DCR Trip Tip Self-Guided Family Adventures

Spring is a wonderful time to experience your state park system!
dcr trip tip

DCR is offering a variety of family-friendly self -guided opportunities to help you make the most of your vacation and throughout the spring.

Check out Trip-Tip self-guided family adventures featuring over 20 DCR locations! The DCR Trip-Tip provides families with information and fun ideas to explore the great outdoors at DCR Massachusetts State Parks and Watersheds. Grab your sense of adventure and explore one park, two parks or create a multi-day adventure.

Also, see below for Fun in Nature downloadable activities to enhance your experience at any DCR park!  Fun and engaging activities include seek and find scavenger hunts to awaken all of your senses, a conversation starter set to encourage talks along the trail and creating your own story cube to inspire story- telling!

Table of Contents

DCR Tip-Trip Itinerary Descriptions

Central Massachusetts

Be a History Detective at Quabbin Reservoir!

Follow clues hidden in the landscape that reveal what life was like in the four towns that were removed to build the water supply source for 3 million people in Massachusetts! Explore three unique areas in the Quabbin Reservation: Quabbin Park, Quabbin Park Cemetery, and Dana Common (Gate 40)!   

Explore the Central Valley

See history come to life as you walk the trails at these three parks. Explore Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, Upton State Forest, and Moore State Park, in Central Massachusetts. Discover evidence of early mill villages, America’s industrial revolution and find out who built our nation’s early forests and recreation areas.

Explore Wachusett Watershed

This DCR Trip-Tip self guided adventure features easy walks located within 15 minutes driving time of one another in the Wachusett Watershed area for great views of water features.

Southeastern Massachusetts

Winter Woodland Wanders

Discover diverse woodlands and their wildlife! Enjoy a Pond Walk Tree Hunt at Borderland State Park, a Pond Loop Walk, Wildlife Spotting at Bristol Blake State Reservation and History and Hike to High Rock at F. Gilbert Hills State Forest.

 Explore the Shore

See the shore this winter! This self-guided “Trip-Tip” features three DCR parks that are located close to one another in the Plymouth area: Scusset Beach State Reservation, Ellisville Harbor State Park, and Pilgrim Memorial State Park. Activities include a Ship Watching Picnic at the canal at Sagamore Hill, a Beach Scavenger Hunt & Seal Watching and a Monuments and Memorial Tour at Pilgrim Memorial State Park.

 Winter Woods and Water Exploration

Investigate the Winter Woods and Waters of Blue Hills Reservation this winter! Activities include a walk along the edge of Marigold Marsh to look for signs of animal activity at Houghton’s Pond Recreation Area, a peaceful parade around Ponkapoag Pond and a St. Moritz Winter Wonderland Walk.    

 Coastal Waterways in Winter

Visit the coastal waterways of Cape Cod this season. This adventure features a Winter Estate Tour at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Falmouth Quashnet River Trail Adventure at Quashnet River in Falmouth Beach Exploration at South Cape Beach State Park in Mashpee. Three destinations just 15 minutes apart!

Western Massachusetts

Winter Wanders

Wander through winter with this series of park adventures in the Connecticut River Valley. From mountain vistas to valley snow and rushing rivers, your travels include Wendell State Forest, The Canalside Rail Trail featuring the Great Falls Discovery Center, and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) State Reservation. 

Sensing Spring

Exploring in and around Mount Greylock State Reservation

Northeastern, Massachusetts

Beaver Lodge Hunt and Find

Explore the woods and find the homes of nature’s engineers!   Journey to Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield and Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover, two forested parks that are about ½ hour apart.  

Explore the Winter Shore

Investigate history and nature on the shore this winter! Enjoy a scenic ocean drive to Halibut Point State Park, Revere Beach Reservationand Belle Isle Marsh Reservation Bring your binoculars, spotting scope, camera and sketch pad!

Share Your Adventure

Visitors are also encouraged to tweet, post, and tag photos on social media using @MassDCR and #DCRTripTip

Tell us about your experience!

Fun in Nature Activity Series

fun in natyre

Scavenger Hunt

Nature is all around us! Bring along this scavenger hunt and seek and find all of nature’s hidden treasures!

Senses Scavenger Hunt

Being out in nature awakens all our senses! Bring along the Senses Scavenger Hunt to add a fun twist to your park visit or neighborhood walk!  You’ll be on the look out for a variety of objects that you can see, touch, smell, listen and taste (with your eyes)!

Coastal Scavenger Hunt

What can you see at the seashore? Bring your observation skills and sense of adventure. Make discoveries.

Explore the Outdoors Scavenger Hunt

Bring your observation skills and sense of adventure. What can you find?

Conversation Cards

Get your family thinking about a range of fun park and nature topics with these engaging and entertaining conversation questions. Cut out each card and pack them for your park trip. Share them on your travels or along the trail. Encourage creativity, curiosity, and conversation!

Story Cubes

Color each image and cut out the squares. Make a cube and take turns rolling them to inspire your story. Fun for kids of all ages! 

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