Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

Here’s a great way to start off the new year. Start 2024off of the right foot…and then the left. Go on a hike! The Massachusetts First Day Hikes program first started in 1992 and went nationwide in 2012. The hugely popular event is free and offers guided hiking throughout the state. Check out 8 great first day hikes in Massachusetts, here.

In this sparkly new year to come, the Healey-Driscoll administrating is encouraging families to “take a hike.” It’s a fun, healthy way to begin a fresh new year, and spend quality time with your family and friends. The Department of Conservation and Recreation in Massachusetts (DCR) is hosting 13 state park hikes. It’s all part of the First Day Hikes Initiative.

How It Started

The very first program of Massachusetts first day hikes started back in 1992. The first location was at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, and they are still doing the hike. Good ideas often spread quickly, and the first day hike program is now hosted in 50 states!

Governor Maury Healy recently shared, “First Day Hikes brings people of all ages, backgrounds, and demographics together with a common goal of starting their year off at our state parks. We are proud to continue this cherished tradition that encourages communities to come together, take in fresh air, and experience the beauty of our state.” This is one of the administration’s many New Year’s resolutions to get more Mass residents in the great outdoors and into our cherished natural resources.

It’s a chance to connect with nature and other hikers in our communities. Grab those hiking boots, some family members and friends and hit the trails on New Year’s Day. A complete list of hosting parks can be found HERE. Getting healthy is always a popular New Year’s resolution. What better way to start than with a community hike? No equipment needed. Just some good sneakers or boots, water and a positive attitude.

  • 1. Uxbridge

    287 Oak Street, Uxbridge

              • Time: 10:30am
              • Place: Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, Uxbridge
              • Meet at the Visitor Center. Registration begins at 9:00 am. (Center opens at 8:30am)
              • Warm up after at the River Bend Farm Visitor Center with conversation by the fire.
              • The hike is two miles (2), about 60 minutes long. Be prepared for cold weather: dress in layers and wear winter boots. Tow path is ADA accessible.
              • Dogs are welcome on-leash.


  • 2. Milton

    840 Hillside St, Milton

    • Place: Blue Hills Reservation
    • Time: 12:00pm
    • Gather at Houghton’s Pond Recreation Area at 11:00am.
    • Two guided hikes and one self-guided hike at 12:00pm.
    • Hot chocolate will be served after the hike
    • Co-Sponsored by Friends of the Blue Hills
    • Space is limited
    • No parking outside of DCR property




  • 3. West Boylston

    167 Temple St (Rt 140), West Boylston, MA

    • Place: Wachusett Reservoir
    • Time: 11:00am
    • Meet at Gate 22 on Rt 140 starting at 10:00am.
    • 2 mile hike


  • 4. Saugus

    177 Forest Street, Saugus, MA

    • Place: Breakheart Reservation
    • Time: 10:00am
    • 2-3 mile hike
    • Meet at the Christopher P. Dunne Visitor Center.
    • Hot chocolate and clam chowder will be served by the fire in the visitor center after the hike
    • Co-sponsored by the Friends of Breakheart
  • 5. Rockport

    4 Gott Avenue, Rockport, MA

    • Place: Halibut Point State Park
    • Time: 10:00am
    • Meet at parking lot starting at 9:00am
    • 3 mile hike
    • Co-Sponsored by the Friends of Halibut Point State Park
  • 6. Stoneham

    4 Woodland Rd, Stoneham, MA

    • Place: Middlesex Fells Reservation
    • Time: 10:00am
    • Middlesex Fells Reservation
    • 1.5 or 3 mile hikes and bike ride
    • Meet at the Botume House for hikes and the Marjam Lot for the bike ride.
    • Hot chocolate will be served in the Botume House after the hike
    • Co-sponsored by Friends of the Middlesex Fells and NEMBA


  • 7. Concord

    915 Walden St, Concord, MA

    • Place: Walden Pond State Reservation
    • Time: 12:00pm
    • Meet at the Thoreau House Replica
    • 1 mile long hike
    • Hot chocolate will be served at the Thoreau House Replica after the hike.



  • 8. Turner Falls

    2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA

    • Place: Great Falls Discovery Center
    • Time: 1:00pm
    • Meet at the Great Hall
    • 3 mile hike
    • Hot chocolate in visitor center after hike
    • Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center

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