Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Opportunities to Visit One of Our State Parks

I want to share some information with you about opportunities to enjoy July at one of our DCR parks. You have lots of options starting with the Boston Pops.

Check out the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular held at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, visit for the details.

Starting at 11am on July 4th, celebrate at the 14th Annual Old-Fashioned 4th of July at Lawrence Heritage State Park. Festivities include music, refreshments, flag-raising, brief oration, parade around the park, public reading of the Declaration of Independence, luncheon and raffles.

We have so many fantastic programs and recreational opportunities happening around the state- below are some highlights! Check out the list of swimming opportunities and the DCR event and program calendar for a complete list!

For programs on the Boston Harbor Islands visit

Don’t forget to book your DCR camping reservation at DCR offers fantastic camping opportunities including DCR’s new Wellfleet Hollow State Campground and Massasoit State Park which has recently reopened!

Also, check out Movies in the Parks schedule and enjoy a free family flick this summer!

Boston Region
Beaver Brook Reservation
66 Mill Street, Belmont
“Celebrating Our Roots” Self -Guided Tree Walk
Established in 1893, Beaver Brook Reservation was the first state park in Massachusetts, created to protect the stately Waverly Oaks once found on this property. The self -guided walk introduces the trees that have taken their place and highlight the beauty and importance of the trees here and in our communities. Parking is available. A self-guided brochure is available on the DCR website here.

Roxbury Heritage State Park
183 Roxbury Street, Roxbury
Open House, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm Visit the beautiful restoration of this historic property and enjoy brand new exhibits and the community gallery space. The Dillaway Thomas House was built circa 1750 and served as the parsonage for the pastor of the First Church in Roxbury. During the American Revolution, it was the headquarters for Continental Army General John Thomas during the Siege of 1775. Located on the hill overlooking Dudley Square, the Dillaway Thomas House has unparalleled views of downtown Boston and Boston Harbor. Free program.

Castle Island
Day Boulevard, South Boston (end of the road)
Fort Independence Schedule of Activities
Thursday, July 4 1pm-4pm (Open to the Public)
Saturday July 6 and Sunday July 7- 12pm-3:00pm (Tours)
Join the Castle Island Association for a free Tour of Fort Independence in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and learn about it’s amazing history. Fort Independence is the oldest continually fortified granite site on British North America, having played a variety of roles in colonial and revolutionary times. The existing granite fort was constructed between 1833 and 1851. While there enjoy amazing views of Boston Harbor and Logan Airport. Visitors can enjoy a picnic lunch and walk along the beautiful scenic walkways. Free tours of the Fort run every Saturday & Sunday from 12:00 noon to 3:30pm. Tours last approximately 30 minutes, but can be longer depending on your guide. Strollers cannot be accommodated on the tour.

North Region
Walden Pond State Reservation
915 Walden Street, Concord
Thursday, July 4th, 1pm-2pm
19th Century Lawn Games on the Beach
Battledore, Graces, Hoops and Marbles ... learn these and other favorite games of a bygone era from a Park Interpreter on the patio above the main beach. Children must be accompanied by a supervising adult. Sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended. Shoes are required.

Middlesex Fells Reservation
Tours in Time: The Wyoming Estates
Sat. July 6, 4:00-5:00p.m.
Meet: Botume House Visitor Center, 4 Woodland Rd., Stoneham
Discover traces of the resort community built around Spot Pond in the 1800’s, in the neighborhood historically known as Wyoming. This one-hour, half mile stroll is best suited to adults and older children with a keen interest in history. Rain cancels this program.

Bradley Palmer State Park
40 Asbury Street. Topsfield
From Country Estate to State Park: Bradley Palmer’s Gift
July 7, 10:30 am- 12pm
Learn how wealthy attorney Bradley Webster Palmer donated his 721 acre estate, now Bradley Palmer State Park, to the Commonwealth. Experience his extravagant early 1900s world as you take an outdoor tour of the ghost of a formal garden, the stable, the mansion, and other surviving buildings. Meet at the Bulletin Board at the Main parking lot at 40 Asbury Street, Topsfield.

