peaceful setting.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Numerous spots to dine are along Athol’s Main Street, south of the lake.


Get outdoor tips & trips
Yes, I want to receive expert advice on getting my family outside!



Castle Island »
boardwalk, swimming, concession stand
2010 Day Boulevard South Boston 02127

Alewife Reservation »
beavers, turtles, hawks, muskrats, ospreys, and more!
Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140

Mary O'Malley Waterfront Park »
The park extends along the beach of the Mystic River
59 Commandants Way Chelsea, MA 02150

Rock Meadow Conservation Area »
walk, bike, birding, swingset
Mill Street and Concord Avenue, Belmont, MA


Auburndale Park »
Playgrounds, hiking trails, ball fields, and riverfront.
West Pine Street, Newton, 02466

Menotomy Rocks Parks »
Perfect for short nature walks and strollers
150 Jason Street, Arlington, MA 02476

Spy Pond Park »
boat rentals, pond views
29 Linwood St, Arlington, MA 02474

© 2023 Appalachian Mountain Club | 10 City Square, Boston, MA 02129
About | Privacy Policy | Contact Us