The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is asking Long Islanders to take a hike with them on New Year’s Day through their new First Day Hikes Program.
First Day Hikes was established in an effort to get more members of the public to connect with the outdoors, get exercise, and all-around enjoy their local state park.
"Begin a new tradition with your family and join us for with an invigorating walk or hike in one of our beautiful state parks or sites this New Year's Day," said New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey in a press release. "From guided woodland walks and gorge hikes to snowshoe treks and historic walking tours, First Day Hikes are a great way for people to de-stress during the holidays and kick off 2014 by spending time surrounded by winter's outdoor splendor."
Long Island hikers have their choice of Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, Camp Hero State Park in Montauk, Caumsett State Park in Huntington, and Connetquot River State Park Preserve in Bohemia, where they can meet up with a state park staff member or volunteer hiking guide from the state parks department on January 1.
On the family-friendly walks, which are approximately two hours long, hikers will look for changes to the environment during winter, and signs of wildlife in the snow. Hikers should dress appropriately and wear hiking boots and warm clothing. Many of the hikes will offer refreshments, but hikers should be sure to bring water.
The hike taking place at Jones Beach State Park on New Year’s Day will be slightly different from the others, as it will be a family-friendly seal walk, where hikers will look for seals and learn about the creatures from a knowledgeable guide.
Registration is required for First Day Hikes events, so be sure to follow the state park link for contact information to reserve a spot.