What Are the Major Landforms of Massachusetts?

Massachusetts is divided into six different regions based on geography and topography. The coastal lowland, Connecticut Valley, eastern New England upland, Berkshire Valley and Taconic Mountains possess distinct land formations. Along with numerous lakes, rivers and mountains, the Cape Cod National Shoreline and the Appalachian Mountains are the most prominent landforms in the state of Massachusetts.

The coastal lowland of Massachusetts extends from the east at the Atlantic Ocean. The coastline and jagged offshore islands of Massachusetts are remnants of the last ice age. The coastline features a mixture of bays, beaches, islands and inlets. This area includes Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and the Elizabeth Islands. The coastal lowland comprises swamps, lakes, ponds, shallow rivers and rounded hills.

The western portion of Massachusetts is mostly rural and hilly. This region is an extension of the Green Mountains of Vermont and includes the state’s highest peak. At 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts. It is located in the northern Berkshires of western Massachusetts, approximately 3 hours west of Boston. Other mountain peaks in Massachusetts include Saddle Back, Mount Everett, Tekoa Mountain, Mount Frissell, Monument Mountain and Mount Williams.

Massachusetts has over 4,000 miles of rivers and over 1,000 small lakes and ponds. All rivers in the state, including the Charles, Hoosic, Connecticut, Rowley, Blackwater and Merrimack, flow into the Atlantic Ocean.