April School Vacation Week Programs

April 15 - 24, 2022

Step into spring with a visit to your state parks. Fresh air and family fun are the perfect combination for your April Vacation Week plans. Enjoy staff led programs or plan a self-guided park adventure. There is so much to explore in your state parks. Come for a visit!

Following, please find a listing of Guided Programs, Visitor Center Special Exhibits, Self-Guided Experiences, and Resources.

Visit DCR’s adaptive program webpage for the complete schedule and programs.

Table of Contents

Things to know before you go

campfire
  • All programs are free unless noted. 
  • Please be aware parking fees may apply – visit the park web page for applicable parking fees at Massachusetts State Parks  or to learn how to borrow a ParksPass from a community partner.
  • Be season smart and safe. Dress for the weather by wearing sturdy footgear and dressing in layers for maximum comfort.
  • Carry drinking water and snacks. Have a map and cell phone.
  • Seasonal weather including cold temperatures, rain, and storms affect parks and trails. All events, programs and activities are subject to change. Please take a moment to call ahead to confirm.
  • Please follow any current COVID-19 guidelines.
  • April Vacation Programs are listed by geographical region, date, and time.  

Boston Region

thomas dilloway house

Roxbury Heritage State Park, 183 Roxbury St, Roxbury, MA

Dillaway-Thomas House Special Tour: Black Patriots in the Siege of Boston

Monday, April 18, 10-11 am and 1-2pm

What do we know about the Black soldiers who served in the Roxbury encampment during the Siege of Boston, 1775-1776? Join us for this focused tour. Suitable for ages 12 and above.

Roxbury Heritage State Park, 183 Roxbury St, Roxbury, MA  

Kidleidoscope: Signs of Spring!

Wednesday, April 20, 10-11 am

This preschool-aged program, for children 3-5, includes a story, nature exploration, and hands-on activity. We’ll read Jayden’s Impossible Garden, about a boy who notices all the nature in the city and creates a special place. What plants and animals will we notice in Roxbury Heritage State Park? The program takes place outside. Meet at the table in the park.

Central Massachusetts

girl at park

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, 198 Purgatory Road, Sutton MA

Rock Detectives

Saturday, April 23, 11am-12:00pm

Have you ever wondered where rocks come from? See a bunch of different rocks and find out more about where they have been and where they are going. Stay for five minutes or an hour. This program takes place in the pavilion near the entrance to the chasm. Appropriate for ages 4 and above. The program will be held at the Visitor Center during inclement weather.

Wachusett Reservoir Watershed, 130 Beaman St West Boylston MA

Watershed Explorers

Tuesday, April 19, 11am-1pm

Bring a picnic and enjoy outdoor explorations and hands-on activity stations at DCR's Old Stone Church adjacent to Wachusett Reservoir. Fish ID– identify the most common fish. Match a Bug/Build a Bug: match aquatic insects and craft your own. Trout are Made of Trees StoryWalk® All ages welcome. Dogs are not allowed on water supply protection lands.

Quabbin Reservoir, 100 Winsor Dam Rd., Belchertown

Exploring Quabbin Park via the Bald Mtn. Hill Trail and Enfield Lookout

Tuesday, April 19, 11am-12:30pm 

Join us for a family friendly hike in Quabbin Park. Our hike will feature two scenic views of the surrounding landscape at the top of Bald Mtn. Hill and the Enfield Lookout. We will be walking 1.8 miles on a mix of forest roads and foot paths with little elevation gain (100 ft.). Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring water. A reminder that dogs are not allowed anywhere at Quabbin Reservoir.

Wachusett Reservoir Watershed, 130 Beaman St West Boylston MA

Water Science

Wednesday, April 20, 11am-1pm

Bring a picnic and enjoy outdoor explorations and hands-on water science activity stations - including Water Dance StoryWalk® - at DCR's Old Stone Church adjacent to Wachusett Reservoir. All ages welcome. Dogs are not allowed on water supply protection lands.

