Featured image: Homolovi State Park in Winslow, Arizona (photo credit: Arizona State Parks & Trails)
Updated December 29, 2018
Take a hike for the new year! Choose from more than 400 hikes in state parks nationwide during the annual First Day Hikes on January 1. Explore nature and get a good workout at the same time.
Some parks also offer hikes on New Year’s Eve. And there are a few polar bear swims.
First Day Hikes began more than 25 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, Massachusetts, south of Boston. It’s part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to get people outdoors. Last year, more than 62,000 adults and kids participated in guided First Day Hikes on 1,300 trails covering at least 114,000 miles.
All First Day Hikes are free.
Here’s a list the First Day Hikes, alphabetical by state. Most of these pages display a list of parks hosting hikes. For states with separate pages to each park, I’ve listed them separately by state.
- Idaho: Hells Gate State Park and Three Island Crossing State Park
- Illinois: No First Day Hikes listed for 2019. Find a place to hike with this Illinois state park directory.
- Kentucky: No First Day Hikes listed for 2019. Find a place to hike with this Kentucky State Parks directory.
- Louisiana: No First Day Hikes listed for 2019. Find a park or state historic site at this Louisiana State Parks page and activities listed by month at the Louisisna State Parks home page.
- Massachusetts: List of 12 hikes here, plus the Wicked Frosty Four in Salem
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota: Fort Stevenson State Park
- Rhode Island: No First Day Hikes listed for the state parks in 2019. The West Greenwich Land Trust is hosting a First Day Hike at Tillinghast Pond. Find another place to hike with this Rhode Island state parks directory.
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
A wave crashes near Sunset Bay State Park, south of Charleston, Oregon. Several state parks along the Oregon Coast are among the hundreds nationwide hosting First Day Hikes on New Year’s Day. (photo by Cheryl Landes)