Hopkinton State Park is a beautiful location  

Hopkinton State Park, Massachusetts: Guide to Boating and Best Hikes

Hopkinton State Park is a beautiful location to hike, boat, and picnic with family and friends. The 1500-acre park offers 175-acres of spring-fed lake with 2 swimming beaches, picnic areas, as well as miles of trails. Bring your own non-motorized boat, or rent one from the boathouse. 

Location and Hours

The main entrance to Hopkinton State Park is 164 Cedar St., Hopkinton, MA 01748. 

  • On-Season Memorial Day- Labor Day Hours: Park 8:00am- 8:00pm
  • On-Season Swimming Area Hours: 11:00am- 6:00pm
  • Off-Season Labor Day-Memorial Day Hours: Park 8:00am-6:30pm
  • Off-Season Swimming Area closed

Parking at Hopkinton State Park

On-Season Parking May 14- Labor Day

On-season visitors (May 14- Labor Day) will be charged $8 for Massachusetts residents and $30 for non-Massachusetts residents. Resident and non-resident status is determined by the vehicle license plate. Arrive early so that you can get a parking spot close to the beach. On busy summer days the parking lots will fill up by noon and no more people will be allowed in. To find out about parking lot capacity closures, call the Park Office at 508-435-4303.

The easiest way to pay for parking is through the Yodel app but there are various “Pay and Display” machines around the parking lots.  

The Park has several parking lots

Hopkinton State Park Picnics

Hopkinton State Park is a beautiful location for a family picnic. There are 12 shaded free picnic areas available on a first come, first serve basis with over 250 picnic tables and 165 charcoal cooking grills. If you wish to bring a larger group you can rent out a party pavilion that seats up to 100 people.

Renting a pavilion 

Hopkinton State Park has two pavilion spaces- Split Rock and Beach Pavilion- that able to be reserved for large group picnics. Each pavilion is 24 feet by 52 feet and has a large picnic table that can seat around 100 people, and reservations include a 3 ft by 3 ft cooking/food preparation area, charcoal grill, as well as a small grassy lawn area. 

  • Tip: You will need to bring your own charcoal for the grills.

How much does it cost to rent a pavilion site?

It costs $175 dollars to rent the pavilion for the day, not including a $4.50 reservation fee. Parking fees are not included. 

Can I host a party at the pavilions?

The pavilions are intended for private self-catered parties. If you intend to have an event with catering, amplified music, bouncy castle, etc you will need to apply for a special event permit. Please note that alcohol is strictly prohibited at the park. Decorations are allowed but must be secured by masking/painter’s tape that will not damage surfaces. Be sure to pick up all trash and leave the pavilion as it was when you arrived!

The Park is dog-friendly and has great hiking trails

How do I book a pavilion?

You can make a reservation at the Reserve America site. Be sure to book ahead of time as the summer season is very busy. Walk-in reservations are not allowed but if space allows advance registration can be made the same day up to 2pm (but check that there is still parking available). Reservations can be made up to 4 months ahead of time and pavilions are available May 22- Oct 9. 

When do I arrive for my pavilion reservation?

Pavilion reservation check-in starts at 9:00am, and check-out is at 7:30pm. I highly recommend arriving early as the parking lot often reaches capacity by noon and all visitors that show up later will not be granted admission if the parking lot is at capacity (even if they have a pavilion reservation). If you don’t check-in by noon, then the reservation will be considered a no-show and all fees will be forfeited. In short- arrive early!

What amenities are available at the pavilions?

Electricity is available at the Beach Pavilion but not at Split Rock. Both sites have bathroom access and potable water, but note that the bathroom at the Split Rock Pavilion site is not ADA accessible.  There is no camping allowed in the park.

Hopkinton State Park offers boating and hiking

Boating at Hopkinton State Park

The Hopkinton Reservoir is expansive and peaceful, perfect for a few hours on the water. Bring your own non-motorized boat, rent one from the boat house, or take a lesson/class.

