First Day Hikes

Kick-start your New Year’s resolution to keep in shape with an invigorating First Day Hike at a state park near you! All 50 states are participating in the fourth annual national event that invites families to celebrate the New Year with guided outdoor adventures. Last year, more than 27,000 people covered around 66,000 miles on 885 hikes in state parks across the country.

“First Day Hikes offer a healthy way for people of all ages to get outside and take in these beautiful natural areas,” said Priscilla Geigis, president of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD). “State Parks provide unique opportunities for visitors to experience historical and cultural areas, seasonal flora and wildlife alongside dedicated park staff and volunteers.”

The sponsored hikes range from less than one mile journeys, to longer, more intense workouts, depending on the state and terrain. In addition, some states are also sponsoring trail adventures for cyclists and equestrians, as an added way for guests to appreciate nature.

 First Day Hikes in Garrett County:

Deep Creek Lake State Park First Day Hike
Hike the Discovery Center

Time of Event: 10 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Discovery Center
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families of all ages. The guided hike will take place in and around the Discovery Center mainly dictated by the weather of the day.
Minimum age for kids: Age 5
Length of Trail: 1 mile round trip.
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the outdoors should the weather permit, and can bring camera and binoculars.Hot chocolate will be served at the Discovery Center following the walk.
RSVP: Call Deep Creek Lake State Park at 301-387-7067 to let us know you are going to join us!
Additional Information: Join naturalists Sam Dixon and Alana Morgan as you "Hike the Discovery Center." Tour our displays, discover fossils in our building, tracks in our walls, tour the indoor mine, meet animals up close, venture outside to our aviary. If the weather permits, we will walk to the beach and back discovering the uniqueness of nature in winter.

Herrington Manor State Park First Day Hike
Start the New year with Mystery

Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Herrington Manor Ranger Station. Hikers will caravan to the trailhead located approximately 3.5 miles from the Ranger Station.
Degree of Difficulty: A moderate hike for families. Recommended for ages 7 and above.
Length of Trail: 1.5 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Call Herrington Manor State Park at 301-334-9180
Additional Information: Hike with a park ranger through the state forest to one of the best kept secrets in Garrett County. This hike will feature a unique destination that is definitely high on the COOL factor. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

New Germany State Park First Day Hike
Healthy Parks, Healthy Hemlocks, Healthy You!

Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the New Germany Lake House
Degree of Difficulty: A moderate loop hike with approximately 120 feet of elevation change along a singletrack trail. A short section of the hike will be on a paved road. The hike should take no longer than an hour to complete.
Length of Trail: 1.5 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Weather depending, snowshoes are recommended and available to rent.
RSVP: Call New Germany State Park at 301-895-5453
Additional Information: Start your New Year off right with an invigorating winter hike that either jump-starts or supports your healthy lifestyle. A ranger will lead hikers along trails showcasing park history, scenic views of Poplar Lick Run, and lush hemlock forests. Well behaved dogs on a leash are welcome.