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Journey Through U.S. History In Massachusetts State Parks

America has a long memory. Indigenous peoples have lived and thrived in North America for millennia before Western explorers came ashore. Genetic findings as recent as 2008 seem to imply that humans migrated from Siberia via the Bering Land Bridge more than 10,000 years ago. 

And every American school child knows a more recent, more humble beginning: the Puritan expatriates from England that landed on the famed Plymouth Rock in what would be known as the state of Massachusetts. 

From this tale, the modern story of the U.S. unfolded. It is no surprise that the seed that was planted at Plymouth Rock and other subsequent settlements throughout the area grew and blossomed in the beating heart of early America, the Bay State: Massachusetts. 

Paul Revere took his famous midnight ride through the backroads toward Lexington to warn of an impending British attack. Boston became known as the “cradle of liberty” during those halcyon days of the American Revolution. In the late 18th century, Jonathan Edwards sparked the first Great Awakening of spiritual revival through the young country from his pulpit in Northampton. Great American political dynasties like the Adams and Kennedys were born here. 

Massachusetts was as vital to the first few chapters of the U.S. story as any contemporary colony or state.

The history and the stories left behind remain for anyone and everyone to learn and relish whenever they choose to visit the affectionately dubbed “Pilgrim State.”

Some Massachusetts State Parks hold many of these historical and natural treasures in preservation for all to enjoy. Here are some must-visit spots: 

Daughters Of The American Revolution State Park: As Massachusetts a name as one will ever find, this site near Goshen, MA, is a favorite among the locals. Fresh air, fishing, swimming, and perhaps an overnight stay under the stars await visitors. With dozens of campsites, a pristine lake, and more than 15 miles of hiking trails, this spot offers nearly everything for outdoor enthusiasts. Come and visit one of the most well-populated State Parks in the area!

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Fort Phoenix State Reservation: History buffs and outdoor lovers will love this spot in Fairhaven, MA. In addition to its popular white sand beach, universally accessible year-round, the park offers a glimpse into life in a fort that dates back to the Revolutionary War. Walk along the parapets overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and imagine seeing British ships stationed offshore, raining cannon fire down upon Fort Phoenix. The bravery and fortitude of those early revolutionaries can still be felt in spirit at this incomparable destination.

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Freetown-Fall River State Forest: Get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and escape into a veritable natural wonderland at this forest, one of the largest State Parks in Massachusetts. Hike to Profile Rock for the view, take a pony on a leisurely horseback ride through the miles of trails, or, for the adrenaline seekers, do some off-roading on dirt bikes. The rustic scenery will soothe the soul and fill the spirit with all of the majesty of New England nature. This Massachusetts gem can’t be missed!

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