Quabbin Reservoir, Meet at Hanks Meadow Parking Lot

History Detectives

Thursday, April 21, 10-11am

Hidden in the Quabbin Forest are clues to life in the four drowned towns. Join us as we search for signs of the past! Meet at the Hanks Meadow parking lot at Quabbin Park. Please dress appropriately for the weather and a forest hike. A reminder that dogs are not allowed anywhere at Quabbin Reservoir.

Northeastern Massachusetts

boys on rock

Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, 1399 Bennington St., East Boston

An Oasis for Birds

Saturday, April 16, 7:30-8:30am

We will search on foot up to one mile, on flat, easy terrain for raptors, shorebirds and resident wading marsh birds at this Birding Hotspot & MA State Park. Expect to move to different locations by car or bicycle. Prepare for mosquitoes and ticks. Ages: Adults and kids 8+  with adult chaperone. Binoculars recommended. Co-sponsored by the Brookline Bird Club and the Friends of Belle Isle Marsh.

Halibut Point State Park, 4 Gott Avenue, Rockport, MA

Seaside Spring Birding

Sunday, April 17, 8-10am

Stroll our seaside treasure with birding basics. Hear the symphony of spring bird song, watch the woodlands and water’s edge, and enjoy extraordinary views! For all ages. Meet at Parking lot.

Breakheart State Reservation, 177 Forest Street, Saugus, MA

Hikin’ Kids

Sunday, April 17, 10am - 11am

This program is for the younger set. This is a basic introduction to the forest and a short hike to acclimate children to the outdoors. Recommend bringing water, insect repellent, sunscreen, binoculars and camera. Appropriate for children 5 years and up. Meet at: Visitor Center, 177 Forest Street, Saugus. Tel. (781) 233-0834

Breakheart State Reservation, 177 Forest Street, Saugus, MA

Family Fishing

Monday, April 18, 10-11:30am

Join our park interpreter for a drop-in fishing program! Learn how to fish, what fish live in our ponds, and how to catch and release responsibly. Bait and a handful of rods will be provided but feel free to bring your own gear and fish with us and share your tips! No license required if fishing in this program. Best for kids age 5 and up. Meet at the dock on Pearce Lake Beach. Rain cancels.

Middlesex Fells Reservation, 4 Woodland Road, Stoneham, MA

Skulls and Skins Station

Tuesday, April 19, 1:30-3pm

What animals call these woods and waters home? Drop in anytime to learn about some of our furry forest residents with the Park Interpreter! All ages. Rain cancels. Meet at Greenwood Park, 176 Pond Street, Stoneham, across from Stone Zoo

Breakheart State Reservation, 177 Forest Street, Saugus, MA

Stories in Stone Hike

Tuesday, April 19, 10am-12pm

Breakheart has been shaped not only by nature but by the many people who have called it home. Join our park interpreter to discover this history through the stone artifacts they left behind. This is a 2.5 mile, moderate hike along rocky trails, with several stops. Best for adults and older children with a keen interest in history. Meet outside the Visitor Center, 177 Forest Street, Saugus. Tel. (781) 233-0834 . Rain cancels

Revere Beach Reservation, 1 Eliot Circle, Revere, MA

Shorebird and Seabird Discovery Table

Wed, April 20, Thurs, April 21, Fri, April 22 10am-12pm

Discover the fascinating shorebirds and seabirds that make Revere Beach their home at this learning station in conjunction with the StoryWalk® Drop in any time.

Revere Beach Reservation, 1 Eliot Circle, Revere, MA

StoryWalk® Piping Plover Summer

Wed, April 20, Thurs, April 21, Fri, April 22, 10am-3pm

Read a story with your child during your self-guided walk at Revere beach! Discover the secrets of this protected shorebird which nests on beaches in the State of Massachusetts. Drop in any time.

