DCR First Day Hikes

DCR invites you to step into the New Year with a First Day Hike!

Massachusetts is known for starting revolutions, so on January 1, 1992 when 380 people gathered for the premier First Day Hike at the Blue Hills Reservation it is no surprise that this Massachusetts outdoor initiative swept the nation.  DCR celebrates over 30 years of this tradition in Massachusetts.  Today, all 50 states are offering First Day Hikes in state parks across the country!

In 2024, we hope that you make state parks an important part of your exercise routine and your life.  Happy New Year!

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Know before you go

first day hikes

Whether you are a first-time visitor to a state park or a seasoned regular, DCR recommends visitors plan their hike before they leave home with these COVID-19 and winter hiking guidelines in mind:

  • Print or download a trail map at home.  Paper maps are no longer available at state parks due to COVID-19.  GPS signals may not available on smartphones in thickly-settled trails. 
  • Check the weather and dress for it.  Wear layers and sturdy footwear.  
  • Know the trail conditions.  Keep it short and safe.  Stay clear of icy trails—or be prepared with traction devices and hiking poles.   
  • Notify someone of your plans.
  • Be flexible—if the park is busy or weather becomes harsh, please come back later in the week.
  • Remember the sun sets early. Please be off the trails before sunset. Plan to be back at your car by 4:30 p.m. as it will be dark by then.
  • Know which parks are pet friendly:
    • Dogs are not permitted in DCR Water Supply Protection areas and several state parks.
    • Always keep your dog leashed.  Always pick up after your dog and dispose of waste properly.  For complete guidelines visit: https://www.mass.gov/guides/dogs-in-dcr-parks.
  • Remember visitor centers and rest rooms may be closed, so plan your hike accordingly.

Upon Arriving at the Park

children hikers
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well.
  • Share the trails: Announce your presence as you approach, step aside to allow space for others to safely pass on the trail.
  • Carry out all trash and belongings you carry in—including pet waste.



Breakheart Reservation - 10:00 am 177 Forest Street, Saugus, MA

Halibut Point State Park - 10:00am 4 Gott Avenue, Rockport, MA

Middlesex Fells Reservation - 10:00am 4 Woodland Rd, Stoneham, MA

Walden Pond State Reservation - 12:00pm 915 Walden St, Concord, MA


Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve - 10:00am 131 Waquoit Hwy, East Falmouth, MA

Blue Hills Reservation - 12:00pm 840 Hillside St, Milton


Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park - 10:00 am 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge, MA

Dunn State Park - 10:00am 289 Pearl Street, Gardner, MA

Willard Brook State Forest - 10:00am 599 Main Street, Townsend MA

Wachusett Reservoir - 11:00am 167 Temple St (Rt 140), West Boylston, MA


Great Falls Discovery Center - 1:00 pm 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA

Chester Blandford State Forest - 10:00 am 631 U.S. Route 20, Chester, MA

Mount Greylock State Reservation - 10:00am 30 Rockwell Rd, Lanesborough, MA

Additional Resources

Contact   for DCR First Day Hikes

Date published: November 30, 2021
Last updated: January 9, 2023

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