There’s no time like the present to incorporate a new tradition into your holiday celebration! New York State Parks will be hosting more than two dozen “First Day Hikes” on New Year’s Day at Parks and Historic Sites ranging all the way from Long Island to the Thousand Islands to Western New York. This effort is a part of a nationwide initiative to connect children and families to the outdoors. To date, over 400 hikes have been scheduled across the country!
Parks on Long Island, including Montauk Point State Park and Jones Beach State Park, will host beach hikes to explore marine geology as well as observe varies species of winter birds. Participants will also have the chance to observe up to four different species of wintering seals that are common near Long Island this time of year, including the grey seal, harp seal, ringed seal, and hooded seal.
Above: Snowshoeing at Moreau Lake State Park.
If you live in the Buffalo area, be sure to pay a visit to New York’s newest State Park, Buffalo Harbor! This “First Day Hike” will feature a 2-mile route along the Gallagher Beach Bike Path, with views of the historic waterfront, towering grain elevators, shipping ports, and the Buffalo River Lighthouse. Participants are encouraged to bring cross-country skis if there is snow on the ground.
No matter which hike you choose, “First Day” hikers can expect to be surrounded by the tranquil beauty of our State Parks in wintertime, with views and lookout points unimpeded by dense foliage. Hikers are advised to dress in warm layers, bring appropriate footwear or snowshoes/skis and water for your group. Most hikes range from one to three miles in length.
Click here for a complete listing of “First Day Hike” events and registration instructions.
Post by Megan Phillips. Photo by John Rozell.