All are invited to kick-off the New Year with an invigorating First Day Hike at a nearby state park, as the Maryland Department of Natural Resources – once again – takes part in the national New Year’s Day event of outdoor exploration and recreation.
A record-breaking 2,177 people spent the first day of 2016 participating in a First Day Hike in Maryland with participants logging a total of 4,531 miles.
“Connecting with friends and family through a First Day Hike is a wonderful way to start each and every New Year,” said Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton. “I encourage everyone to get out outside to enjoy the fresh air, exercise and the great outdoors, all against the backdrop of our state’s unique culture, history and natural beauty.”
Rangers, staff and volunteers will host 29 guided hikes at 27 state parks across the state, from Assateague State Park in Worcester County to Swallow Falls State Park in Garrett County. From bird watching to historical presentations and programs, each park will host its own unique adventure at varying skill levels and times. A few locations even host pet-friendly treks.
First Day Hikes originated more than 25 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Massachusetts. Now spread to all 50 states, the national initiative, sponsored by the National Association of State Park Directors, is entering its sixth year. Participants are encouraged to log their adventures on social media using the hashtags #FirstDayHike or #FirstDayHikes.