Can I bring my own boat/kayak/canoe?

Yes, Hopkinton State Park welcomes non-motorized boats. There is a concrete boat launching ramp available.

How do I rent a boat?

You can reserve boats weekdays online through Boating in Boston, or weekends in-person at the Boat House. Arrive early on summer weekends as there may be wait times to rent equipment. Explore the various areas and islands around the reservoir. Prices are reasonable and range from $25-50 for rentals. 

  • Note that nobody under 16 will be allowed on the water without someone 18+ accompanying them. 

What can I rent at Hopkinton?

Rentals are available for ages 8+ for durations of 1, 2 or  4 hours. Rental options are: Single Kayak, Tandem Kayak, Canoes, Rowboat, Swan Boats, Paddle Boards.

There is also lesson/class options such as a 1 hour Kayak tour, Paddleboard tour, Sunrise paddle, or Sailing lesson. Call the Boat House at 617-299-3392 for more information and times.

  • Life vests must be worn by boaters age 12 and under; and canoeists/kayakers from Sept. 15-May 15.
There is boating and hiking at the Park

Fishing at Hopkinton State Park

The reservoir is spring fed and maintains a cool temperate allowing fish to thrive. The reservoir is stocked yearly in the spring with largemouth bass in addition to brown trout, rainbow trout, and tiger trout. Fishing is best in the spring and fall and remember to arrive early to avoid crowds of anglers and swimmers. There are footpaths around the reservoir that grant access to the water.

  • Remember to purchase your Massachusetts Fishing License which is required for everyone ages 15 or older. (Licenses are free for MA residents ages 15–17 and age 70+)
Hopkinton State Park offers boating and hiking

Swimming at Hopkinton State Park

The swimming beach is closed in the winter, but during the summer months the beach is open 11am- 6pm with lifeguards, and a roped-off swimming section with 6/7 feet depth. The reservoir is closed to swimming on weekdays.

Is the water safe to swim in?

The staff at Hopkinton State Park do routine water bacteria checks, and unless otherwise stated, the water is safe to swim in.

The sand isnt too rocky (kids wont need water shoes), but note that the lifeguards are strict about enforcing the no pool noodles, water floats, boogie boards rule. Only coast-guard approved floatation devices are allowed. 

Hiking at Hopkinton State Park

The park offers several trails across 1500 acres through the forest paths and around the reservoir. The routes range from easy to moderate but contain some roots along the paths.  

  • Heads up: while dogs are supposed to be leashed on trails, you will likely see many unleashed dogs along the path. 

Some of the popular trails are Long Trail Loop, Pepperbush Loop, Swimming Pool Reservoir Loop or the Caeser Loop Trail. Be sure to download (or screenshot) the Trail Map before heading out. 

Hopkinton State Park is dog-friendly and has great hiking trails

Are Dogs Allowed at Hopkinton State Park?

Hopkinton is very dog friendly and allows leashed dogs on the hiking trail and picnic areas. There are areas along the hiking trails for dogs to go in the water. However, May 14- Labor Day dogs are not allowed on the beach or in the swimming area. 

How is Hopkinton State Park different from Ashland State Park?

Hopkinton State Park’s neighbor Ashland State Park offers a quieter, less crowded experience. The reservoir is smaller and picnic spots are limited with no pavilion rentals which cuts down on the crowds. While Ashland does allow boats, and has a boat ramp, it does not offer any summer boat rentals like Hopkinton. Overall Ashland is a smaller, less rowdy experience. 

The Wrapup: Is Hopkinton State Park Worth It?

Hopkinton State Park is absolutely worth a visit! The park offers dozens of picnic areas, boat access/rentals as well as a swimming area. Bring your own non-motorized boat, or rent one from the boathouse. The reservoir water is spring-fed which allows for great spring/fall fishing. The 1500-acre park has miles of moderate and easy hiking trails that are dog friendly. It can be crowded on summer weekends so be sure to arrive early to secure a parking spot.