RICHMOND – Step into the new year with an outdoor adventure at any of the Virginia State Park locations.
First Day Hikes have become a tradition for many people and it is the perfect opportunity to get some exercise, explore outdoors and connect with nature all while enjoying the park’s unique beauty this season.
This year there are more than 1,000 hikes available in state parks around the country. The activities for First Day Hikes vary from park to park, but they all aim to create a fun experience for the whole family. Savor the beauty of the natural, cultural and historical resources Virginia State Parks offer, and be inspired to take advantage of these local treasures throughout the year.
Parking is free at all Virginia State Park locations on Jan. 1, 2024, and visitors to each park will receive a celebratory First Day Hike sticker while supplies last.
Whether you prefer to partake in a solo adventure or want to join in on the fun of ranger-led hikes and activities, the parks have it covered with numerous ways to help elevate your experience during your visit. Most parks offer more than one guided hike or program during the day, so be sure to visit the park web page for more information.
Check out the full list of First Day Hikes at www.virginiastateparks.gov/firstdayhikes.
Here are some locations to consider for your First Day Hike:
- Pocahontas State Park, Orienteering Hike at 11 a.m. at the Visitor Center
- Caledon State Park, Christmas Opossum Scavenger Hunt at 1 p.m. at the Visitor Center
- Natural Tunnel State Park, Lovers’ Leap Hike at 3 p.m. at the Visitor Center
- Smith Mountain Lake, Fishing or Geocaching from dawn to dusk
- York River State Park, Wildlife Watch Hikes at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. at the Amphitheater
- Bear Creek Lake State Park, Cumberland Plunge at 2 p.m. in the beach area
- Staunton River, Junior Ranger or Ranger Quest self-guided programs
America’s State Parks hopes to make 2024 a record-breaking year as the annual event approaches major milestones, including inching closer to 1 million miles hiked and 500,000 participants in the program’s history.