First Day Hikes a Great Way to Start New Year

by | Dec 30, 2014

On January 1st, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will host America’s First Day Hikes 2015 at 12 park locations across the
Commonwealth. With over 450,000 acres, spanning Boston to the Berkshires, Massachusetts state parks boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor
recreation, and each hike will offer a unique natural and cultural environment.

The First Day Hikes tradition began more 20 years ago in Massachusetts, and has now become a national event. 2015 will mark the 4th consecutive year that all 50 states have held First Day Hikes. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family. Last year, America’s First Day Hikes hosted more than 27,000 people, who covered more than 66,000 miles on 885 hikes in state parks across the country.

The family friendly First Day Hikes offer an opportunity to explore and experience historical and cultural areas, seasonal flora and wildlife alongside dedicated park staff and other members of the community. America’s First Day Hikes creates a unique connection with nature that promotes physical and mental well-being, while encouraging stewardship of shared resources.

Please see the complete list of First Day Hike locations attached. If you have questions about these programs, please contact DCR Assistant Director of Visitor Services, Julie Martin (617-626-4962;
Chestnut Hill Reservation, Brighton, 12:00pm
Meet at DCR Reilly Skating Rink, 355 Chestnut Hill Ave, Brighton
(Parking lot entrance on Beacon Street)

Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, Uxbridge, 1:00pm
Meet at the Visitor Center.

Bradley Palmer State Park, Topsfield, 10:00 am
Meet at headquarters. Willowdale Estates will host a reception following the hike.

Walden Pond State Reservation, Concord, 1:00 pm
Meet at the Thoreau House Replica, where a living history program will begin at noon.

Breakheart Reservation, Saugus, 12:00 pm
Meet at the Visitor Center for free clam chowder, coffee and hot cocoa. Arrive early to allow time for parking.

Blue Hills State Reservation, Milton, 12:00 pm
Meet in the Houghton’s Pond Parking Lot at 840 Hillside St. Arrive early to allow sufficient time for parking. Free soup will be served at noon, hikes begin at 1pm.

Nantasket Beach Reservation, Hull, 1:00 pm
Meet at the Mary Jeannette Murray Bathhouse at 204 Nantasket Avenue.

Nickerson State Park, Brewster, 1:00 pm
Meet at the Main Lot near entrance.

Shawme Crowell State Forest, Sandwich, 1:00 pm
Meet at the Pavilion Area at 42 Main Street.

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Waquoit, 1:00 pm
Meet at the Visitor Center, 131 Waquoit Highway (Rt. 28).

DAR State Forest, Goshen, 11:00am
Meet at the Day Use Parking Lot off Route 112.

Great Falls Discovery Center, Turners Falls, 1:00 pm
Meet in the Discovery Center.

Mount Greylock Reservation, Lanesborough, 1:00 pm
Meet at the Visitor Center at 30 Rockwell Rd.

To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit