Anxious to put 2020 in the rearview mirror? Why not plan for something fun on New Year's Day -- or that first weekend in January?
Take a nature break and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the First Day Hike events across the state and nation.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invite New Yorkers to kick off 2021 by participating in one of the many hikes being held at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the Empire State.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for safe outdoor recreation, the event options for hikes range from self-guided treks to small staff- or volunteer-led hikes to opportunities available that first Friday, Saturday or Sunday of January, allowing people the time and space to social distance while still enjoying nature's winter wonders.
The walks and hikes are family-friendly, and typically range from one to five miles depending on the location and conditions. Hikes are planned at 50 state parks and historic sites, and 16 DEC State lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails and environmental education centers.
Be sure to check the details of your preferred host site and pre-register where required. Masks or face-coverings are mandatory, and capacity restrictions may limit participation so have some alternate locations in mind.
Additional ideas to celebrate the new year in the outdoors include finding a local park or trail, or exploring your own neighborhood. Either way, getting outside is the perfect way to enjoy the winter landscapes and unwind with close friends or family.
Many New Yorkers thrive in winter and are eager for falling temperatures and consistent snowfalls. To these hardy adventurers, a few extra layers of gear combined with the snowy terrain of parklands is winning recipe for fitness, togetherness and outdoor fun. If you've never been on a First Day Hike, 2021 is the year!