Webster is a town in Central Massachusetts known for its lovely lake, which borders Connecticut and is close to the Rhode Island state boundary.

Lake Chaubunagungamaug was part of the Nipmuc people’s traditional home for millennia before European arrival.

The modern history of the town began in the early nineteenth century when the important entrepreneur Samuel Slater built textile mills powered by the lake. The new community was named after his buddy, statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852).

Later, the unmistakable beauty of the lake established Webster as a tourist town. Lake Chaubunagungamaug was given the unusual 45-letter name in the early 1920s.

, which has the country’s and one of the world’s longest names for any natural feature.

1. Downtown Webster (Main Street Historic District)

On Main Street, from the railroad tracks east to Webster’s Town Hall, you’ll enter a well-preserved central commercial district from the end of the 19th century.

Up to four stories tall, the impressive brick commercial blocks bear the dates of their construction and the names of the people who built them.

Among the most imposing is the Racicot Block (1905), now used by MAPFRE Insurance, which is headquartered in Webster.

Here and further along Main Street you’ll find several places to eat, whether you’re in the mood for pizza (Northeast Pizza), pan-Asian (Eastern Pearl), traditional Italian (Monte Bianco), modern American cuisine (Stave & Still), and there’s a handful of bars.

On the north side, French River Park is crossed by a section of the French River Greenway, which will eventually run for seven miles through the area.

2. Douglas State Forest

Along the entire length of Webster’s eastern slope, nearly 6,000 acres of protected wilderness stretch to the borders with Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Whether you want to go hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, or cross-country skiing in the winter, the Douglas State Forest is a dream.

The forest has two traverse trails, the 22-mile Southern New England Trunkline Trail and the 92-mile Midstate Trail, both of which pass near Tri-State Point (see below).

Within the park’s boundaries are most of the shores of Lake Wallum, open to activities such as swimming, boating, and picnicking in the summer. A rare patch of white cedar swamp in the Atlantic Ocean is also outstanding, ready for you to experience on a special hike. 

3. Tri-State Marker

At the exact southwest corner of the Douglas State Forest are the state’s borders with Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Although the location is important, the Tri-State Marker is quite remote, buried deep in the hardwood forest, but relatively easy to walk.

To get there, you can take the Midstate Trail or the Southern New England Trunkline Trail, both of which pass nearby and have tributaries.

On a mountainside, a small granite monument, erected in 1883 indicates the direction of the three states.  

4. Pierpont Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary

The Massachusetts Audubon Society manages this 211-acre landscape where nature has reclaimed former farmland.

Historic stone walls still demarcate the grasslands of the Pierpont Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary and weave through the pine forest that has taken over ever since.

The reserve is also known for its ecologically important shrubs, which serve as important nesting habitats for the Eastern Towhee and Brown Thrasher, which are in decline in the area.

The best time to visit is during the peak of summer when the meadow is lit up by fireflies, while beavers can be spotted late in the day by a small pond near the entrance.  

5. Breezy Picnic Grounds & Waterslides

Next to Whitin Reservoir, just east of the Douglas State Forest, is a family-friendly recreational attraction that has been a summer staple since 1953.

On the lake, there is a large swimming area with sandy beaches that the children will definitely love. They are backed by a lovely lawn with large picnic tables and plenty of shade under the trees.

You also have a snack bar available to serve comfort food and cold treats like soft ice cream. Perhaps best for kids and teens, there are three 300-foot waterslides and a smaller one for younger kids, 42 inches and under.  

6. Advanced Action Sports

This outdoor airsoft and paintball center is located just off I-395, north of Webster. The playing field of advanced action sports is designed to resemble popular video game franchises, in an urban environment with plenty of melee opportunities.

A variety of exciting game modes and mission objectives are provided to mix things up. Sessions are available on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and discounts are available when booking online.

There’s also a 5,000-square-foot store on site, stocked with all the equipment and accessories you might need.  

7. Quaddick State Park

In Webster, you’re spoiled for choice in outdoor recreation, as there’s an adjacent state park and state forest just outside the boundary in Connecticut.

They are located on the banks of the 466-acre Quaddick Reservoir, made up of lower, middle, and upper sections, and born of the construction of a dam on the Five Mile River in the 1860s.

Long ago, this was a Nipmuck Native American fishing ground, and now it’s a big draw for families in the summer.

At Quaddick State Park, you also have another swimming area to choose from, with a wide sandy beach, marina, picnic area, and barbecue area. The water is perfectly clear in some places and you can fish for crappie and pumpkin seeds. 

8. Point Breeze

This combined restaurant, entertainment venue, and event center, located at the tip of a peninsula on Lake Webster, dates back to 1881 when it was founded as a private men’s rowing club.

