Take a little walk with me: DCR’s Healthy Heart Trails entice bodies into motion

Truth be told, we weren’t thinking much about fitness when we headed to Sullivan’s in South Boston for the spring ritual of burgers and fries. But the day was so nice that we took a post-lunch stroll out to Castle Island to watch fishermen casting from shore and planes coming in for a landing at Logan Airport.

A heart-shaped symbol marked the path. On closer examination, it turned out to be the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) designation of a Healthy Heart Trail. We were cheered to learn that the state worries about our fitness, even if the Castle Island loop is just a three-quarter mile circle around Fort Independence. But by continuing to follow the heart-posted trail around Pleasure Bay, we added an additional flat 1.9 miles.


We suspect that such incrementalism was DCR’s hidden motive behind the Healthy Heart Trails program. A corollary of Newton’s first law of motion is that a person in motion tends to stay in motion. (And a person on the couch tends to stay on the couch.) The DCR has designated more than 70 Healthy Heart Trails throughout the state. They are all rated as easy to moderate and are identified by distance and type of surface. More than half are also ADA accessible. You can check out the entire list at tinyurl.com/hearttrails. Here’s a sampling to get you started. Be sure to bring insect repellent.

Halibut Point State Park, Rockport

Like many DCR properties, Halibut Point has deep historical resonance. The park sits on the site of the Babson Farm granite quarry, which closed in 1929. The self-guided 1.3-mile main trail begins at the visitor center (closed for repairs) and is ranked as moderate. Much of the footing is uneven, especially as it circles the water-filled quarry. That said, we saw families with small children bouncing along like Peter Rabbit when we visited on Easter weekend. At the trailhead, pick up a map, which details several…

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