First Day Hikes back as way to start the new year on the right foot

Written by on December 28, 2021

First Day Hikes back as way to start the new year on the right foot

By Robby Brod
December 28, 2021

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Hikers get ready.

Dozens of state parks across Pennsylvania will participate in a nationwide New Year’s Day tradition called “First Day Hikes.”

Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will host over 50 free, guided hikes in select state parks on New Year’s Day.

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Program coordinator Christine Ticehurst says the program promotes a healthy start in the new year, and encourages people to connect with their local park.

“They can begin to have annual traditions with family and friends for the new year and head out to a local park,” she said. “So it’s a really exciting opportunity for people to get out and meet their local educators, park managers, meet some new friends, and get out and recreate on the first day of the new year.”

The program is back for 2022 after being canceled for a year due to the pandemic. State parks staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which are usually a mile or two.

A full list of participating parks can be found at the DCNR website. The Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center in Northampton County is among those participating.

This is the first year that Ridley Creek State Park in Delaware County will participate. Park manager Lexi Rose says they’ll host a guided three-mile hike taking people to trails unfamiliar to even veteran hikers.

“We had a tornado hit the park in October of 2019, so it’ll pass through a lot of that area — kind of right by our historic cemetery in the park, which a lot of people don’t know about if they haven’t been to that area of the park,” she said. “And then they’ll bring them back down to the pavilion, where they’ll have hot chocolate waiting at the end.”

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