NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

December 27, 2012

Kick off New Year's with a hike

Free guided outing offered in Topsfield under state initiative

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will hold several hikes through area state parks on Tuesday as part of the national New Year’s “First Day Hikes” program.

The movement got its start in Massachusetts and began more than 20 years ago at Blue Hills Reservation. The local walks will coincide with numerous scheduled hikes across the country as part of a growing “get outdoors” initiative for people of all ages.

For 2013, DCR will sponsor free, guided hikes in 11 state parks across Massachusetts on New Year’s Day.

Among the hikes being organized by the state are:

Bradley Palmer State Park, Topsfield, 10 a.m. Meet at headquarters. Following the hike, Willowdale Estates will host a reception for hikers.

Walden Pond State Reservation, Concord, 1 p.m. Meet at the Thoreau House Replica, come early to see a Living History Program, which will begin at noon and end in time for the hike at 1 p.m.

Breakheart Reservation, Saugus, noon. Meet at the Visitor Center and enjoy free clam chowder, coffee and hot cocoa.

Chestnut Hill Reservation, Brighton, noon. Meet at DCR’s Reilly Skating Rink, 355 Chestnut Hill Ave.

More detailed information about each hike, including distance, incline and suggested footwear, is available at DCR’s website. Look for the First Day Hike logo at www.mass.gov/dcr.

First Day Hikes seek to offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year with a rejuvenating outdoor experience by reconnecting with nature and fitting in a few hours of exercise.

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