January 1, 2019, will mark the 27th year anniversary of the First Day Hike initiative, which started in Massachusetts to get more people out in parks and enjoying nature at a time of the year not typically associated with outdoor recreation.
Last year, nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking more than 133,000 miles throughout the country on the guided hikes led by knowledgeable state park staff and volunteers. Many others hiked state park trails throughout the day.
According to the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD), which began administering the program in 2012, “the distance and rigor vary from park to park, but all hikes aim to create a fun experience for the whole family. People are invited to savor the beauty of the state park’s natural resources with the comfort of an experienced guide so they may be inspired to take advantage of these local treasures throughout the year.”
From California to Maine, hikers can experience a variety of outdoor recreation activities, including mountain and hill climbing, kayaking, walks along lakes and beaches, exploration of trails through great forests, wildlife expeditions, bird-watching and much more, while improving their overall mental and physical health and wellness.
View a map with information about where a hike may be scheduled near you or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about organizing/promoting your own First Day Hike and go take a hike on New Year’s Day!