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Massachusetts Geography

The coastline of Massachusetts and its offshore islands are remnants of the last Ice Age. That jagged, and rockbound Atlantic Ocean coastline is a mixture of bays, inlets, sandy beaches, odd-shaped islands - all ending in granite cliffs in the far north.

The Cape Cod National Seashore is a constantly shifting mass of dunes, battered relentlessly by the currents of the Atlantic Ocean.

Eastern Massachusetts is mostly flat, comprised of low hills, small lakes, streams and rivers. From the Boston area, the land rises gently into wooded, rolling hills, broken central by the Connecticut River Valley.

In the far west, the Appalachian Mountains stretch across the state on into Vermont and New Hampshire. The Berkshire Hills and Taconic Mountain Range are the major features. Mt. Greylock, at 3,487 ft., is the state's highest point.

There are over 4,000 miles of rivers within Massachusetts. Major rivers include the Connecticut, (the longest river in New England) the Merrimack in the northeast corner, and the Housatonic in the far west.

More than 1,000 small lakes and ponds are found within the state, with the largest being the Quabbin Reservoir (27,794 acres).

For a closer look at the topography of Massachusetts, view this topographic map

Massachusetts Photographs

merrimack river

Merrimack River

Massachusetts Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
East Falmouth Barnstable 508
Pittsfield Berkshire 413
New Bedford Bristol 508
Oak Bluffs Dukes 508
Lynn Essex 781
Greenfield Franklin 413
Springfield Hampden 413
Amherst Hampshire 413
Cambridge Middlesex 617
Lowell Middlesex 978
Nantucket Nantucket 508
Quincy Norfolk 617
Brockton Plymouth 508
Boston Suffolk 617
Worcester Worcester 508

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.