Pond Facts – 218 acre raised “great” pond; 53’ deep; it is fed by 4 streams, runoff, & springs.
Features – Includes 2 camps & 4 community associations; Richmond Town Beach, 195 cottages; 2/3 of pond is in Richmond, 1/3 in Pittsfield; bounded by Taconic Mountains to west/Lenox Mtn. to east; train tracks on north shore; Pittsfield Airport is nearby.
Fishing – Largemouth bass, rock bass, pickerel, perch, bluegill, bullhead; it is stocked with trout (mostly rainbow, some brookies & browns).
Public Boat Launch – for shallow draft boats; Town of Richmond funds the weed treatments & boat launch monitors (to keep zebra mussels & invasives out of the pond); includes new kayak launch dock, 2 accessible fishing platforms, & 2 benches donated by RPA; brick bldg. is sewer pump station, which pumps effluent to Pittsfield (all cottages have been on sewers since 2007); shed contains Richmond Fire Dept.’s emergency rescue boat.
The Tour, paddling counter-clockwise from the boat launch:
Richmond Shores (120 cottages, with their own semi-public beach); includes canal which connects to Nordeen Marsh, but there is a large willow tree downed in & completely blocking the canal between the Shore Road large culvert underpass & Town Beach Road; otherwise, the marsh is sometimes accessible in high water by kayak portage over Town Beach Road.
Camp Russell (Boys & Girls Club) – Started 1910 as overnight camp for boys; early 1980’s changed to a day camp; starting in 1991, girls were also allowed; hosts many specialized summer day camp sessions; “Fenway” ball field & swimming pool are behind the mess hall.
Branch Farm (10 cottages) - Initially, cottage owners rented the land from Camp Russell; now it's a condo, so the land is owned jointly by cottagers; the oldest cabin on the pond was built here in 1895 - the Stover/Brogan cottage.
Independent cottages (2) – They’re the green & brown ones; brown one was built 1907 & operated as Birch Lodge with 4 guest rooms.
Whitewood (18 cottages); Truran boat rentals operated there in the 1950’s.
Privately owned 50-acre property with 1,300 feet shoreline; the former Girl Scouts’ Camp Marion White; new owner donated beaver ponds/heron rookery east of Swamp Road to create Tracy Brook Wildlife Sanctuary (100th MA Audubon sanctuary); southern part of the Camp was the former Camp Bluebird, of Women's Club of Pittsfield.
South Pond Farm condominiums (46 units); this community is in Pittsfield; formerly part of the Scace Flower Farm.
The Camp by Bousquet, owned & operated year-round by Mill Town Capital as a component of a 3-venue outdoor recreation complex including Bousquet Ski & Bousquet Sport (the former Berkshire West Athletic Club). Was Lakeside Christian Camp & Conference Center (Baptist, year-round) for 40 years until spring 2020; Lakeside was preceded by Camp Allegro for NY City Jewish girls from late 1930’s until 1979; PA system announced the uniform of the day…
Dam – Mill owner built it in 1864; it expanded the pond acreage by 1/3; the outflow feeds the West Branch of the Housatonic River; Mill Town Capital owns & maintains the dam.
Richmond Town Beach – It is actually on Pittsfield land; open summers 11 am to 5 pm with lifeguards except on Mondays; gated accessible beach; no dogs; site of historic ice house; the ice was shipped by train to NY City.
Pond map & more is available @ RPA kiosk at boat launch, & on Richmond Pond Association website – www.richmondpondassocation.org