Around New Jersey, the state Park Service will conduct guided hikes and other special outdoors activities at 10 locations on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative, beginning with a pre-First Day Hike at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30 at Cheesequake State Park in Matawan.
The national initiative, which involves more than 640 hikes in all 50 states, offers individuals and families an opportunity to get the New Year off on the right foot by connecting with the outdoors at a state park close to home.
“First Day Hikes are a great way to cure the winter doldrums or burn off those extra holiday calories by starting off the New Year with an invigorating walk, hike or horseback ride in one of our beautiful and scenic state parks," said Mark Texel, director of the State Park Service.
New Year’s Day guided hikes will take place at the following New Jersey locations:
- Bass River State Forest (End of Batona Trail, Tuckerton) 11 a.m.
- Belleplain State Forest, (East Creek Trail, Woodbine) 10 a.m.
- Kittatinny Valley State Park (Paulinskill Valley Trail at Footbridge Park, Blairstown) 10 a.m.; Horseback ride at Halsey Farm, Newton, 10 a.m.
- Monmouth Battlefield State Park (Manalapan) 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
- Princeton Battlefield State Park (Princeton) 6:50 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
- Ringwood State Park (New Jersey Botanical Gardens Woodlands, Ringwood) 1 p.m.
- Round Valley Recreation Area (Lebanon) at 10 a.m-11:30 a.m.
- Spruce Run Recreation Area/Voorhees State Park (Highlands Trail, Asbury) 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Washington Crossing State Park (Titusville) 1:30-3:30 p.m.
- Wharton State Forest (at Atsion, Shamong and at Batsto Natural Area, Hammonton) 10 a.m.; Batsto Fire Tower Trail for mountain bike ride, noon.
The American Littoral Society will hold the 35th Annual Dery Bennett New Year's Day Beach Walk at Seven Presidents' Oceanfront Park, Long Branch at 11 a.m. The usual venue, Sandy Hook, is closed due to storm damage.