Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces First Day Hikes at State Parks

For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces First Day Hikes at State Parks

Olivia Dorrance, Press Secretary

BostonIn honor and celebration of America’s State Parks, Massachusetts will once again join the First Day Hikes Initiative in 2019. The initiative offers residents and visitors the opportunity to attend guided hikes throughout the state parks system on New Year’s Day. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has coordinated several First Day Hikes starting at various times on January 1, 2019 that will provide the public with a great opportunity to incorporate outdoor recreational activities into their New Year’s Day celebrations.

“For years, Massachusetts residents have welcomed in the New Year with a trek outdoors to appreciate the stunning natural resources of our state,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration is thrilled to continue this tradition, and residents are encouraged to attend a guided hike where they will find passionate and dedicated DCR staff working hard to ensure land is protected and conserved for generations to come.”

Started in 1992 at Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, Massachusetts, First Day Hikes were launched to enable year-round outdoor recreation and to inspire the public to discover the Commonwealth’s impressive natural resources. A growing collection of participating states culminated when, in 2012, all 50 state park systems joined together to sponsor America’s State Parks First Day Hikes Initiative, which has since become the signature nationwide program for the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD).

“January 1st will mark the 28th year that the Department of Conservation and Recreation has offered First Day Hikes making sure the public has new and fun outdoor recreational options to take part in this holiday,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “First Day Hikes provide a great start to the New Year, and are an excellent way for residents of all ages to enjoy the wonderful opportunities that await them in the Commonwealth’s state parks.”

Across Massachusetts, visitors to the state parks system will find opportunities to experience unique and cultural treasures that are close to home. From hiking along mountain tops, to traversing through forests, visitors will find themselves surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Commonwealth’s natural landscapes. In Massachusetts, park staff will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on location. Details about the hikes, difficulty, length, terrain, and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on DCR’s website. Hikers are also encouraged to tweet, post, and tag photos on social media using @MassDCR and #FirstDayHikes.

In Massachusetts, hikes will be offered at the following twelve locations and times:


Old North Church Historic Site, 12:00pm

Meet at the Old North Church Courtyard, Unity Street, Boston

Hot chocolate will be available after the hike.


Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, 1:00pm

287 Oak Street, Uxbridge

Meet at the Visitor Center. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. Warm up after the hike at the River Bend Farm Visitor Center with hot cocoa and conversation.

Willard Brook State Forest, 10:00am

599 Main Street, Townsend

Meet at the Forest Headquarters.

Wachusett Reservoir, 11:00am

Chace Hill Road, Sterling

Meet at Gate 35 at the intersection of Route 110 and Chace Hill Rd, Sterling


Walden Pond State Reservation, 12:00pm

915 Walden Street/Route 126, Concord

Meet at the New Visitor Center.

Hot chocolate and light snacks will be available after the hike.

Breakheart Reservation, 10:00am

177 Forest Street, Saugus

Meet at the Christopher P. Dunne Visitor Center.

Clam Chowder will be served following the hike.

Harold Parker State Forest, 10:00am

Meet at the Headquarters at 305 Middleton Rd. North Andover

Warm up with a fire, hot chocolate and refreshments.


Blue Hills Reservation, 1:00pm

840 Hillside Street, Milton

Meet Blue Hills Wildlife from noon - 1pm with Mass Audubon staff.

Hikes begin at 1pm.

Please arrive early and allow time for parking.

Meet at the Houghton’s Pond parking lot at 840 Hillside St.

Nantasket Beach Reservation, 11:00am

Route 3A, Hull,

Meet at the MJM Bathhouse at 204 Nantasket Ave.

Hot Beverage will be served following the hike.

Nickerson State Park, 11:00am

3488 Main Street, Brewster

Meet at the Main Lot by the entrance

Enjoy Hot Chocolate after the hike


Great Falls Discovery Center, 1:00pm

2 Avenue A, Turners Falls

Meet in the Great Hall.

Hot chocolate will be served following the hike.

Granville State Forest, 10:30am

323 West Hartland Road, Granville

Meet at the Park Headquarters

Warm up afterwards with a fires and warm beverage.


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces First Day Hikes at State Parks

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.