Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

December 23, 2013

Randy Simons
Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868

New York State Parks to Celebrate the New Year with First Day Hikes on January 1, 2014

Third annual event effort encourages families to spend the holiday enjoying the outdoors

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will sponsor 24 guided hikes in state parks and historic sites on New Year's Day as part of the third annual First Day Hikes program taking place across the nation. First Day Hikes give individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1, 2014 at a state park or site close to home.

"Begin a new tradition with your family and join us for with an invigorating walk or hike in one of our beautiful state parks or sites this New Year's Day," said New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "From guided woodland walks and gorge hikes to snowshoe treks and historic walking tours, First Day Hikes are a great way for people to de-stress during the holidays and kick off 2014 by spending time surrounded by winter's outdoor splendor."

Held New Year's Day, First Day Hikes offer a great way to connect with the outdoors, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family. Participants can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of the season and spectacular vistas, and benefit from the company of a knowledgeable guide. State park staff and volunteers will lead these family-friendly walks and hikes, which average one to three miles or longer depending on the location. Many hikes will be offering refreshments.

"These family-friendly First Day Hikes provide a great chance to get outside and experience the beauty of our parks, stay fit and build lasting traditions with loved ones," said Priscilla Geigis, president of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD).

America's State Parks and American Hiking Society are teaming up to promote First Day Hikes as a healthy and memorable way to start the New Year.

"Winter hiking is a fun and wonderful experience, but does require all hikers to be properly prepared," noted Gregory Miller, president of American Hiking Society. "We are encouraging Americans young and old to ring in the New Year by putting on their hiking boots and joining First Day Hikes in support of state parks and trails in 2014."

Twenty-four hikes are being offered at 23 New York state parks and historic sites. This year's programs include a seal walk, winter woodlands, an historic walking tour, a snowshoe waterfall hike, pet-friendly treks, crossing one of the world's longest pedestrian bridges, and more. If weather conditions permit, some First Day Hikes may include snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain, registration requirements and additional information are listed at

In New York, hikes will be offered at the following locations:

Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls; 1-3pm; 716.285.0516

DeVeaux Woods-Whirlpool State Park, Niagara Falls; 1-3:30pm; 716.285.0516

Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown; 1-3pm; 716.285.0516

Wilson Tuscarora State Park, Wilson; 2-4pm; 716.285.0516

Allegany State Park- Red House, 10am-2pm; 716.354.9101 x.236

Letchworth State Park, Castile; two hikes (young children/older children) at 1pm.; 585.493.3600

Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg; 1pm; 607.387.7041x.113

Chenango Valley State Park, Chenango Forks; 1pm; 607.648.5251

Clark Reservation State Park, Jamesville; 1pm; 315.492.1590

Glimmerglass State Park, Cooperstown; 1pm; 607.547.8662

Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, Sackets Harbor; 12pm; 315.489.3642/315.646.2321

Robert Wehle State Park, Henderson; 10am; 315.938.5083

Moreau Lake State Park, Gansevoort; 10am-12pm; 518.793.0511

Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs; 10am; 518.584.2000

Mine Kill State Park, North Blenheim; 11am; 518.827.6111

Taconic State Park - Copake Falls, Copake Falls; 1pm; 518.329.3993

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Kerhonkson; 1-4:30pm; 845.255.0752

Walkway Over The Hudson State Historic Park; Poughkeepsie; 2pm; 845.454.1190

Clay Pit Ponds, Staten Island; 11am; 718.605.3970 x201

Jones Beach State Park, Wantaugh; 1:30-3pm; 516.785.3614 or 516.780.3295

Camp Hero State Park, Montauk; 1pm; 631.668.5000

Caumsett State Park, Huntington; 1:30pm; 631.581.1072

Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Bohemia; 10am; 631.581.1072