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First Day Hikes Offer a Great Start to New Year’s Resolutions

December 21, 2017 01:30 PM

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​Whether you are looking to get healthier, reduce stress in your life, spend more time outdoors, or just spend more time with your friends and family, we can help your New Year’s resolutions get started on the right path with a First Day Hike.

Held January 1, 2018, in 30 Pennsylvania state parks across the state, the guided hikes are free, and are part of a national effort to promote both healthy lifestyles and getting people outdoors for year-round recreation at state parks.

Organized by the National Association of State Park Directors, all 50 states have cooperatively sponsored First Day Hikes since 2012.

First Day Hikes are a great way to start the new year and a healthier lifestyle. An invigorating walk or hike in the outdoors is proven to help burn off holiday calories, cure cabin fever, reduce stress and anxiety, and provide an avenue for creating lasting memories with friends and family.

Most of the hikes are about one or two miles, but some can be longer depending on the park and its terrain. The treks are guided by state park staff or volunteers.


State Parks Offering First Day Hikes

The following Pennsylvania state parks are offering hikes during daylight hours January 1, 2018:

Presque Isle State Park and Jennings Environmental Education Center will offer a New Year’s Eve or “Last Night” hike for those who wish to ring in the New Year mid-hike.

These 1- 3-mile easy hikes begin at 10:30 P.M. December 31 and end around 12:30 A.M. January 1.

For a complete list of hikes and times check the DCNR Calendar of Events.

No First Day Hike Near You?


Pennsylvania’s First Day Hikes are a good reminder that our state parks and forests are open for healthy outdoor adventures during all four seasons -- including winter.

Pennsylvanians are fortunate to have a state park within 25 miles, as well as 2.2 million acres of state forest land that they can explore.

In addition, there are around 6,000 local parks across the commonwealth to enjoy.

If there are no First Day Hikes near you, consider organizing one on your own at your favorite park or trail. You can use these resources to help you plan:

Hikers are invited to share their experience on social media with us using #FirstDayHike and #GetOutdoorsPA.

Even if you can’t make a First Day Hike, we hope you can spend some time doing your favorite outdoor activities in the coming year.

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