DCR Tip-Trip Itinerary Descriptions
Location: Quabbin Reservoir, Gate 39, Route 110 & South Meadow Road, Clinton
Quabbin Reservoir is a vital water supply source for approximately 3 million people in Massachusetts. Participants will discover three unique areas in the Quabbin Reservation that spotlight what life was like before four towns were removed to build the reservoir: Quabbin Park, Quabbin Park Cemetery and Enfield Lookout Trail, and Dana Common (Gate 40). Please note, dogs are not allowed anywhere in Quabbin Park or Quabbin Reservation. Suitable for all ages. No parking fees apply.
Location: Wachusett Reservoir, 180 Beaman St., West Boylston
Explore the 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. Visit these three locations: North Dike Wachusett Reservoir in Clinton for Earth, Wind and Water; Gate 22 Wachusett Reservoir in West Boylston for Forest Hike, and Mass Central Rail Trail in Sterling for Watershed View. No parking fees apply.
Locations: Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
Upton State Forest, 205 Westboro Road, Upton
Moore State Park, 1 Sawmill Road, Paxton
Massachusetts’ state parks are known for their scenic and natural beauty, but visitors can also see evidence of the human history of the area. Families will experience a walk along the Tow Path at Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. Along the way you will see a dam and control gate, the remains of a bridge, and the Stanley Woolen Mill which used water power from the canal to operate machinery during the industrial revolution.
At Upton State Forest, explore see the remains of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp from the 1930s. Take a walk on the Healthy Heart Loop to Moore State Park in Paxton. Enjoy the Water Power Walk to explore the remains of the mill village built on this site. Discover how they used the creek to power the mills that were the heart of the village. Suitable for all ages. No parking fees apply.
Locations: Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Avenue, North Easton
Bristol Blake State Reservation, 108 North Street, Norfolk
F. Gilbert Hills State Forest, 45 Mill Street, Foxborough
Discover parks with diverse woodlands and view the wildlife living in the forest! This self-guided Trip-Tip features three DCR parks that are located close to one another in Norfolk County: Borderland State Park, Bristol Blake State Reservation, and F. Gilbert Hills State Forest. Participants will enjoy Botanical Sketching at Borderland State Park, Birding at Bristol Blake State Reservation and Tree Identification Challenge at F. Gilbert Hills State Forest. Suitable for all ages. Parking fees apply at Borderland State Park only.
Location: Blue Hills Reservation, 695 Hillside Street, Milton
Investigate the Spring Exploration of the Blue Hills Reservation! This self-guided Trip-Tip features three park areas located within the 7,000-acre Blue Hills Reservation. Activities include a walk along the edge of Marigold Marsh to look for signs of animal activity at Houghton’s Pond Recreation Area, Brookwood Farm, and the Great Blue Hill Adventure. The Blue Hills Reservation encompasses approximately 10 square miles and stretches from Dedham to Quincy, and Milton to Randolph, providing a surprisingly large open space only 35 miles from Boston. Suitable for all ages. No parking fees apply.
Location: Bradley Farm at Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Rd., Lanesborough
Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, along MA Route 8 in Cheshire and Adams
Glen Meadow Loop, Greylock Glen, Gould Rd., Adams
Springtime is in the air! Warm breezes and the sweet scents of spring awaken our senses, enticing us to get out and explore nature’s long awaited re-vival! Spring is a great time to explore the outdoors at these Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) state park properties in the northern Berkshires. This Sensing Spring Trip Tip leads you to: Bradley Farm Interpretive Trail at Mount Greylock State Reservation in Lanesborough; Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Cheshire, and Adams; and Glen Meadow Loop at Greylock Glen in Adams.
Locations: Norwottock Rail Trail, 292 Station Rd., Amherst
Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation, 300 Sugarloaf St., South Deerfield
Canalside Rail Trail in Turners Falls
Each spring, thousands of migrating birds fly north through the Connecticut River Valley to nest. They join year-round resident birds looking for the best places to raise families. As you bike and hike and “migrate from park to park” like a bird, meet the early birds of spring and immerse yourself in the season. In this Spring Migration Trip Tip, these three signature parks in the Connecticut River Greenway State Park are all within 50 minutes of each other. With this guide, and a little preparation, each adventure offers a fresh look at how to fly full speed into spring. Habitat is Home at Norwottock Rail Trail in Amherst, Soar to the Top at Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation in South Deerfield, Going with the Flow at Canalside Rail Trail in Turners Falls
Location: Bradley Palmer State Park, 40 Asbury Street, Topsfield
Harold Parker State Forest, 305 Middleton Road, North Andover
Explore the spring woods and find the homes of nature’s engineers! The beaver is a rarely seen, secretive animal, but their signs are easily noticed if you know where and how to look. This self-guided Trip-Tip takes you on a beaver lodge discovery tour in two parks to find lodges in four different locations. Sharpen your skills of observation as you look for signs that are hidden in plain sight—things that a lot of people just don’t see. Your journey will take you to Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield and Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover, two forested parks that are about 30 minutes apart. Suitable for all ages. No parking fees apply.
Location: Revere Beach Reservation, Revere Beach Boulevard, Revere
Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, 1399 Bennington Street, East Boston
Explore history and nature on the shore this spring! This self-guided Trip-Tip features two DCR parks that are located along a scenic ocean drive: Revere Beach Reservation and Belle Isle Marsh Reservation. Activities include viewing some late winter species at the coastal water’s edge, searching for and photographing noteworthy buildings and structures that grace the shoreline, and exploring a saltmarsh filled with a variety of spring birds including the American Black Duck, Brant and, Great Blue Heron at Belle Isle Marsh Reservation. Don’t forget to bring along your binoculars, spotting scope, camera, and sketch pad! Suitable for all ages. No parking fees apply.
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Visitors are also encouraged to tweet, post, and tag photos on social media using @MassDCR and #DCRTripTip.
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Fun in Nature Activity Series
Check out these fun downloadable activity sheets to enhance your park visit!
Coastal Scavenger Hunt
Nature is all around us! Bring along a scavenger hunt and seek and find all of nature’s hidden treasures whether you are near the water or in a DCR Park or in your neighborhood!
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)!
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!
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!