Junior Rangers in the Fells!
Aspiring young naturalists aged 8-12 are invited to become Junior Rangers! Registration required for each session; earn a badge for completing 3 of 4 sessions and the accompanying workbook activities. Registration required; email Registration limited to 12 participants. Please note that this is not a drop-off program, and adults must accompany all Junior Ranger candidates. Sessions include: Tools of the Trade: Orienteering.
Monday, July 8 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Meet: Botume House
Journey Through History: Wright’s Tower Exploration
Tuesday, July 9 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Meet: Bellevue Pond
Fishin’ in the Fells
Wednesday, July 10 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Meet: Straw Point, Spot Pond
Sounds Around You
Thursday, July 11 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Meet: Long Pond

Great Brook Farm State Park
984 Lowell Street, Carlisle
Smart Barn Tours
Saturday, July 6 &7, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
Join the Park Interpreter for a free educational tour on the latest in Dairy Farm Technology. Come see our Robotic Voluntary Milking System! Join us at the kiosk by the Ice Cream stand for our free public milking tour. The tour lasts about 45 minutes. We view the maternity ward, visit the state-of-the art Smart Barn and meet the calves to finish. Sorry, no dogs or food on the tour. Wear comfortable walking shoes with closed toes. Sunscreen is recommended. For all ages.

Central Region
Wachusett Mountain State Reservation
345 Mountain Road, Princeton
Thursday, July 4, 1pm-3pm
Tree ID Walk
Join a park interpreter on a leisurely trail walk at Mount Wachusett. You will learn how to use leaves and bark to identify common species of deciduous and coniferous trees. We will also discuss forest ecology and succession of species to help us understand the makeup of a forest. As an added bonus, we will point out characteristics of old-growth trees to help you learn how to recognize them. The program will meet at the Mount Wachusett State Reservation Visitor Center. We will walk approximately 1 mile, round trip, on moderately strenuous terrain, so be sure to wear adequate footwear. All children must be accompanied by a parent/ adult guardian. The program is free, but there is a $5 parking fee at the Visitor Center ($6 for out-of-state plates).

Moore State Park
1 Sawmill Road, Paxton
Friday, July 5, 10am
Moore To Explore
Drop in for this fun interactive program for kids and adults! Unwrap a mystery item; then try to figure out what it is and how it’s significant to Moore State Park. The Park Interpreter will give clues as visitors solve these historical mysteries. Come for a few minutes, or stay for the whole hour - it’s up to you! This program is held at the Park Interpreter’s table on the grass in front of the sawmill building. Wheelchair accessible, inclement weather will cancel. For more information Call (508) 792-3969

Purgatory Chasm State Reservation
198 Purgatory Road, Sutton
Saturday July 6, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Skull Science - What features of a skeleton help an animal survive? Find clues in skulls and bones at this interactive display. Stop by the Pavilion at any time during the hour to take part. How will your own bones compare to those of the animals that call Purgatory Chasm their home? Suitable for wildlife biologists ages 4 and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Event takes place inside the Visitor Center during wet weather. For additional information, please call: (508) 234 - 9610.

South Region
Horseneck Beach State Reservation
241 East Beach Road, Westport
Thursday, July 4, 10am-4pm
Horseneck Point Life Saving Station Open House
The Horseneck Point Life-Saving Station dates back to 1888, when it was built by the Humane Society of Massachusetts, originally at the Westport Harbor entrance on the west end of Horseneck Beach. The station was a 16′ x 34′ simple shingled post and beam structure with a pitched roof; designed to house a 30′ lifeboat named “Westport” and associated equipment. In 1894 it was moved to its present location at the end of East Beach near the causeway to Gooseberry Island. While open, curators will be available to share information about the history of this life-saving station. Come and see wonderful photographs, information, and maritime treasures representing a heroic and historic timeline from the late 18th century through today. The station will also host a coastal touch tank, or you can borrow an exploration back pack for an outdoor adventure. Programs and events also take place throughout the year. Check Buzzards Bay Coalition’s events page at
Scusset Beach State Reservation
20 Scusset Beach Road, Sagamore
Secrets of the Sand
Friday, July 5, 10am
Ever wonder why the beach looks different every time you visit? If so join us for a beach walk to see how the ocean continues to shape and change it and consider the power of the ocean! Meet at the beach end of Scusset Beach boardwalk. All ages welcome. Rain cancels. Daily parking fee is $14 MA Vehicle, $20 non-MA Vehicle. Vehicle fee is collected from 8AM to 6PM.
Myles Standish State Forest
194 Cranberry Road, Carver
Canon Balls and Cranberries
Friday, July 5, 1pm-2pm
Hike around the Rocky Pond Cranberry Bog to explore the history of the bog, from iron production to cranberry agriculture. These bogs helped America win its independence by producing iron used in cannonballs for the USS Constitution! Meet at the Rocky Pond Cranberry Parking Lot #7 on Bare Hill Road. For adults and children 8+.