Middlesex Fells Reservation, 4 Woodland Road, Stoneham, MA

Kidleidoscope

Wednesday, April 20, 10:30-11:30am

For the young set who loves nature! The park interpreter will lead a three-part preschool aged program that includes a Story, Craft & Walk that involves outdoor exploration. A different nature topic each week so come every week! Meet at: Greenwood Park, 176 Pond Street, Stoneham, across from Stone Zoo. For Ages 3 to 6

Maudslay State Park, 74 Curzon Mill Rd. Newburyport, MA

Signs of Spring

Wednesday, April 20, 2-3:30pm

Spring is finally upon us! Learn about what happens in the spring and explore all the changes taking place in the park with the interpreter guiding this experience of discovery. We will walk around 1.5 miles. Trails can be muddy. Meet: Park Headquarters, 74 Curzon Mill Rd. For Ages 6-12.

Walden Pond State Reservation, 915 Walden St., Concord, MA

Signs of Spring Saunter

Thursday, April 21, 1-2:30pm

Easy one-mile guided walk for all ages. Look and listen for signs of spring as the earth awakens.

Middlesex Fells Reservation, 4 Woodland Road, Stoneham, MA

Riding the Range (Horse demonstration)

Thursday, April 21, 11am-12:30pm

“Stirrup” some excitement - see a park patrol horse and mounted ranger in action! Join us to learn about our state parks, our Rangers and why some of our rangers patrol parks by horseback. Meet at: Greenwood Park, 176 Pond Street, Stoneham, across from Stone Zoo. For all ages

Middlesex Fells Reservation, 4 Woodland Road, Stoneham, MA

Vernal Pool Exploration

Friday, April 22, 11am-12:30pm

Frogs, bugs and salamanders, oh my! Come and discover the magic of our forest vernal pools and the animals who depend on this valuable habitat. Explore the pool with the park interpreter and find out how these animals grow from eggs to adults and how to conserve them. Meet at: Parking lot behind Medford High School, 489 Winthrop St., Medford. For all ages, best for 6 years old and up. Please, no bug spray. We want to protect this wild habitat.

Maudslay State Park, 74 Curzon Mill Rd. Newburyport, MA

Kidleidoscope

Friday, April 22, 11am-12pm

For the young set who loves nature! The park interpreter will lead a three-part preschool aged program that includes a Story, Craft & Walk that involves outdoor exploration. Meet at: Park Headquarters, 74 Curzon Mill Rd. For: Ages 3 to 6

Walden Pond State Reservation, 915 Walden St., Concord, MA

Vital Vernal Pools Walk

Saturday, April 23, 1-2:30pm

Exploration of Walden's spring pools, lead by a Park Interpreter, moderate one-mile walk for ages 8+.

Maudslay State Park, 74 Curzon Mill Rd. Newburyport, MA

Interpretation Station

Saturday, April 23, 2-4pm

Discover the spring flowers beginning to bloom at Maudslay when you stop by the interpretation station. The park interpreter will feature different blooms as they occur and provide details highlighting that area at a varied location each week. This week it is the amazing 3-petaled Trillium and other ground flowers. For: All Ages. See the board in front of Park Headquarters, 74 Curzon Mill Rd. for location of this station.

Middlesex Fells Reservation, 4 Woodland Road, Stoneham, MA

StoryWalk®

Saturdays and Sundays Dawn to Dusk

Summer’s Flight, Pollen’s Delight by Flora C. Caputo is our next StoryWalk® What a great way to combine reading, exercise, and family fun! Pollination helps grow our food, our flowers, and our plants. Many insects are involved in this important task, and you will be surprised at the different pollinators in our world. The walk begins at Greenwood Park, in Stoneham (across from the Stone Zoo), and will continue along the Crystal Springs Trail in an easy, 1/3-mile loop. Foster your child’s connection with nature as well as their literacy skills by participating in our StoryWalk® in the Fells! Storywalk® is set up at Greenwood Park, 176 Pond Street, Stoneham, across from Stone Zoo; self-guided. Dawn to dusk All are welcome, best for ages 3-5. The StoryWalk® is a collaboration of the Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mass in Motion, Medford Family Network and the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network. The Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

