New Year's Day . . . Inside or Outside?

While many Americans will be spending the first day of 2018 either sleeping in, watching football, or mentally preparing themselves for that resolution they committed to for the year, hundreds of New Yorkers will bring in the new year outdoors at their state parks, historic sites, and preserves.

“First Day Hikes” are becoming increasingly popular each year…so much so that this year’s list boasts over 50 locations from the Thousand Islands to Long Island.

Here are some highlights featuring locations in each region of the state. For additional details about any of these events as well as a complete list including a map to find a location near you, visit the “First Day Hikes” page on the website for New York State Parks.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

A 3-mile snowshoe walk (will be a hike if snow is not present) through the preserve starting at Sam’s Point Preserve. Snowshoes are available to rent for $5.00. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Wellesley Island State Park

One of the northernmost locations participating this year, this Thousand Islands park offers an easy/moderate 1.5-mile snowshoe walk with snowshoes available to rent at $3.00/pair.

Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve

This DEC location located in our state’s western region will offer a short walk focused on viewing the first birds of the new year. Pre-registration is required: (716) 683-5959

Clark Reservation State Park

Three hikes will offered at three different levels: easy/family, moderate, and challenging. Approximate distances are between a half and one mile. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the nature center.

Two Rivers State Park

Located just north of the Pennsylvania border between Elmira and Binghamton, Two Rivers offers an easy to moderate option allowing pets on leashes. Registration is required to be made by 6pm on 12/31 by calling 607-732-6287.

Peebles Island State Park

A hike with a history theme. The 2-mile hike in this small state park located in the heart of the Capital Region at the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers will focus on its remarkable Native American and Revolutionary War history.

Ridge Conservation Area

This 184-acre DEC land in Suffolk County will host a 2.25 mile hike through its forest, grassland, and pond habitats including an interpretive trail allowing users to use their smartphones to access information at various kiosks along the way.

Clay Pit Pond State Park

A 2.5 mile easy to moderate hike in one of two locations offered this year in Staten Island will feature some elevation change and will proceed at an “adult pace” along the Ellis Swamp and Clay Pit Pond Trails.