Free Guided Hikes Available to Kick off 2024

FALMOUTH – As the new year approaches, the state is encouraging people to kick off their new year with a free guided First Day Hike at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in East Falmouth.

On January 1, 2024, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will once again help host the agency’s 33rd annual signature hike initiative in multiple parks across the state including Falmouth.

The First Day Hikes initiative launched in 1992, when 400 hikers gathered to welcome the new year at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton.

The program aims to encourage year-round outdoor recreation and to inspire the public to discover the beauty of the Massachusetts State Parks system, state officials.

“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,” said Governor Maura Healey.

“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,” Healey said.

With residents of all ages gathering each New Year’s Day to ring in the new year outdoors, the program has become a tradition in many communities.

This year, the agency says they expect thousands of visitors to take part in the hikes at agency parks in Saugus, Stoneham, Gardner, and East Falmouth among others.

The hike at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will begin at 10 a.m. on January 1, starting at the visitors center and ending there as well where hot chocolate will be served.

For details about the hikes, difficulty, length, terrain, and tips regarding proper apparel, visit the DCR’s website.

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