Press Release, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Participation Triples Thanks to Warm Weather

Photo of Hikers at Gunpowder Falls State Park
First Day Hikers at Gunpowder Falls State Park

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources welcomed approximately 3,700 hikers on 36 hikes at 32 state parks this New Year’s Day as part of the annual First Day Hikes initiative. Hikers trekked about 8,500 miles on trails in every corner of Maryland.

Maryland Park Service rangers, staff and volunteers guided hikers of all experience levels joining the ever-growing ranks of hikers ringing in the new year on the trail. Among them was Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, who hiked with Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Joanne Throwe at Patapsco Valley State Park.

“It was wonderful to start off the year hiking with fellow Marylanders at one of our treasured state parks,” Lt. Governor Rutherford said. “From the sandy shorelines of the Eastern Shore to high perches of Mountain Maryland, I encourage everyone to get outdoors in 2019 and experience all that our great state has to offer.”

With warm, mild weather for most of the day, participation nearly tripled over 2018, and miles hiked more than doubled the record set in 2017.

Maryland First Day Hikes 2019
State ParkParticipantsTotal Miles 
Assateague158158
Calvert Cliffs250900
Cedarville85170
Chapman65130
Cunningham Falls49147
Dans Mountain88
Deep Creek54108
Elk Neck73146
Fair Hill120600
Fort Frederick46138
Gambrill170340
Greenbrier150225
Greenwell133199.5
Gunpowder – Jerusalem Mill239597.5
Gunpowder – Sweet Air1957
Harriet Tubman147220.5
Herrington Manor1818
Janes Island60180
Martinak2525
Merkle42147
New Germany7474
North Point84168
Patapsco – Daniels158474
Patapsco – McKeldin159397.5
Patapsco – Orange Grove80160
Patuxent River210462
Pocomoke2020
Rocks5858
Rocky Gap2678
Sandy Point206618
Seneca167434.2
Soldiers Delight7474
South Mountain64128
Susquehanna340680
Tuckahoe65130
TOTAL3,696.08,470.2

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...