Description - Constructed between 1947 and 1949 at a cost of $1.6 million, it was first operated during the New Year's Flood of 1949 before it was completed. It's function is to reduce flood stages in Athol, Orange and other communities along the Millers River, and in conjuction with other Corps dams reduce flood stages along the Connecticut River.
The Reservoir Regulation Team (RRT), located at the Corps' New England District Headquarters in Concord, MA, is the "nerve center" for all Corps-operated dams in New England. Using radio and satellite communications, RRT constantly monitors river levels and weather conditions and directs the operation of the dams during high flows.
In April 1987, two storms dropped about 6 inches of rain, raising the water level to over 35 feet at the dam, utilizing 62% of the storage capacity. It is estimated that Tully Lake prevented over $3 million in damages to downstream property from this one storm.
- The Tully Lake Campground offers an old-fashioned camping experience, unique to the region. You won't be disturbed by cars and RV's here, since all campsites can only be reached by foot, except designated sites accessible to the disabled. The campground offers a table and grill at each site, clean restrooms with a shower, 2 horseshoe pits, a volleyball court, and canoe and kayak rentals.
Recreation - The 7.5-mile Mountain Bike Trail explores Tully River and Long Pond. There are 2 trail heads on Doane Hill Road, one near the campground entrance and one at the Canoe Launch entrance. The trail is relatively difficult and not recommended for beginners.
Tully Lake is a great place for canoes and kayaks to quietly explore shallow coves and fascinating wetlands. Small motor boats (10 horsepower limit) can be launched at the Boat Ramp. Canoes and kayaks can be launched at the Boat Ramp or at the Tully River Canoe Launch.
Please refer to the Tully Lake website for more recreation information.
Climate - Massachusetts experiences four distinct seasons with slightly varying temperatures in the inland and coastal regions. Along the coast the water is a moderating factor that often prevents large amounts of snowfall from accumulating through the winter. Summer temperatures are usually cooler than low lying inland areas, due to ocean breezes. This region of the country experiences high humidity in the summer season and temperatures that average close to 80 degrees F. Fall and Spring are pleasant times to visit the region with crisp air and low humidity. Brilliant foliage colors can be found in the central and western regions of the state in late September and October. Winter temperatures can be brutally cold on occasion with a humidity-filled wind, but on average winter daytime temperatures reach 35 degrees F and lows reach into the teens. Spring is usually the wettest time of year, but trees, bushes and flowers are blooming by early May.
In Massachusetts, take Route 2 to exit 17. Follow Route 32 North approximately 6 miles.
From New Hampshire, follow Route 32 south about 8 miles from the intersection of Route 119 in Richmond.
Route 32, also called Athol-Richmond Road, goes right over Tully Dam. The Recreation Area is at the north end of the dam. The Park Office is just south of the dam.
To get to the Campground, take Doane Hill Road off of Route 32 north of the dam. The Campground will be on your right about a mile, just before the Tully River.