Maudslay State Park, 74 Curzon Mill Rd. Newburyport, MA

StoryWalk®

Saturdays and Sundays Dawn to Dusk

It’s Spring! by Linda Glaser is our spring break StoryWalk®. What a great way to combine reading, exercise, and family fun! It's Spring! Celebrates the coming of spring and all that happens in our natural world during this important season. A child observes the arrival of spring and its effects on plants and animals. Foster your child's connection with nature as well as their reading skills by participating in our StoryWalk(R) at Maudslay! The walk begins at Hedge Drive just down from the headquarters building at 74 Curzon Mill Rd. The StoryWalk(R) Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

Southeastern Massachusetts

girls by tree

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA

Full Moon Hike 

Saturday, April 16, 8pm 

Join the Borderland park staff and the Friends of Borderland for a full moon hike along the Pond Walk Trail. Meet at visitor center. We will offer 3 guided hikes at different paces (fast, moderate, and slow). All hikes take the same route and are 3 miles on mostly level terrain. Please arrive prior to the start time. Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. Inclement weather will cancel. To ensure hike is happening call Borderland at (508) 238-6566. Park will be open for this program only.  

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA 

Architectural Tour: A Story in Stone 

Sunday, April 17, 1-1:30pm 

Who was the architect of the Ames Mansion? What is the mansion made of? Learn the story of the construction and design of the Ames mansion on this 30-minute exterior tour. Meet in front of the Ames Mansion. Dress for the weather. Inclement weather will cancel. For more information, please call Borderland at (508)-238-6566.  

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA

Garden Tour: Secrets of the Land  

Sunday, April 17, 2-2:30pm 

In the early 1900s, rock gardens were all the rage! Harvard botanist, Oakes Ames enjoyed spending time in this garden featuring many different types of plants, as well as interesting rock features and a fountain. Learn about the rock garden, swimming pool and a few other features of the land. For adults and older children. All Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet in front of mansion. Rain cancels.  

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA 

Explore Nature: Ponding at The Lodge 

Monday, April 18, Wednesday, April 20, Sunday, April 24 1-2pm 

Using nets and buckets, let’s catch some of the critters who live in Leach Pond. We will then determine the water quality in Leach Pond using a tally of the types of animals we find. Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet. For all ages.

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA

Animal Pelts & Coloring at The Lodge 

Tuesday, April 19, 12-4pm 

Join the park staff at the stone lodge for fun activities. Try to identify different animal pelts, grab a coloring sheet, and have a conversation with the park staff. This is a drop-in program, stay for the duration or drop by for a few minutes. For all ages  

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 131 Waquoit, East Falmouth 

Osprey Observations 

Wednesday, April 20, 10-11am 

Children ages 5-12 are invited to join Waquoit Bay’s park interpreter to learn about osprey. Participants will get an up-close look at a nesting pair and learn about their travels to Cape Cod. Children can expect to be involved in an interactive program and can do an osprey related activity. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet in front of the Visitor Center.  

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton, MA 

Make Your Own Little Greenhouse 

Wednesday, April 20, 12-4pm 

Join the park staff at the stone lodge for a fun activity. We will supply the materials needed for you to create your own little greenhouse that you can bring home and watch your flowers grow. This is a drop-in program, stay for the duration or drop by for a few minutes. For all ages. While supplies last. Meet at the Lodge. 

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 131 Waquoit, East Falmouth 

From One to Hundreds: An Osprey Success Story 

Thursday, April 21, 3-4pm 

In the early 1970’s only one or two osprey nests were left on Cape Cod. Today there are several hundred. Learn how this species made their rebound after a near extinction. Participants will also get an understanding of the osprey migration and what their time on Cape Cod will look like. A spotting scope will be available for viewing and we’ll also view the live cam on the big screen. 

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 131 Waquoit, East Falmouth 

Earth Day Games: Osprey  

Friday, April 22, 2pm - 3pm

Celebrate Earth Day at Waquoit Bay. Families will have the opportunity to partake in a series of outdoor games themed to the park’s seasonal visitors, the osprey. Games are suitable for ages 5-12. Please wear closed toed shoes. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Feel free to come early and bring your own picnic.

