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MA State Parks: Free Programs During School Vacation Week

Patch logo Patch 2/15/2020 Neal McNamara
a bench next to a body of water: The Wachusett Dam in Clinton, a historic destination maintained by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. © Neal McNamara/Patch The Wachusett Dam in Clinton, a historic destination maintained by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.

FRAMINGHAM, MA — It's going to be clear and sunny for most of the February school break, which means it's the perfect time to send your vacationing students out to explore nature — just make sure they're bundled up.

State parks across the state are offering free outdoor-exploration programs during this school break. Not to mention, there are plenty of recreation of opportunities during winter because most local state parks are free to enter.

You can see a list of free events happening this week on the state Department of Conservation and Recreation website, but also consider utilizing these local state lands:

Ashland State Park, Ashland — The park is closed during wintertime, but you can park in the Ashland Community Center lot at the edge of the state park gate. You can take a loop trail around the entire Ashland Reservoir, or just amble along the scores of trails along the shoreline.

Wachusett Dam, Clinton — This is more of a historical excursion. This dam was built in Clinton between 1897 and 1905, and is an important part of the Boston area water supply. You can walk right up to the dam wall, or hike up a steep hill for a view of the Wachusett Reservoir. Parking available near the top of the dam along Route 70.

Whitehall State Park, Hopkinton — Take a few hours to complete the almost 7 mile loop around the Whitehall Reservoir, or just hike to the remains of the 19th century Hopkinton Springs resort. Free parking at the boat launch along Route 135.

Callahan State Park, Framingham/Marlborough — Winter is a great time to explore this 800-acre park with its 7 miles of trails. Parking is free at several lots.

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