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First Day Hikes, a national tradition that originated in Massachusetts 27 years ago, are taking place on Monday, January 1, 2018 in five locations across the Commonwealth.
Organized each year by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the family-friendly guided hikes are being held at these state and national park and facilities:
- Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park
- Blue Hills Reservation in Milton
- Breakheart Reservation in Saugus and Wakefield
- Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls
- Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord
Governor Charlie Baker said the hikes “provide nature enthusiasts with an excellent opportunity to enjoy the outdoors,” while Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito called the hikes a “great opportunity to celebrate the Commonwealth’s conservation efforts and enjoy our beautiful natural resources.”
First Day Hikes originated in 1992 at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, which continues to draw over one thousand participants for its annual event. In 2012, America’s State Parks adopted the idea and First Day Hikes are now offered in all 50 states. This year, First Day Hikes becomes an international movement with the addition of hikes in Ontario parks in Canada.
Hiking the Blue Hills, photo credit: Appalachian Mountain Club
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton called the First Day hikes “a great opportunity for us all to get outside, get some exercise, and renew our love for the natural world with friends and family members.”
DCR Commissioner Leo Roy said his agency “has been at the forefront of conservationism that has led to the protection of the Commonwealth’s natural resources.”
Social media users are encouraged to share their experiences by tagging @MassDCR or using #FirstDayHikes and #visitMA.