***Special Notice - COVID-19 Update - Corps of Engineers updates preventative measures in place for COVID-19 at Buffumville Lake and Hodges Village Dam
Please Note: The Hodges Village Disc Golf Course is open to the public.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Army Corps of Engineers requires face masks at all recreation projects
As we work to slow the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reminds all visitors, volunteers and employees that a face mask is required in all USACE buildings and facilities. Masks must also be worn outdoors on USACE-managed lands and recreation areas if physical distancing cannot be met, such as when hiking on trails or visiting sites that may be popular or crowded.
For year-round outdoor recreation, visit Hodges Village Dam (30 Howarth Rd. Oxford MA 01540). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park rangers are available to assist you during your visit.
To date, there are approximately 22 miles of trails weaving their way around the Hodges Village project area. The blue blazed trails on the east side of the French River are for non-motorized recreation including hiking, nature study, mountain biking, cross country skiing, and horseback riding.
The orange blazed trails on the west side of the river are for both non-motorized and motorized use. Off highway motorcycles are allowed on the west side of the French River as reservoir levels, weather, and trail conditions permit. Hodges Village Dam is a popular off highway motorcycle area in Central Massachusetts and draws visitors from around the tri-state area.
NOTE: ATV use is not permitted on the trails. All motorcycles must be registered with the Massachusetts Environmental Police.
The disc golf course is an enjoyable layout, fun for golfers of all ages and abilities to play.
The outdoor enthusiast can hunt, fish and boat at Hodges Village Dam. Hunting is allowed only on the west side of the French River. All federal, state, and local laws apply.
The French River Canoe trail is approximately 3 miles long and starts at the Greenbriar Park canoe launch in North Oxford and ending at Hodge Village Dam. Paddlers may have to portage around beaver dams and flood debris.
Park rangers provide special interpretive programs on the cultural and natural environment, water resources, water safety, dam tours and flood risk management. Special use permits are available upon request for various events.
All project lands and waters are under the jurisdiction of CFR Title 36 regulations, state and local laws. There Federal regulations are on display in the areas more frequently used by the public and copies are available at the project office.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the natural resources at Hodges Village Dam for multiple uses: flood risk management, wildlife habitat, forest production, watershed protection, and outdoor recreation. Hodges Village is comprised of almost 1,200 acres of land. The west side of the French River are upland hardwoods, red oak, white oak, and hickory trees. The east side of the river supports an Atlantic White Cedar swamp and numerous shrub swamps and forested wetlands. Red maple, alder, birch and other common wetland plants are found in the widespread wetlands.
Volunteers assist the Park Rangers in conserving and managing the area's natural and recreational resources. Contact the Hodges Village Dam and Buffumville Lake Office for details on the Volunteer Program.
The habitat of the French River is that of a slow moving stream. A pool is impounded only during flood operations. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has designated the French River as a cold water fishery resource. Common fish species include brook, brown and rainbow trout, slimy sculpin and long nose sucker, large mouth bass, white and yellow perch, and chain pickerel.
The Hodges Village Dam property is comprised of a diverse array of natural plant communities. Park rangers work on the land to ensure that habitats diversity is sustained to support a variety of species. Wildlife enthusiasts may spot white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, wild turkey, an array of hawks and song birds, ducks and geese, coyotes, fox, and an occasional bobcat.
- Updated: March 1, 2021