Start Your New Year Off With a Healthy Hike

winter hiking© vgajic / Getty Images Signature / Canva

PENNSYLVANIA — The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced it will host nearly 60, guided hikes in 34 state parks and three state forests on New Year’s Day as part of the nationwide “First Day Hike” effort. Designed to promote a healthy start in the new year, these hikes offer families an opportunity to begin rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on Sunday, January 1.

“First Day Hikes are a great way to start the new year in natural spaces, which we hope will continue throughout the year,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “These hikes are also a reminder our state parks and forests are open for healthy outdoor adventures in all four seasons. I encourage Pennsylvanians, and those visiting for the holidays, to consider taking a hike and to make the time to connect with park staff and like-minded outdoors enthusiasts. Now is the perfect time to begin building a meaningful bond with our public lands.”

State parks staff and volunteers lead the hikes, which are usually about one or two miles, but can be longer depending on the park and its terrain.

The following Pennsylvania state park and forest facilities are participating during daylight hours Sunday, January 1, 2023:

  • Black Moshannon
  • Blue Knob
  • Caledonia
  • Canoe Creek
  • Codorus
  • Cook Forest
  • Cowans Gap
  • Delaware Canal
  • French Creek
  • Gifford Pinchot
  • Hills Creek
  • Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
  • Kings Gap Environmental Education Center
  • Kinzua Bridge
  • Lackawanna
  • Laurel Hill
  • Little Buffalo
  • Lyman Run
  • Marsh Creek State Park
  • Maurice K. Goddard
  • Michaux State Forest — Beaver Trail
  • Moraine
  • Nescopeck
  • Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center
  • Parker Dam
  • Pine Grove Furnace
  • Presque Isle
  • Prince Gallitzin
  • Raccoon Creek
  • RB Winter
  • Ridley Creek
  • Sinnemahoning
  • Susquehanna Riverlands
  • Tiadaghton State Forest — Pine Creek Rail Trail
  • Warriors Path State Park
  • White Clay Creek Preserve
  • William Penn State Forest — Buck Hollow Tract

First Day Hikes are organized by the National Association of State Park Directors to promote healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks.

All 50 states have cooperatively sponsored First Day Hikes since 2012.

Each year, over 730 million people visit America’s State Parks and contribute over $23 billion to the economy.

State Parks are a “close to home” resource and an important part of our country’s fabric, enhancing our quality of life. Visit America’s State Parks website for more information on First Day Hikes Nationally.

“Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling, join us at one of Pennsylvania’s state parks on New Year’s Day,” Dunn said. She noted that she will visit Pine Grove Furnace State Park for First Day Hikes.

Hikers are invited to share their experiences on social media using #FirstDayHikes.

Additional details can be found on the DCNR calendar of events; click on Events, then select the “First Day Hikes” tab on the right.

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