Where to Take First Day Hikes in Massachusetts

They include the Blue Hills, Carson Beach, Walden Pond, and more.

If you typically spend New Year’s Day curled up in bed, nursing a hangover, it’s time to rethink. This year, why not get the blood pumping with a First Day Hike?

First Day Hikes date back to 1992, when the annual New Year’s Day celebration began right here in Massachusetts, at the Blue Hills Reservation. Today, state parks all over the country take part in the healthy tradition, offering free guided hikes on the first day of the new year.

Massachusetts, as always, is well represented on this year’s lineup. Here’s where you can hike on January 1:


Explore Carson Beach and Dorchester Heights, a hill that served as military stronghold during the Revolutionary War. Enjoy hot chocolate and snacks after the hike.

12 p.m. Edward McCormack Bathhouse, 165 William J. Day Blvd., Boston.


See Walden Pond Reservation, where Henry David Thoreau lived and got the inspiration for his legendary book Walden. Hot chocolate and snacks will be available after the hike.

12 p.m. New Visitor Center, 915 Walden St., Concord.


Ever been to Nantasket Beach during the off-season? Now’s your chance to explore one of the state’s most enduring summer destinations. Warm up afterward with hot beverages and snacks.

10 a.m. MJM Bathhouse, 204 Nantasket Ave., Hull.


Head back to the Blue Hills Reservation, where the First Day Hikes tradition began. Before exploring some of the 7,000-acre park, browse the Trailside Museum to learn more about your surroundings.

Museum opens at 12 p.m., hike starts at 1 p.m. Houghton’s Pond parking lot, 840 Hillside St., Milton.


Enjoy a guided walk around the Salem Common and the Derby Wharf Lighthouse, a nearly 150-year-old lighthouse in Salem Harbor. End with cookies and hot chocolate at Waite & Peirce.

10 a.m. Salem Common Playground, N Washington Square, Salem, salem.org.


The Breakheart Reservation includes a 640-acre hardwood forest, seven rocky hills, two lakes, and a section of the Saugus River—plenty of territory ripe for exploring. Feast on Kelly’s clam chowder after the hike.

11 a.m. Christopher P. Dunne Visitor Center, 177 Forest St., Saugus.

Turners Falls

Bring the whole family to the Great Falls Discovery Center to explore and learn about the area around the Connecticut River. Hot chocolate will be served after the excursion.

1 p.m. Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls.


Travel back in time at the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, where you can explore plenty of land and learn about canals’ role in Massachusetts’ history. Have cocoa after the hike.

1 p.m. River Bend Farm Visitor Center, 287 Oak St., Uxbridge.

For more information, visit mass.gov or stateparks.org.