The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites everyone to join a First Day Hike, Maryland’s annual tradition for a fun, healthy kickoff to the New Year.

On January 1, 2020, the Maryland Park Service will offer 40 guided hikes on 33 state lands and parks, as part of a nationwide event sponsored by America’s State Parks. The earliest of the hikes starts at 8 a.m. while the latest has been planned to take advantage of year’s first sunset.

SOUTHERN MARYLAND GUIDED HIKES:

Greenwell State Park: Welcome to the New Year at Gr Greenwell State Park: Welcome to the New Year at Greenwell State Park to the New Year at Greenwell State Park Greenwell State Park

(St. Mary’s County)- 8 a.m.

Easy to moderate, 2-mile round trip hike. Meet at the Pavilion- drive down Rosedale Manor Lane and take the first left. RSVP 301-872-5688

 


Calvert Cliffs State Park: First Day Calvert Cliffs State Park: First Day State Park: First DayFossilHike!

(Calvert County)- 10a.m.

Easy, 3.6-mile round trip hike for families. Meet next to the bathhouse- 10540 H.G. Trueman Rd. Lusby, MD. RSVP 443-975-4360


Sandy Point State Park: Sandy Point’ Sandy Point State Park: Sandy Point’s First Day Hikes s First Day Hikes s First Day Hikes

(Anne Arundel County)- 10 a.m.

Moderate, 3-mile hike for all ages!

Meet at the Sandy Point Maintenance Shop- 1100 E. College Parkway, Annapolis, MD. RSVP 410-974-2149 Additional Hike Scheduled for 1 p.m.


Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary: First Day in the Forests of the Patuxent of the Patuxent

 

(Prince George’s County)- 11 a.m. 11 a.m. 11 a.m.

Moderate, 3.5-mile round trip hike. Meet at the Visitor Center- 11704 Fenno Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD. RSVP 443-510-9920


Chapman State Park: First Day Birding Hike- Chapman State Park: First Day Birding Hike-Eagles and Wa les and Wa les and Waxwings and Ducks, Oh M xwings and Ducks, Oh M xwings and Ducks, Oh My!

(Charles County)- 12 p.m. 12 p.m. 12 p.m.-Noon

Moderate, 2.5 mile round trip hike. Meet at Mt. Aventine Mansion- 3452 Ferry Place, Indian Head, MD. RSVP 301-743-7613. Bring binoculars

 


Sandy Point State Park: Sandy Point’ Sandy Point State Park: Sandy Point’s First Day Hikes s First Day Hikes s First Day Hikes (Anne Arundel County)- 1 p.m.

Moderate, 3-miles hike for all ages! Meet at the Sandy Point Maintenance Shop- 1100 E. College

Parkway, Annapolis, MD. RSVP 410-974-2149 Additional Hike Scheduled for 10 a.m.

Among the new hikes planned are a “Year of the Woman” hike at Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park in Dorchester County, and a First Day Birding Hike at Chapman State Park in Charles County.

These hikes will provide a variety of outdoor adventures and experiences for every level of hiker and walker, including unique access to Maryland’s cultural, historic natural resources and treasures, along with opportunities for education and stewardship. Many hikes are even pet-friendly.

Numerous parks, state forests, and wildlife management areas will also be open Jan. 1 for self-guided treks.

“There’s no better way to start 2020 than with an invigorating hike exploring Maryland’s beautiful public lands,” Maryland Secretary of Natural Resources Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “This growing tradition brings thousands of Marylanders together in resolution for better health and connection with our natural resources. There is a hike waiting for you in every corner of our state, for every ability and age.”

Among those hiking will be Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, continuing his commitment to visiting all Maryland state parks and other public lands by the time he leaves office. Lt. Gov. Rutherford began 2019 with a hike at Patapsco Valley State Park.

On New Year’s Day 2019, more than 3,700 people hiked 8,500 miles on 36 different First Day HIkes throughout Maryland — triple the previous year’s numbers.