One way to kick off 2020, and unwind after a hectic holiday season, is with a First Day Hike.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invite New Yorkers to celebrate the New Year at one of the 75+ hikes being held at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the Empire State.

The DEC reports that hikes are being offered at more than 50 state parks and historic sites (with some facilities offering multiple hikes for different age groups, skill levels and destinations within the park) and 22 DEC State lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails and environmental education centers.

Where in Central New York can you enjoy? Check out this map:

Here's the locations the closest:

Delta Lake State Park- Ring in the New Year with us hiking the Fox Run trail and warm up after wards around a fire at the beach with hot dogs and s’mores. This easy 1 mile hike starts at 10am. Meet at the Four Seasons Room in the Beach Bathhouse.

Utica Marsh- Come out and break in the New Year with a nature walk/hike out to the historic Utica Marsh. We will start out on the Erie Canal Trail which then will lead us to DEC land to the Utica Marsh. Our destination is the Utica Marsh observatory tower which gives you a bird's eye view of the marsh. This out and back hike is 2.2 miles round trip and will take about 1.5 - 2 hours. Please note that temperatures will most likely be below freezing, so dress appropriately. Wear a winter coat, hat, scarf, gloves, and waterproof boots so you'll be comfortable. Hike leader will provide water. Pack a snack if needed. Leashed dogs are allowed.

Herkimer Home State Historic Site- Join us for the first ever First Day Hike at Herkimer Home State Historic Site! We'll trek down the trail by the historic Erie Canal, where you can enjoy the splendor of winter wildlife and take in the natural scenery of the local forest. Easy 3 mile hike starts at 1pm at the Herkimer Home Visitor Center. Pre-registration not required. All ages and leashed pets welcome. For more information please call 315-823-0398.

Glimmerglass State Park- Join us for an easy 1 - 1.5 mile hike at Glimmerglass State Park. The park will supply warm beverages and snacks following the hike. Registration is not required but preferred.

Rogers Environmental Education Center- Celebrate the New Year by getting outside and exploring the woods and fields of the Rogers Center. This easy hike is 2.5 miles with options to drop out early. Children must be accompanied by an adult and be able to walk on their own (no strollers). Pets are not allowed. This hike may be in cold or snow and snowshoes will be provided if necessary. If weather is severe or the roads are dangerous, the hike will be postponed or cancelled.

Green Lakes State Park- Join us for an easy 1.9 miles or 2.9 miles hike at Green Lakes State Park! Come explore the Environmental Education Center and learn why the lakes at Green Lakes State Park so special. Dress for the weather. Due to the possibility of large crowds, we will be offering self-guided hikes around one or both lakes (Green Lake and Round Lake). Be sure to stop back at the Environmental Education Center for some hot chocolate to celebrate a great start to 2020.

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