Start 2014 with a First Day Hike!
December 25, 2013

The start of the New Year offers the chance to make new resolutions and set new goals. For many, this means stepping up exercise routines or maybe spending more quality time outside with the family. The 3rd Annual National First Day Hikes event is the perfect chance to set these goals in motion.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation is participating by sponsoring free, guided hikes at several state parks across Massachusetts on New Year’s Day. You can find detailed information about these hikes and others on the DCR website. Some parks, like Walden Pond, are going all out with historical interpreters and readings; others are providing soup or clam chowder, hot chocolate; and more. It’s a lovely way to kick off 2014.

Have a happy and healthy New Year!

New Years Day 1847 at Walden Pond
From noon–2 p.m.

Meet Henry David Thoreau, portrayed by historian Richard Smith, as he entertains visitors at the Thoreau house replica near the main parking lot. Staff will lead a guided hike to the original Thoreau house site (1 mile, round-trip). Meet at the Thoreau house replica near the main parking lot, and be sure to dress for winter weather. After the hike, join park staff for hot chocolate at park headquarters. No pets are allowed at Walden Pond.

23rd Annual Blue Hills Reservation First Day Hike
Soup at noon; hikes at 1 p.m.

Warm up with a cup of hot and hearty soup and then join a one- or two-hour trek. Choose a scenic hike to suit your interest and ability. A stroll around Houghton’s Pond will be offered for families. Participants are asked to bring a canned good to donate to Father Bill’s Homeless Shelter. Meet at the Houghton’s Pond main parking lot and arrive early to allow for parking. Space is limited. Be prepared for cold weather and wear winter boots.

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation
Sign in at the Visitor Center at 11 a.m.

Join staff for a guided 1 mile hike through the forest to Little Purgatory. Look for evidence of winter wildlife and stand on granite boulders left behind by the glaciers of the last Ice Age. Afterwards, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and cookies in the Visitor Center. Be prepared for cold weather: dress in layers and wear winter boots. Dogs are welcome on leash.

Breakheart First Day Hike
Noon

Staff will lead a guided winter hike through Breakheart. Look, smell and listen for evidence of winter wildlife. Afterwards, hikers can enjoy a warming campfire, hot chocolate and clam chowder. Be prepared for cold weather: dress in layers and wear winter boots. All ages are welcome. Dogs are welcome on leash. Meet at the Christopher P. Dunne Visitors Center. Allow time for parking.

First Day Hike at Nantasket Avenue
From 1–2:30 p.m.

Join the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Town of Hull Board of Health for a 3-mile walk down the Nantasket Avenue boardwalk to Kenberma Street. Begin and end the walk in the Mary Jeanette Murray Bathhouse with hot beverages and light snacks.

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