Here are 4 Great Self-Guided Winter Hike Spots in Central MA

 by TWIW StaffFebruary 15, 2021

WORCESTER COUNTY - The Department of Conservation and Recreation [DCR] is offering family-friendly Trip-Tips, self-guided adventures and suggested hikes for approximately 20 state park facilities during the traditional February school vacation week, including four in Central Massachusetts.

The Trip-Tips include activities like winter birding, wildlife observation. history tours, and scavenger hunts. For a full list of Trip-Tips, visit DCR’s website.

“This winter, DCR is thrilled to offer school vacation Trip-Tips encouraging children and their families to enjoy the fresh air and experience self-guided opportunities in their local state park,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to increase both access within our state parks system and opportunities for the public to enjoy the many recreational resources available to them.”

For winter hiking safety tips, visit the DCR YouTube page.

Here's the DCR's take on four Central Mass locations for self-guided adventures and hiking:

Step Back in Time at Quabbin Reservoir

Location: Quabbin Reservoir, 100 Winsor Dam Road, Belchertown

From DCR: Quabbin Reservoir is a vital water supply source for approximately 3 million people in Massachusetts. Participants will discover three unique areas in the Quabbin Reservation that spotlight what life was like before four towns were removed to build the reservoir: Quabbin Park, Quabbin Park Cemetery, and Dana Common (Gate 40). Please note, dogs are not allowed anywhere in Quabbin Park or Quabbin Reservation. Suitable for all ages. No parking fees apply.


Explore the Central Valley


  • Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge
  • Upton State Forest, 205 Westboro Road, Upton
  • Moore State Park, 1 Sawmill Road, Paxton

From DCR: Massachusetts’ state parks are known for their scenic and natural beauty, but visitors can also see evidence of the human history of the area. Families will experience a walk along the Tow Path at Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. Along the way you will see a dam and control gate, the remains of a bridge, and the Stanley Woolen Mill which used the water power from the canal to operate its machinery during the industrial revolution. At Upton State Forest, explore see the remains of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp from the 1930s and take a walk on the Healthy Heart Loop to Moore State Park in Paxton and take the Water Power Walk and explore the remains of the mill village that was  built on this site and see how they used the creek to power the mills that were the heart of the village. Snow on the ground? The hikes in this Trip Tip can be done just as easily via snowshoe. Suitable for all ages. No parking fees apply.


For the full list of self-guided adventures and winter hiking ideas across the state, click here.

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