However, the Massachusetts First Day Hikes program, an annual free guided hiking event that began in Massachusetts in 1992 and was rolled out nationwide in 2012, will still take place on Jan. 1. That said, the Department of Conservation and Recreation has reduced the program from seven to three hikes this year “for the safety of residents and participants,” DCR wrote in a statement.
Guided hikes will go forward at the following three Massachusetts locations: Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge, Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, and Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord. Previously, DCR said the hikes would average 1 to 3 miles in length depending on the location, but DCR will modify the hikes after assessing trail conditions. As planned, hot chocolate will be served after the hikes.
Hikes have been canceled at the following four locations: Nantasket Beach Reservation in Hull, Carson Beach and Dorchester Heights in South Boston, Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, and Great Falls Discovery Center in Turner Falls. Great Falls Discovery Center will still host a hot chocolate reception at 1 p.m.
Times and meet-up locations are listed on mass.gov, but participants should call 617-626-1450 or check @MassDCR on Twitter to find out if any of the remaining hikes have been canceled in the coming days.
DCR recommends hikers dress in layers and wear boots, hats, and gloves.
Parking fees at the participating parks will be waived during the event.