Point Breeze is Worcester County’s entertainment hotspot and the destination of choice for businesses in the area hosting summer picnics. The current owners took over the torch in the 1980s and were able to develop this historic facility.

The live music tradition continues today, and on the culinary side, you’ve got to try New England seafood dishes like lobster rolls, fish & chips, clam chowder, and grilled cod. The view from the deck is amazing, especially at sunset.  

9. Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

At one time this legendary track, ten minutes south of Webster in Thompson, CT, was known as the “Indianapolis of the East”.

Thompson was the nation’s first paved oval track when it opened in 1940, and its heyday came in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the NASCAR Cup Race Series here.

It’s always an exciting venue for motorsport, especially in the fall when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour comes to town, offering three days of action, across 16 categories, with over 350 vehicles. competition competition.

In addition to this oval, there is also a 1.7-mile track that was rebuilt in 2014. Check the track schedule for a chance to drive this track with Lock City Drift and Licensing School for SCCA newbies. 

10. Mohegan Bowl

Now equipped with sleek new interiors and the latest in scoring technology, this bowling alley dates back to 1958 and has been owned by its current owner since 2012.

At the Mohegan Bowl, you can choose between ten-pin bowling and the regional variant, candle-lit bowling, which originated in nearby Worcester in the late 19th century.

In the same complex, you also have a laser tag arena, as well as a video game zone with a redemption center.

Although this alley has been completely modernized, classic comforts like cold beer and freshly baked pizza remain at the heart of the experience.  

11. Webster Lake ( Lake Chaubunagungamaug )

Webster parallels the 1,442-acre pond east of I-395. Lake Chaubunagungamaug was an important Native American fishing ground, powering the city’s textile mills and then bringing tourists to the city.

Despite its industrial past, it is a natural body of water, formed by the retreat of glaciers at the end of the last ice age, and fed by underwater springs and streams.

Although Lake Webster is not large, the coastline is a jumble of peninsulas and coves, totaling 17 miles of waterfront, with eight islands.

We’ll talk about some of the attractions around the coast later, but if you want to get in the water, you can head to Lakeview Marina (311 Thompson Rd), a full-service marina that rents out kayaks and stand-up paddles. row up. mid-May to Columbus Day.  

12. Memorial Beach

The town’s public beach at Lake Webster is located on a peninsula on the lake’s northwest shore. Memorial Beach is a pristine stretch of raw sand, next to a shallow swimming area several hundred feet long.

The views from the beach are sensational, and you’ll find everything you need for a day out with the family, with playgrounds, changing rooms, picnic tables, basketball courts, and a wooded side area. beyond the rear and at the tip of the peninsula.

For non-residents arriving by car, it makes sense to come here on weekdays when parking fees are much lower. If you can get there by bike or on foot, the entrance fee is negligible.  

13. Indian Ranch

Dubbed “the home of New England country music,” Indian Ranch is a seasonal music venue and resort on the north shore of Lake Webster.

The roots of the Indian Ranch go back to 1943, and the list of country music luminaries who have performed at the 3,046-seat amphitheater are those of the genre.

Think Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Tammy Wynette, while Kip Moore, Marshall Tucker Band, Melissa Etheridge, Jamey Johnson, and “Weird Al” Yankovic are just a few recent artists.

The 180-site campground here is open from May to mid-October and features an on-site restaurant, conference space, and the Princess of India paddle steamer for cruises.  

14. Indian Princess

At Indian Ranch, you can board an exact, modern replica of the elegant riverboats that sailed the Mississippi River in the 19th century.

The Princess of India is one of the few genuine ships of its kind, powered exclusively by a split tail wheel driven by two diesel engines.

With many riverboat replicas, the wheels are more of a decoration than a means of propulsion, but the Princess of India is the real thing.

There is a public cruise schedule on Lake Webster during the summer months, and this unique vessel can be chartered for everything from corporate parties to weddings. Inside, the Princess Dining Room features a fully equipped bar, kitchen, and large flat-screen TV.  

15. Samuel Slater’s Experience

One could say that Webster created it thanks to the Anglo-American industrialist Samuel Slater (1768-1835). He is remembered as the “Father of the American Industrial Revolution”, bringing British textile technology to nascent America.

Attracted by the inexhaustible waters of Lake Webster, he settled in the area in the 1810s, establishing a number of mills and naming the town after his friend, Daniel Webster.

Opening in 2021 in a repurposed building by the Memorial Stadium, the Samuel Slater Experience is an interactive museum detailing Slater’s personal history and recalling the origins of textile manufacturing. by Webster.

There are more than 20 rich, artifact-filled exhibits detailing the journey, the innovations, the life of a working man, the early Webists, and the rise of the city as a market. 19th-century resort town. 

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