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First Day Hike returns to Maryland, program goes through January 2nd

Posted at 5:41 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 17:41:00-05

Maryland State Parks are having their First Day Hike again this year.

You can go to a State Park and start the new year off with a hike. It's a good way to be healthy and a walk in the woods is always a great way to reset your mind. This idea is so popular, they are doing it all weekend from the 31's to the 2nd.

"Last year we started the first weekend hike concept because we wanted to spread out our hikers," said Melissa Boyle.

Melissa Boyle Acuti is with Maryland State Parks. She tells us more than 16,000 people put on some hiking shoes to start the new year off last year. Maryland has been doing this for sometime. All 50 states have adopted this program now. They have Ranger Guided tours in some parks and some parks are wheelchair accessible. The DNR website has information on those parks.

You don't have to wait for a self guided tour, you can go to any state park and use their trails or you can find a designated self guided trail. That's where park rangers and volunteers have put up messaging all along the trail .

"It's really well marked. Some of them have games and or activities associate with the hike as well. I know Assateaque Park has a neat one that is a scavenger hunt."

Many parks have special activities.

"Sandy Point is doing one where you get to be a park planner and you can use your cell phone to do some activities along the way."

After you do your hike you can log your information of how many people, how long you hiked and what park you used. Outdoors has been a safe place for this pandemic... Especially after all those holiday meals and treats many of us have been enjoying.

"It's a great way to burn off some of those holiday calories with a walk on New Years Day."