On December 19, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced DCNR will host nearly 60 guided hikes in 34 state parks and three forest districts, including Cook Forest State Park, 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 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,” Secretary 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 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.
First Day Hike Locations
The following Pennsylvania state park and forest facilities are participating during daylight hours January 1, 2023:
– Cook Forest (Clarion County);
– Black Moshannon (Centre County);
– Blue Knob (Bedford County);
– Caledonia (Adams, Franklin Counties);
– Canoe Creek (Blair County);
– Codorus (York County);
– Cowans Gap (Fulton County);
– Delaware Canal (Bucks County);
– French Creek (Chester County);
– Gifford Pinchot (York County);
– Hills Creek (Tioga County);
– Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center (Northampton);
– Kings Gap Environmental Education Center (Cumberland County);
– Kinzua Bridge (McKean County); Lackawanna (Lackawanna County);
– Laurel Hill (Somerset County);
– Little Buffalo (Perry County);
– Lyman Run (Potter County);
– Marsh Creek (Chester County);
– Maurice K. Goddard (Mercer County);
– Michaux State Forest – Beaver Trail (Franklin County);
– Moraine (Butler County);
– Nescopeck (Luzerne County);
– Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center (Berks County);
– Parker Dam (Clearfield County);
– Pine Grove Furnace (Adams County);
– Presque Isle (Erie County);
– Prince Gallitzin (Cambria County);
– Raccoon Creek (Beaver County);
– RB Winter (Union County);
– Ridley Creek (Delaware County);
– Sinnemahoning (Potter County);
– Susquehanna Riverlands (York County);
– Tiadaghton State Forest – Pine Creek Rail Trail (Lycoming County);
– Warriors Path (Bedford County);
– White Clay Creek Preserve (Chester County);
– and William Penn State Forest – Buck Hollow Tract (Chester County).
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 experience on social media using #FirstDayHikes.
Additional details can be found on the DCNR Calendar website; click on Events, then select the “First Day Hikes” tab on the right.
For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website.