Fall River Heritage State Park, 200 Davol Street, Fall River, MA 

People, Ambition and Hard Work 

Saturday, April 23, 2-2:30pm 

A Portuguese-American poet, a beloved local entrepreneur, a decorated military hero, and a visionary state legislator all have their names enshrined in Fall River Heritage Park. Who were these people and how did they inspire others through their vision, ambition and hard work? This is a short walking tour of the landmarks named for these pioneers and can be self-guided or led by a park interpreter. Tours start at the Front Desk in the Visitor Center.

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 131 Waquoit, East Falmouth 

Earth Day Nature Walk 

Friday, April 22, 9-10am 

This program is best suited for children ages 3-7. Join a park interpreter on a short nature walk around the Reserve. Kids will get to explore nature and put on their curiosity caps. After the short walk will be a follow-up activity. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet in front of the Visitor Center. 

Western Massachusetts

girls with tree

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough

Mountain Mindfulness: Family Forest Walk 

Saturday, April 16, 1:30-3:30pm 

On this peaceful, family-friendly forest walk, Sandy will guide you on a slow, intentional journey to de-stress while connecting with nature. Each mindful outdoor experience incorporates elements of mindful breathing, nature connection, and meditation skills culminating in a group session for sharing and reflection. Leave with inspiration and tips for accessing the healing benefits of nature back home! Please dress warmly in non-cotton layers for outdoor hiking in snow. Wear snow boots with traction devices and warm socks. If there is snow on the ground, bring snowshoes if you have them. Bring water and a snack. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Program duration 2 hours. This program is FREE and open to all ages. Meet at the Visitor Center. All levels are welcome. No previous experience is necessary. For more information call the Visitor Center at (413) 499-4262.  

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough

Geocaching 101 

Wednesday, April 20, 1-2:30pm 

Looking for a fun way to engage your tech-savvy kids with the natural world? This outdoor activity combines hiking with a tech-aided treasure hunt. Join Kathy Gwozdz and members of Berkshire Geobash to learn the basics indoors, then head out on the trail to test out new skills. Can you find the hidden treasure? Beginners welcome! No experience necessary. To participate fully, you may download the free geocaching.com app and bring your digital device. Dress appropriately for winter weather; hiking poles and traction devices for boots (or snowshoes) are recommended. Trails may be snow-covered, icy, or muddy. Bring drinking water and a snack. Duration 90 minutes. FREE. For all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at Visitor Center. Inclement weather cancels. For more information call (413) 499-4262.

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 

The Art of Bird Photography 

Thursday, April 21, 7-8pm 

Peter Christoph shares his epic birding adventures in a presentation that is both entertaining and informative. Filled with lively anecdotes he explains the techniques he uses to capture his intimate portraits of birds in their natural habitat. This presentation covers essential gear for photographing birds and discusses important settings and features of your camera which are useful for wildlife photography. Peter will take you beyond simply enhancing your bird photography skills and share with you his own approach to the art of bird photography in terms of lighting, composition, action, environment and background, that make outstanding images which tell a story. 

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 

Kidleidoscope Story Hour: Skunks 

Friday, April 22, 10:30-11:30am 

For ages 3-6, accompanied by an adult. Come learn about our wildlife neighbors who share our home in the Connecticut RiverWatershed. Program includes a story, activities, and a craft. Activities will be both indoors and outdoors. Siblings and friends welcome. In the Great Hall. 

Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough

Intro to Early Spring Wildflowers Walk with Janice Tassinari 

Friday, April 22, 1-2:30pm 

Join us for this special EARTH DAY edition of our Introduction to Early Spring Wildflowers Walk with special guest Janice Tassinari, who will share her vast knowledge on the unique features and life cycles of early spring wildflowers here on Mount Greylock! Learn about the magic and mystery of these incredible short-lived blossoms and discover how to best enjoy their beauty out on the trail! This program is free and open to all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor Center. For more information call (413) 499-4262. 

