State purchasing Echo Lake Campground in Burrillville

State purchasing Echo Lake Campground in Burrillville

BURRILLVILLE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has signed a purchase and sales agreement to buy Echo Lake Campground, a 235-acre property on the shores of Echo Lake in Pascoag.

RIDEM spokesperson Mike Healey confirmed to The Valley Breeze in August the state plans to close on the deal in early 2021. A Green Economy Bond approved by voters in 2016 will fund the $2,030,000 purchase.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to further our mission by securing 2,200 feet of freshwater frontage and substantial forestland in conservation – further protecting water quality and providing significant recreation benefits,” said Healey.

According to its website, Echo Lake Campground has been family owned and operated since 1952. It was founded by the late Helen and John Moroney, prominent Pascoag residents who also ran Block Island’s Ocean View Hotel until a fire destroyed it in 1966. The property continues to be owned in trust by the Moroney family.

The campground did not return a request for comment about the sale.

Echo Lake Campground is a popular spot for seasonal campers and boaters, with many visitors returning over several summers. Many of those seasonal campers expressed their sadness at the campground’s closing on social media after they were informed of the sale earlier this summer.

Healey said the RIDEM plans to continue using the property for camping and public enjoyment, with a more detailed plan developed over the next year. The purchase will make Echo Lake the second state campground in Rhode Island’s northwest corner in addition to George Washington State Campground in Chepachet.

Healey also noted the purchase will allow the state to conserve valuable forest and pond shore habitats. Echo Lake, also known as Pascoag Reservoir, is a popular boating spot that spans about 350 acres in Pascoag and Chepachet.

“Detailed plans are not yet underway and will be developed over the course of the next year, with stakeholder input,” he said.

Comments

More towns/cities should pursue open space. Great way to offset tax demand on public services. Glad to read this large Israel of undeveloped land will be preserved. Otherwise, developers would've had a field day building out this property. Open space is almost always the best option to stabilize tax rates.

Thank you Maroney family, Burrillville and State of Rhode Island. Just like the preserved lands on the western shores of Spring Lake, now all will be able to enjoy this treasure.