Governor Hochul Invitations New Yorkers to Have a good time Begin of 2023 Open air with First Day Hikes

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Gov. Kathy Hochul today encouraged New Yorkers to spend time outdoors this holiday season and to celebrate the New Year on January 1, 2023 in state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, canal trails and public lands throughout the Empire State. Day One The Hikes program offers 100 diverse hiking opportunities for people across the state.

“There is no better way to start the New Year than with family and friends amidst the wintry beauty of our public parklands and state lands,” said Governor Hochul. “With so many First Day Hikes to choose from across the Empire State, New Yorkers can take a break from the holiday rush and find the perfect setting to welcome in a bright, optimistic New Year.”

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and Canal Corporation jointly host the many walks and hikes that take place statewide as part of the 12th annual First Day Hikes program.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said“First Day Hikes are a family-friendly tradition that offers a fresh, seasonal perspective on our state’s natural treasures in the winter and everything there is to do in the state parks year-round. I encourage New Yorkers to enjoy the outdoors this New Year’s Day with a fun hike in New York’s stunning landscapes.”

said the commissioner for environmental protection, Basil Seggos“Joining one of these popular First Day Hikes is a great way to start the new year and experience New York’s outdoor destinations. DEC is proud to partner with State Parks to help New Yorkers of all ages and abilities participate in this growing annual tradition that brings friends and families together to enjoy our natural resources and the great outdoors.”

The walks and hikes are family-friendly and typically range from one to five miles, depending on location and conditions. More than 90 hikes are offered at State Parks, Historic Sites, DEC State Lands, Wildlife Areas, Forest Preserve and Canal Trails, and Environmental Education Centers. New for 2023 are the statewide celebrations, introducing additional hikes along the Genesee Valley Greenway, the New York State Birding Trail, and four new hikes as part of the On the Canals program, including walks along the Empire State Trail.

said Brian U. Stratton, director of the New York State Canal Corporation“As we celebrate the arrival of a new year, Canal Corporation is excited to be working with Governor Hochul and our state partners on 12 Canals, along the New York State Canal System and the Empire State Trail. It’s a pleasure to continue to share free opportunities for families and travelers to learn more about and experience the canal waterways and bordering trails season after season, and in all their glory, and we applaud the Governor’s vision of more New Yorkers outside to explore our state’s public spaces.”

Ross D. Levi, Empire State vice president for development and executive director for tourism, said: “The First Day Hikes program provides an invigorating way to start the New Year, helping to introduce more people to New York’s unparalleled state parks, state canal system and other protected areas, and providing ideas and inspiration for travel later in the year Year. I LOVE NY encourages residents and visitors alike to be a part of it and explore all the wonders that await in some of the best outdoor recreation areas in the country right here in the Empire State.”

A listing of New York State First Day Hikes, location details, format, pre-registration requirements, and additional information is available online for Parks, DEC, and Canals. Interested participants are encouraged to verify the details of their preferred host site and to pre-register if necessary.

First Day Hikes began in Massachusetts in 1992 and is now a national event held in all 50 states. Other ideas for New Yorkers to celebrate 2023 outdoors include finding a local park or trail, or exploring local neighborhoods.

List of first day hikes by region:

Western New York

Allegany State Park – Quaker Country, Salamanca; 716.354.9101x.232
Amherst State Park, Williamsville; 716.631.7132
Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island; 716.282.5154
Boutwell Hill State Forest, Charlotte; 716.363.2052
Brockport Welcome Center Canal Walk, Brockport; [email protected]

Clear Lake Wildlife Refuge, North Collins; 716.851.7019
Evangola State Park, Irving; 716.549.1050
Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown; 716.282.5154 (2 hikes)
Genesee Valley Greenway, Hinsdale; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway, Cuba; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway, Avon; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway; piffard; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway, Nunda; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway, Rochester; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway, Scottsville; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway, Fowlerville; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway, York; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Park, Rochester; 585.520.9984
Golden Hill State Park, Barker; 716.282.5154
Hamlin Beach State Park, Hamlin; 585.964.2462
Knox Farm State Park, Eastern Aurora; 716.549.1050
Letchworth State Park Humphrey Nature Center, Castile; 585.493.3680 (4 hikes)
Letchworth State Park Highbanks Picnic Shelter, Mt. Morris; 585.493.3680 (2 hikes)
Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154
Phillips Creek State Forest, Ward; [email protected]

Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Centre, Depew; 716.683.5959
Whirlpool State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154
multi-use Zoar Valley, Collins; 440.983.0023

Finger Lakes and Central New York

Bowman Lake State Park/McDonough State Forest, Oxford; 607.334.2718
Canal-side lock C/S-4, Waterloo; 315.659.9269
Catherine Valley Trail, Watkins Glen; 607.481.0584
Chenango Valley State Park, Chenango Forks; 607.648.5251
Clark Reservations State Park, Jamesville; 315.415.8377
Delta Lake State Park, Rome; 315.337.4670
Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego; 315.343.4711
Glimmerglass State Park, Cooperstown; 607.547.8662
Green Lakes State Park, Fayetteville; 315.637.611
Herkimer Home State Historic Site, Herkimer; 315.823.0398
Small Wilderness State Forest, Turin; 315.376.3521
Macedon Canal Park, Macedonia; 585.269.8125
Montezuma Audubon Center, Savannah; [email protected]

Newtown Battlefield State Park, Elmira; 607.732.6287
Rogers Environmental Education Center, Sherburne; 607.674.4733
Selkirk Shores State Park, Pulaski; 315.298.5737
Seneca Lake State Park, Geneva; 315.789.2331
Southville State Forest, Stockholm; 315.265.3090
Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg; 607.387.7041 extension 131
Two Rivers State Park, Waverly; 607.732.6287

Northland/Adirondacks

Adirondack Interpretive Center, Newcomb; 518.582.2000
Hadley Mountain, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, Hadley; [email protected]

Moxham Mountain, Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest, Minerva; 518.338.8173
Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC), Brighton; 518.327.6241
Point Au Roche State Park, Plattsburgh; 518.563.6444
Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway Day Use Area, Lake George; 518.623.1268
Robert G. Wehle State Park, Henderson; 315.938.5302
Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, Sackets Harbor; 315.646.2321
Wellesley Island State Park, Fineview; 315.482.2479

Great Capital District

Champlain Canal Lock 5, Schuylerville; 518.583.3708
Five Rivers Environmental Education Area, Delmar; 518.475.0291 (3)
Grafton Lakes State Park, Grafton; 518.279.1155×2
Mine Kill State Park, North Blenheim; 518.827.6111
Peebles Island State Park, Cohoes; [email protected] (2 hikes)
Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs; 518,584,2000×16
Thacher State Park, Voorheesville; 518.872.0800

Hudson Valley/Catskills

Catskills Visitor Centre, Shandaken; 845.688.3369
FDR State Park, Yorktown; 914.245.4434
Little Stony Point/Hudson Highlands State Park, Cold Spring; 845.224.7207
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, Katonah; 914.232.5651
Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Peters Kill, Kerhonkson; 845.255.0752
Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Sam’s Point, Cragsmoor; 845.647.7989
Olana State Historic Site, Hudson; 518.751.0344
Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park, Dobbs Ferry; 646.303.1448
Panther Mountain, Slide Mountain Wilderness, Shandaken; [email protected]

Platter of Preserved Carnations, Hunter; 845.688.3369
Rockefeller State Park Reservation, Pleasantville; 914.666.6503
Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburg; 845.874.0568
Sterling Forest State Park, Tuxedo; 845.351.5907
Taconic State Park – Copake Falls, Copake Falls; 518.329.3993
Walkway over Hudson State Historic Park, Poughkeepsie; 845.834.2867
Wild Forest Willowemoc, Rockland; 845.693.4181

New York City and Long Island

Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale; 516.249.0701
Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve, Staten Island; 718-605-3970 ext. 201
Connectquot River State Park Preserve, Oakdale; 631.581.1005 (2 hikes)
Hallock Preserve, Riverhead; 631.315.5475
Hempstead Lake State Park, West Hempstead; 516.766.1029
Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh; 516.785.1600
Montauk Point State Park, Montauk; 631.668.5000
Mt Loretto Unique Area, Staten Island; 718.313.8591
Ridge Nature Reserve, Ridge; 631.444.0350
Shirley Chisholm State Park, Brooklyn; 212.866.3100
Sunken Meadows State Park, Kings Park; 631.269.4333

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreation trails, golf courses, boat ramps and more, visited by 78 million people annually. For more information on these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app, or call 518.474.0456. Also connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.