DCR Visitor Centers and Exhibits

The Massachusetts’ State Park system, managed and operated by the Department of Conservation and Recreation provides many year-round visitation opportunities at which you can learn about our rich natural and cultural history, a heritage that tells fascinating stories of the past. Recreational opportunities also abound. Below is a list of our Visitor Centers by region.

*Please note, some visitor centers are closed for holidays and hours can vary based on staffing and weather emergencies. Please call ahead.*

Northeastern Massachusetts 

Breakheart State Reservation, 177 Forest St., Saugus   

Christopher P. Dunne Visitor Center  

Open Daily, 8:30am-4:00pm   

This picturesque visitor center was built in the style of Ben Johnson’s Lodge. Ben Johnson along with two friends built the lodge that opened in 1891 for their private hunting reserve, the origin of Breakheart Reservation. The Civilian Conservation Corps also built much of the park infrastructure. Enjoy the rustic warmth of the visitor center, open daily. Dogs are allowed within the reservation on a leash. Parking is free, but limited. Parking is also available at the shopping center near the approach.  Accessible. For more information, please call (781) 233-0834.  

Halibut Point State Park, 4 Gott Avenue, Rockport 

Open Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00am - 3:00pm   

Quarrying History at Visitor Center  

Investigate working on the edge of Halibut Point! We have artifacts, photographs, the “Uncut Block” video, and quarry tools to share the Park’s history. Bring your questions and curiosity! 

Activities During April Vacation Week 

Granite Quarrying History Exhibits-  

Investigate working on the edge of Halibut Point! Explore artifacts, photographs, the Uncut Block film, and quarry tools to discover the Park’s granite quarrying history. 9am-3pm

Military History Exhibits—Climb WWII Tower-  

U.S. Military in 1944 built a watch tower and barracks —now the newly renovated Visitor Center. Climb the tower ladder.

9am-3pm 

Walden Pond State Reservation, 915 Walden St., Concord 

Walden Pond Visitor Center  

Open Daily, 10:00am-4:00pm   

Henry David Thoreau’s legacy has rippled across the globe and is tastefully presented in exhibits and displays. Get a look at our Gold LEED-Certified, earth-friendly, energy efficient building constructed from sustainable materials. A replica of the cabin he built and lived in from 1845-1847 is located near the visitor center for public viewing. No pets are allowed within the reservation. Daily parking fee: $8 per vehicle with MA plates, $30 per vehicle for out-of-state plates. Accessible. For more information, please call 978-396-3254.

Lawrence Heritage State Park, 1 Jackson Street, Lawrence 

Open Daily, 9:00am-4:00pm   

Come learn about the history and development of Lawrence, Massachusetts, one of the nation’s first planned industrial cities. The 22-minute film shows on request. Visit the Gallery for temporary art and historical exhibits. Free parking and admission. Accessible. For more information, please call 978-794-1655.  

Central Massachusetts

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge 

River Bend Farm Visitor Center  

Daily, 8:00am – 4:00pm 

The Following the Plough exhibit explores the story of the Blackstone Valley and its communities from pre-European settlement through European style agricultural development, industrialization, and into today.  Guided tours for groups with advance notice.  Free admission.  No parking fee. Accessible. For more information, call (508) 278-7604.   

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, 198 Purgatory Rd. , Sutton, MA

Daily, 9:00am- 5:00pm

Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, 345 Mountain Road, Princeton 

John Hitchcock Visitor Center  

Open daily 8:00am – 3:30pm (Hours may vary based on staffing and weather conditions). 

The Visitor Center features exhibits detailing the mountain’s unique geologic history, including the effects of the last glacial period. Exhibits also highlight Wachusett Mountain’s human history, from the Native Americans living in the area who gave the mountain its name, to the European colonists who settled the area. The Visitor Center features displays explaining the ancient trees found on the mountain, the only old-growth forest east of the Connecticut River. There is also an antique collection of preserved birds that are found in the area. Hiking trail information is available in the Visitor Center, Restrooms are available in the Visitor Center during open hours. Portable toilets are available in the parking lot if the Visitor Center is closed. Free parking and admission during the winter. Accessible. For more information, please call 978-464-2987.

