Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

December 17, 2018

Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 |

Celebrate the New Year Outdoors with First Day Hikes at State Parks, Historic Sites, Wildlife Areas and Public Lands on New Year’s Day

8th annual event encourages families and friends to spend Jan. 1 holiday enjoying nature

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invite New Yorkers to celebrate the New Year exploring the outdoors at one of the 80 hikes being held at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the Empire State. The guided hikes are being held as part of the annual First Day Hikes program taking place throughout the nation on January 1, 2019.

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "First Day Hikes are a popular annual tradition and the perfect elixir to a hectic holiday season. Spending time in nature among such scenic wintry settings is a great way to start off the New Year. With hike options from the tip of Long Island to Niagara Falls, the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes - and more, there are plenty of destinations across the state to embrace the outdoors and welcome 2019 with loved ones."

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Start the New Year right by participating in an annual First Day Hike at one of New York's magnificent outdoor destinations. DEC is proud to partner with State Parks to help New Yorkers of all ages and abilities enjoy this growing tradition, which brings friends and families together in our State's great outdoors."

Hikes are being offered at 19 DEC State lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails and environmental education centers, and 52 state parks and historic sites with some facilities offering multiple hikes for different age groups, skill levels and destinations within the park. Staff from State Parks and DEC, along with volunteers and partners at many sites, will lead these family-friendly walks and hikes, which range from one to five miles depending on the location and conditions.

A sample of this year's programs feature a seal walk, walking history tour, snowshoe waterfall hike, pet-friendly treks, gorge walks, military musicology, fire towers, and more. New entries for 2019 include hikes along Lake Ontario, Delta Lake, Lake Champlain, the western edge of the Tug Hill Plateau, and recently added trails at Overlook Mountain in Woodstock.

If weather conditions permit, some First Day Hikes may include snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Many host sites will be offering refreshments and giveaways. A list of the hikes follows, and details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain, pre-registration requirements and additional information are listed at and


Western New York

Allegany State Park- Red House, self-guided anytime 10am-2pm; 716.354.9101 x.232

DeVeaux Woods State Park, Niagara Falls; 10am; 716.282.5154

Evangola State Park, Irving; 9am; 716.549.1050

Genesee Valley Greenway, Canawaugus Park, Scottsville; 1pm; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway, Bull St., Cuba; 1pm; 585.493.3614

Hamlin Beach State Park, Hamlin; 10am and 1:30pm (2 hikes); 585.964.2462

Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora; 10am; 716.549.1050

Letchworth State Park, Castile; 1pm; (4 hikes); 585.493.3600

Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls; 2pm; 716.282.5154

Reinstein Woods, Depew; 11am; 716.683.5959

WAG Trail, Willing; 1pm; 585.415.1521


Finger Lakes & Central New York

Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park, Schenevus; 10am; 607.638.5421

Bowman Lake State Park/McDonough State Forest, Oxford; 11am; 607.334.2718

Camillus Forest Unique Area, Camillus; 10am; 315.376.3521

Catharine Valley Trail, Watkins Glen; 10am; 607.535.4511

Chenango Valley State Park, Chenango Forks; 1pm; (2 hikes) 607.648.5251

Clark Reservation State Park, Jamesville; 11am; 315.415.8377

Delta Lake State Park, Rome; 10am; 315.337.4670

Finger Lakes Trail, Corning; 9:30am;

Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego; 10am; 315.343.4711

Gilbert Lake State Park, Laurens; 10am; 607.432.2114

Green Lakes State Park, Fayetteville; 11am; 315.637.6111

Hemlock-Canadice State Forest, Canadice; 10am; 585.374.8366

Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, Savannah; 10am; 315.365.3588

Rogers Environmental Education Center, Sherburne; 10am; 607.674.4733

Seneca Lake State Park, Geneva; 10am; 315.789.2331

Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg; 1pm; 607.387.7041 ext. 131

Two Rivers State Park, Waverly; 10am; 607.732.6287


North Country/Adirondacks

Crown Point State Historic Site, Crown Point; 1pm; 518.597.4666

Prospect Mountain, Lake George; 10am; 518.623.1268

Point Au Roche State Park, Plattsburgh; 11am; 518.563.0369

Poke-O-Moonshine Campground, Keeseville; 10am; 518.897.1276

Robert G. Wehle State Park, Henderson; 11am; 315.938.5302

Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, Sackets Harbor; 1:30pm; 315.646.2321

Wellesley Island State Park, Fineview; 1pm; 315.482.2479

Winona State Forest, Lorraine; 10am; 315.376.3521


Greater Capital District

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Delmar; 9am; 518.475.0291

Grafton Lakes State Park, Grafton; 1pm; 518.279.1155

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

Moreau Lake State Park, Gansevoort; 11am; 518.793.0511

Peebles Island State Park, Waterford; 10am; 518.268.2188

Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs; 10am; 518.584.2535

Schodack Island State Park, Schodack Landing; 1pm (2 hikes); 518.732.0187

Thacher State Park, Voorheesville; 11am; 518.872.0800


Hudson Valley/Catskills

Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest - Kelly Hollow, Margaretville; 10:30am; 845.586.6273

Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower, Margaretville; 9:30am; 845.926.2182

FDR State Park, Yorktown; 10:30am; 914.245.4434

Little Stony Point/Hudson Highlands State Park, Cold Spring;11am (2 hikes); 845.745.0647

John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, Katonah; 1pm; 914.232.5651

Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center, Mt. Tremper; 3pm; 845.688.3369

Meads Meadow Trailhead, Woodstock; 9am & 12pm (2 hikes); 845.256.3083

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Peter's Kill, Kerhonkson; 9:30am & 1pm (2 hikes); 845.255.0752

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Sam's Point, Cragsmoor; 1pm; 845.647.7989

North South Lake Campground, Haines Falls; 10am; 518.357.2068;

Olana State Historic Site, Hudson; 11am; 518.828.0135 x303

Old Croton Aqueduct, Dobbs Ferry; 12pm; 646.303.1448

Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Pleasantville; 9am; 914.631.1470 x107

Sterling Forest State Park, Tuxedo; 11am; 845.351.5907

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

Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park; Poughkeepsie; 2pm; 845-834-2867


NYC & Long Island

Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale; 10am; 516.249.3560

Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve, Lloyd Neck; 11am; 631.423.1770

Clay Pit Ponds, Staten Island; 1pm; 718.605.3970 x201

Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Oakdale; 1:30pm; 631.581.1072

Hallock State Park Preserve, Wading River; 11am; 631.315.5475

Jones Beach State Park, Wantaugh; 10:30am; 516.780.3295

Montauk Point State, Montauk; 10:30am; 631.668.5000

Mount Loretto Unique Area; Staten Island; 10am; 718.313.8591

Ridge Conservation Area, Ridge; 1pm; 631.444.0347

Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park; 10am; 631.581.1072


The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 71 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.