Special Programs

Laurel Hill State Park, PA

First Day Hikes

What better way to kick off the New Year than by getting a jump start burning off those extra holiday calories in the great outdoors?

On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks will once again be celebrating with First Day Hike. These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature. For many it has become a tradition.

2020 Fun Stats

  • Miles per person: 2
  • Calories Burned: Equal to 41,348 fast-food burgers
  • Distance traveled: 7 trips around the equator
  • Total Steps Taken: 415,693,531

In 2020 85,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking over 176,366 miles throughout the country on the guided hikes. Numerous others hiked state park trails throughout the day.

2021 Update

With safety and health at front of mind, state parks were able to offer socially distanced hikes in 2021. With more than 400 hikes offered nationwide!

2022 Hikes

This year states will continue adapting their First Day hikes to keep people safe and healthy. These will include traditional hikes, self-guided hikes and trail challenges. Visitors will be able to use the hike map and click on a pin to learn more about your state or specific opportunities.

Distance and rigor vary from park to park, but all hikes aim to create a fun experience for the whole family. People are invited to savor the beauty of the state park’s natural resources so they may be inspired to take advantage of these local treasures throughout the year.

America’s State Parks have been entrusted to preserve a variety of magnificent places from California to Maine. Hikers can experience a plethora of outdoor recreation activities including mountain and hill climbing, walks along lakes and beaches, exploration of trails through great forests, wildlife expeditions, birdwatching and much more.

America’s State Park programs are committed to promoting outdoor recreation in hopes to help address obesity, especially in children. Furthermore, exercise and outdoor activities rejuvenate the mind and body, promoting overall mental and physical health and wellness. Many believe that time spent in nature enhances creativity and lifts our moods.

Trail List