Quabbin Reservoir, 100 Winsor Dam Rd, Belchertown 

Open every day except Wednesdays, 8:30am - 4:30pm   

Visitor Center & Exhibits  

Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest unfiltered water supplies in the United States. Along with the Wachusett Reservoir and Ware River, it is the source of high quality water for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority water supply system. The 412 billion gallon reservoir covers 39 square miles with 181 miles of shoreline.  Come learn about the history of the Quabbin Valley and how the reservoir was built.  Also, learn about wildlife at the Quabbin and some of the research being done there.   Visitors may request viewing one of several short videos about the area as well. For more information, please call 413-323-722. 

Southeastern Massachusetts 

Blue Hills Reservation

Houghton Pond Visitor Center, 840 Hillside Street, Milton, MA 02186

Open Daily, 8:00am - 4:00pm 

Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Ave, North Easton 

Open Daily, 8:00am - 7:00pm   

Visitor Center "Ames Family History Gallery"  

Borderland is one of the most historically significant tracts of publicly owned land in the Commonwealth. Created in the early 1900s by artist and suffragist Blanche Ames and her botanist husband Oakes, Borderland offers many of the same pleasures that the Ames family enjoyed.  Learn about the family through the park’s exhibits. Then enjoy the winter recreational experiences once enjoyed by this famous family at their “Borderland.” A variety of self-guided walk brochures are available in the Visitor Center vestibule. Accessible. For more information or directions, please call (508) 238-6566. There is a $5.00 per vehicle parking fee; $20.00 for out-of-state vehicles. 

Fall River Heritage State Park, 200 Davol St., Fall River 

Open Daily, 8:00am - 3:30pm 

The Visitor Center at Fall River Heritage State Park offers insight into the City’s unique past as a thriving textile center and confluence of cultures. Enjoy one of the park’s four films about Fall River’s past from its role as the leading textile hub in America, to its critical role in the Underground Railroad leading up to the Civil War. Enjoy the majesty of the luxurious Fall River Line ships that sailed here from New York. Re-live the fun days of locals at play at everyone’s favorite local amusement park. Try your hand at crafts. Linger in the galleries for historic photos and an exhibit on African Americans in the Civil War. There is something for everyone and it’s all free! Parking is free at the adjacent DCR Lot at 5 Water Street. Accessible. For more information or directions please call (508) 675-5759, ext. 0.  

Activities During April Vacation Week 

Water + Granite + Gravity= Fall River- 

Fall River was once the third largest city in Massachusetts with thriving factories and bustling piers on its waterfront. Without the water of the Taunton and Quequechan Rivers, the granite cliffs and the power of gravity and the waterfalls that they produced, there would be no Fall River. The Park highlights this legacy with seven distinct granite wayfinders around the Park that commemorate the industry that has been here. This is a 30-minute walk through waterfront history connecting the wayfinders and can be self-guided or led by a park interpreter. Tours start at the Front Desk. 11am-11:30pm

Heritage Quest- 

Get creative! Stop by the Visitor Center, grab one of our unique coloring sheets of moments in Fall River History. Try your hand at origami or even weave a row on our community loom. If you complete an entire row, you too can add your name tag! This is a drop-in program. Stay for the duration or drop in for a few moments. 9am-3pm

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 131 Waquoit Hwy (Rte. 28), E. Falmouth 

School Vacation Week Drop-in Days 

Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:00am - 4:00pm   

Come in from the cold and explore our exhibits along with a host of self-guided, hands-on activities including animal puppets, leaf rubbings, crafts, animal life cycles and more. To interact with our newest visitor center exhibits, bring your smart phone or tablet to try out the interactive QR codes which let our researchers answer your questions about what we do here.  Families with children will be able to explore the headquarters property with a scavenger hunt and will also be able to pick up a “Grab and Go” bag (while supplies last) with a surprise project to do on your own. Can’t make it Tuesday or Wednesday? You’re welcome to come visit the Reserve any day to enjoy the grounds and the view. Accessible. For more information contact Joan Muller, joan.muller@mass.gov. 

