Governor Hochul Invitations New Yorkers to Have fun Begin of 2023 Outdoor with First Day Hikes

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Events at 100 state parks, historic sites, wildlife refuges, canal trails and public lands on New Year’s Day.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has 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 and all year-round things to do in the state parks in the wintertime for a fun hike in New York’s breathtaking 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.

Brian U. Stratton, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation said“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:

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

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; 718.851.7019
  • 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

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.