Begin the new year outdoors with one of these 12 First Day Hikes

At many of the sites, you can warm up with hot chocolate when you're done.

A winter hike at Walden Pond State Reservation.
A winter hike at Walden Pond State Reservation. –Department of Conservation and Recreation

If exploring nature is how you want to spend the first day of 2019, the Department of Conservation & Recreation has organized 12 free hikes across the state for Jan. 1. The Massachusetts First Day Hikes program is an annual free guided hiking event that began in Massachusetts in 1992 and was rolled out nationwide in 2012.

Here’s when and where the First Day Hikes will take place.

In Boston

Old North Church Historic Site: Guests will learn about Paul Revere’s famous ride during a hike from the Old North Church Courtyard in the North End to the Bunker Hill Monument Museum in Charlestown. Once in Charlestown, hot chocolate will be served. (193 Salem St., noon)

In Central Mass.


Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park: Hot cocoa also will be available after this hike at the River Bend Farm Visitor Center. (287 Oak St., Uxbridge; registration at 12:30 p.m., hike at 1 p.m.)

Wachusett Reservoir (Gate 35 at the intersection of Route 110 and Chace Hill Road, Sterling; 10 a.m.)

Willard Brook State Forest (599 Main St., West Townsend; meet at Damon pond picnic area near the junction of Route 119 and 31; 10 a.m.)

In Northern Mass.

Breakheart Reservation: Clam chowder will be served after the hike. (177 Forest St., Saugus; 10 a.m.)

Harold Parker State Forest: Guests will be able to warm up after the hike with a fire and hot chocolate. (305 Middleton Road, North Andover; 10 a.m.)

Walden Pond State Reservation: Hot chocolate and light snacks will be available after the hike. (915 Walden St./Route 126, Concord; noon)

Stretching more than 7,000 acres through Quincy, Dedham, Milton, and Randolph, the Blue Hills Reservation has running trails that go through the woods and along ponds, with views of the city. —Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

In Southern Mass.

Blue Hills Reservation: Guests can check out live wildlife with Mass Audubon staff from noon to 1 p.m. Hot chocolate and snacks will be for sale beginning at noon. (840 Hillside St., Milton; meet at Houghton’s Pond parking lot; 1 p.m.)

Nantasket Beach Reservation: Hot beverages will be served after the hike. (Route 3A, Hull; meet at the MJM bathhouse at 204 Nantasket Ave.; 11 a.m.)

Nickerson State Park: Guests will be able to enjoy hot chocolate after the hike. (3488 Main St., Brewster; meet at the main lot by the entrance at 11 a.m.)

In Western Mass.


Granville State Forest: Guests will warm up at a fire with a warm beverage after the hike. (323 West Harland Road, Granville; meet at the park headquarters at 10:30 a.m.)

Great Falls Discovery Center: Hot chocolate will be served after the hike. (2 Avenue A, Turners Falls; meet in the Great Hall at 1 p.m.)