Western Massachusetts 

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls 

Wednesdays-Sundays 10am-4pm

April 17 Open 12pm

Explore the natural, cultural and industrial history of the Con- necticut River Watershed in our dynamic exhibits. Next to the Canalside Rail Trail, the center includes the Great Hall exhibit gallery, restrooms, and drinking water. Wheelchair accessible. Open Presidents’ Day Monday, February 21.  

Activities during April Vacation Week 

StoryWalk® Series: One Earth-  

Enjoy a story, fresh air and exercise! Join us on the grounds of the center for a FREE series of self-guided StoryWalks® featuring children’s picture books. Follow the path to book pages posted along the route. Wonderful stories await! One Earth is by Eileen Spinelli, for ages 4-8, and anyone who cares for where we live. 10am-4pm

Earth Week Investigation Station-  

Join us during school vacation week in activities to inspire taking care of where we live. Activities include a “What’s wrong in the Watershed?” scavenger hunt, a spring outdoor bingo game, an outdoor StoryWalk® — One Earth by Eileen Spinelli, and a Habitat Habits memory game. 10am-4pm

Great Hall Art Exhibit: Watershed Moments-  

Joanne Belair’s work focuses on our local watershed near the Center. Paintings include studies of the Connecticut River and tributaries as well as sights along the river walkways. 10am-4pm

Holyoke Heritage State Park, 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke  

Wednesday through Sunday, 12:00pm to 4:00pm. 

Explore Holyoke’s industrial history. Exhibits celebrate the city's rich blend of cultures and people. Special programs are offered year-round. Also located within the park are The Children's Museum, the restored antique Holyoke Merry-Go-Round and the Volleyball Hall of Fame. Visitor information available. Wheelchair accessible. For more information or directions, please call (413) 534-1723.

Mount Greylock State Reservation Visitor Center, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA  

Open daily, 9:00am-4:00pm 

The Visitor Center is the primary information and orientation site for visitors to Mount Greylock State Reservation. Located within a mix of open fields and woods and offers a spectacular panoramic view south across the Berkshire Hills and the Taconic Mountains. Dynamic exhibits and an orientation film explore the history and nature of the highest point in the Commonwealth. A recreational opportunity here includes an easy 1.8 mile loop hike along the Bradley Farm Interpretive Trail. Visitor information available. Wheelchair accessible. Call 413-499-4262 for more information. 

Activities During April Vacation Week 

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring StoryWalk®- Daily 

Western Gateway Heritage State Park 

Thursdays through Mondays, 10:00am-4:00pm. 

115 State Street, Building # 4, North Adams, MA 01247 

Visitors to this former railroad yard in North Adams, MA may discover about the controversial and dangerous construction of the 4.75-mile Hoosac Tunnel, which spanned 1851-1875. Offered is a short documentary film about the tunnel, still in use today.Visitors can see historical artifacts and exhibits to better understand this historic engineering feat and the cultural-industrial story of this smallest in Massachusetts. Visitor information available. Wheelchair accessible. Call 413-663-6312 for more information. 

Ongoing Resources

Self-Guided Opportunities Visit our self-guided opportunities page to find a list of:

  • Self-Guided Hikes
    • Download an interpretive brochure and discover more about the area as you walk along the trail.
  • Recommended Hikes
    • Introductory hikes for families and children and Signature hikes that highlight the best park features
  • Trip-Tips
    • The DCR Trip-Tips provides families with information and fun ideas to explore Massachusetts State Parks and Watersheds. Visit one park, two parks or take a multi-day adventure. Trip-Tips provide family focused itineraries to explore wildlife, woodlands, mountainsides, history and the shore! 
  •  Fun in Nature Series
    • Downloadable activities to enhance your experience at any DCR park!  Activities include seek and find scavenger hunts to awaken all your senses, conversation starter set to encourage talks along the trail, and creating your own story cube to inspire story- telling!
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