Perley Brook Reservoir, Gardner MA

• 4-star hike
• 2.3 mile trail
• Easy difficulty | Gain 80 feet
• Gardner, MA | Central Massachusetts
• Driving Directions: Trailhead

Colorful trees lining the shores of the reservoir. Trees and blue sky reflected in the water.
Perley Brook Reservoir reflecting on a blue sky fall day.

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Perley Brook Reservoir is a scenic part of the City of Gardner's water supply infrastructure that is a popular location for walking, mountain biking and fishing. Gratifyingly, public land surrounds the entirety of this body of water, including a complete loop trail. Mature woodland encompasses the reservoir, with white pine, red maple and mixed oak trees dominating the area. Small area of wetlands persist close to the water's edge, but the loop trail does a fine job of keeping hikers' feet dry.

We've identified the most accessible parking location next to the reservoir's dam, which is a great place to begin and end a hike. Expect to find mostly narrow single-track trails and very little elevation gain. Some undulations in terrain do make the route a little more appealing for mountain bikers however.

red icon Perley Brook Reservoir Loop Expand Map

red icon Perley Brook Reservoir Loop 4★
2.3 mi, Loop, Easy, Gain 80 ft
Trailspotting Map: AllTrails, GPX File

The trail remains close to the water's edge almost throughout the loop trail, providing many great views across the surface of the reservoir. Also check out the small promontory of land named West Point that juts out mid-way along the western shore, affording some of the area's best vistas.

Neighboring this reservoir loop is the North Central Pathway Rail Trail that provides some great opportunites for furthering your trail adventures. Heading south it takes you towards the even larger Crystal Lake, and to the north it can lead you all the way to the town of Winchendon.

Hiker walking across a small trail bridge. Fall colors in the trees.
Trail bridge along the route.

Reservoir stretches across the frame, with dark silhouettes of trees in the foreground.
Lots of peek-a-book views from the trail.

• Trail Links: Public Map at AllTrails
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article
• Nearby trails: Show on map

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