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First Day Hikes Kick Off 2020

News Release, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

About 5,000 hikers took advantage of sunny and mild weather New Year’s Day, joining the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in the state’s annual First Day Hikes initiative. Hikers logged more than 10,000 miles on trails in parks and public lands all across Maryland.

Park rangers, staff, and volunteers guided hikers of all experience levels ringing in the new year on the trail. With 43 hikes at more than 30 locations, the Maryland Park Service registered 3,834 hikers participating in guided hikes, while 1,152 people hiked 1,516 miles on their own — a grand total of 4,986 hikers, not counting many who didn’t check in with a ranger. Even more people hiked in Maryland’s state forests, wildlife management areas, and other public lands. 

Among those hiking was Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, who trekked with Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio and about 250 fellow hikers at Patuxent River State Park in Howard and Montgomery counties.

“First Day Hikes are a great way to spend New Year’s Day,” Lt. Governor Rutherford said. “Special thanks go to the rangers, volunteers and all the folks who joined us — I’m already looking forward to next year.” 

This year’s attendance broke the record set New Year’s Day 2019, when more than 3,700 people hiked 8,500 miles on 36 different First Day Hikes throughout Maryland — triple the previous year’s numbers.

Maryland First Day Hikes 2020
State ParkParticipantsTotal Miles 
Assateague253253
Calvert Cliffs200720
Cedarville5278
Chapman111277.5
Cunningham Falls51153
Dans Mountain1818
Elk Neck3774
Fair Hill100500
Fort Frederick96192
Gambrill275550
Gathland4040
Greenwell3978
Gunpowder – Jerusalem Mill5001,250
Gunpowder – Torrey C. Brown (bike)420
Harriet Tubman158237
Herrington Manor3838
Janes Island3090
Martinak5959
Merkle116406
New Germany85170
North Point67134
Patapsco – Cascade126
Patapsco – McKeldin97388
Patuxent River350700
Pocomoke5278
Rocks130130
Rocky Gap112240.8
Sandy Point232696
Sang Run612
Seneca120240
Susquehanna289578
Swallow Falls56.25
Tuckahoe4386
Wye Island5785.5
Guided Hikes TOTAL3,8348,584.05
Gathland – Self-Guided132132
Greenbrier – Self-Guided101101
Patapsco-Union Dam – Self-Guided264396
Patapsco-Soldiers Delight – Self-Guided155387.5
Cunningham Falls – Self-Guided500500
Self-Guided Hikes TOTAL1,1521,516.5
 All Hikes TOTAL4,98610,100.55

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...