Wompatuck State Park
204 Union Street, Hingham
Two-Bunker Tour
Friday, July 5, 1pm-1:30pm
Are you curious about our bunkers? Like to get inside one?! Take the Two-bunker tour. These two bunkers are about a quarter-mile from the Visitors Center. In WWII, they stored high-explosives and, during 1959-62, held ASROC missiles and their nuclear payloads. The exterior of the N9 bunker looks much as it did when in use. And you can actually go inside the N8 bunker. Cool and echoey, with WWII-era hand trucks, and stenciled with information about weight and explosive load limits, it’s a real blast from the past. Meet at the Visitor Center.

West Region
Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls
July 5: Eagles; July 12: Coyotes; July 19: Dragonflies; July 26: Skunks,
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Kidleidoscope Story Hour
Come learn about our wildlife neighbors who share our home in the Connecticut River Watershed. Program includes a story, interactive games, and a craft to introduce young children to wildlife along the river. Meet in the Great Hall. For ages 3-6, accompanied by an adult. Siblings and friends welcome.

Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls
Four Mondays: July 8, 15, 22, and 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Junior Rangers Earn your Mass Parks Junior Ranger Patch! Become a Connecticut River Watershed expert and find out who lives along the Canalside Rail Trail in Turners Falls. We offer a four-part nature and history education workshop on four Mondays for children ages 8 to 11. Friends/siblings welcome. Children with a parent/guardian meet at the Discovery Center welcome desk at 10:30 am. Junior Ranger programs are FREE. Space is limited so please register at (413) 863-3221.

Mohawk Trail State Forest, Cold River Road, Charlemont
Friday July 5 , 8:00pm
Firefly Hike! - Join us at Mohawk Trail State Forest to see the mystical glowing lights of summer! Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the park beforehand or come at 8:00pm for the program. Discover fun facts about fireflies, inspire children to respect nature and adopt caring mannerisms when dealing with even the smallest of living resources. Meet at the Nature Center and take a walk outside to our fields or meadows depending on group. Please NO GLASS JARS OR COLLECTION DEVICES. “Nets” will be provided and proper “catch and release” methods shown. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Rain cancels. Dress appropriately for evening conditions, wear bug spray. A parking fee may apply.

"The Time of my Life" - Vintage Views of Western Massachusetts
Opening July 4th, through September 29th.
Summit House is open Saturday/Sunday & Holidays: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
So wrote Bernice on a postcard sent to her "Ma" in the early 20th century--one among dozens of cards from Memorial Hall Museum's collection showcased in the Parlor Room at the Summit House this summer. Enlarged postcard scenes take visitors on an imaginary road trip, with stops at Mount Tom, Mount Holyoke Summit House, Sugarloaf, Turners Falls, Greenfield, Shelburne Falls and west on the Mohawk Trail. Sit down and relax with a reproduction postal souvenir album, stereoscope, and Viewmaster with other area scenes that paint pictures of civic pride and new ideas about leisure and travel. Don some vintage accessories and take a selfie in front of a huge enlarged postcard of the Prospect House (aka Summit House). Today, we have Instagram and selfies. But before cell-phone cameras and social media made sharing and remembering our leisure-time experiences so easy, the picture postcard reigned supreme. Summit House Parlor room. For all ages.

Mount Holyoke Range State Park, 1500 West St. Amherst
Saturday, July 6, 2019 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Speaking with Skulls - For adults and families children 8 and up. Curious about species in our area? Ever wanted to see the skull of a deer? Or maybe find out how to tell male and female fishers apart? Bones may not be able to talk but there is still more to learn from them. Come join us for this informal program with skulls from different species and learn some new information about them. Insect repellent recommended. Meet outside the Notch Visitor Center at the picnic tables. In case of rain, meet inside the Notch Visitor Center. For more information, call the park interpreter at (413) 253-2883.