Celebrate the outdoors with First Day Hikes

Warwick. On New Year's Day, New York is offering hikes at 55 state parks and historic sites, and at 23 state lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails, and environmental education centers.

23 Dec 2019 | 03:56

Greet 2020 with a choice of 85 guided hikes at New York State parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands under the ninth annual First Day Hikes program sponsored by the State Parks and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

All hikes are on Wednesday, Jan. 1, and include a variety of events, from seal watches on Long Island along an Atlantic Ocean bay and a bird count in the Capital Region, to hikes to fire towers in the Adirondacks/Catskills, along parts of the historic New York City drinking water system in the Hudson Valley, waterfalls in the Finger Lakes region and historic forts along the Great Lakes.

Hikes are being offered at 55 state parks and historic sites, and at 23 state lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails, and environmental education centers. Some sites are offering more than one hike, which range in length from between one and five miles. They will be guided by parks staff, members of park's Friends Groups, and other volunteers.

For a full list of hikes visit on.ny.gov/34PhMeW.

Nearby hikes:
Sterling Forest State Park, 10 a.m. This easy-to-moderate four-mile hike goes around the scenic Sterling Lake. See historic structures of the iron industry, some predating the Revolutionary War. Weather permitting. Wear appropriate footwear and bring water and a snack.
Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, 2 p.m. Meet at the center bump out on the walkway at the flag pole for this easy 1-to-3 mile hike.
Sam's Point, 1 p.m. Join an invigorating, three-mile snowshoe trek through this scenic park preserve with the entire family. Snowshoes may be rented for $5 per person. If there is insufficient snow cover, this program will be offered as a hike. If renting snowshoes, arrive early. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Meet at the Sam’s Point Visitor Center, Ellenville. Pre-registration is required by calling 845-647-7989.
Hudson Highlands State Park-Little Stony Point, 11 a.m. Short hikes are followed by hot cocoa, snacks and songs at the grand opening of the new Volunteer Center at Little Stony Point. Meet at Park Office and Volunteer Center, 3011 Route 9D, Cold Spring.
Rockefeller State Park Preserve, 9 a.m. Hosted by Saw Mill River Audubon and led by Larry Trachtenberg, this hike will start off your 2020 bird list with a walk along the Hudson River shoreline at Rockwood Hall. Bring binoculars if you have them. SMRA will also have spotting scopes to share. Meet at the parking lot near Rockwood. Pre-registration is not required. Call 914-666-6503 for more information.