Commonwealth to Celebrate the New Year with First Day Hikes Across Pennsylvania

New Year's Day HikeImage via PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

HARRISBURG, PA — The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced it will host over 50 free, guided hikes in 37 state parks 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 Saturday, January 1, 2022.

“First Day Hikes are a great way to make a resolution to enjoy nature and get more exercise and keep it on the first day of the year,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “They also help remind people that our state parks and forests are open for healthy outdoor adventures in all four seasons, including winter. Consider taking hike and spending time outdoors to start the 2022.”

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 facilities are participating during daylight hours on January 1, 2022:

  • Beltzville
  • Black Moshannon
  • 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
  • Laurel Ridge
  • Little Buffalo
  • Lyman Run
  • Maurice K. Goddard
  • Moraine
  • Nescopeck
  • Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center
  • Ohiopyle
  • Parker Dam
  • Pine Grove Furnace
  • Point
  • Presque Isle
  • Prince Gallitzin
  • Pymatuning
  • Raccoon Creek
  • RB Winter
  • Ridley Creek
  • Shawnee
  • Sinnemahoning
  • Trough Creek
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First Day Hikes are organized by the National Association of State Park Directors to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks, all 50 states have cooperatively sponsored First Day Hikes since 2012.

“America’s State Parks provide havens for young and old alike to discover the tranquility and beauty of nature through outdoor recreation,” National Association of State Park Directors Executive Director, Lewis Ledford said. “Hiking offers inspiring ways to improve your physical and mental health, while exploring beautiful public lands in every state.”

Last year, First Day Hikes were not held in Pennsylvania because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hikers are invited to share their experience on social media using #FirstDayHikes.

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.

Additional details and  a listing of events can be found at the DCNR events website.

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