Maryland State Parks will again mark the new year by offering hike opportunities from December 30, 2022, through January 2, 2023. First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks that encourages all 50 states to offer outdoor hiking opportunities to start the new year. They are a great way to start the new year!

And we continue to expand Maryland’s network of public lands. Last month, Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford joined us to announce the opening of Sideling Hill Creek State Park in Allegany County. This new 865-acre park is located near the Woodmont Natural Resources Management Area, Sideling Hill Wildlife Management Area, and the Western Maryland Rail Trail, giving visitors various outdoor recreation opportunities in one region.

Hiking at Sideling Hill State Park Credit: Patrick Siebert / Maryland State House

In addition to protecting this property’s ecological and historic aspects, Sideling Hill Creek State Park will be a tremendous destination for outdoor recreation in Western Maryland.

As the leaves fall from the trees and temperatures begin to cool, there are plenty of cold-weather activities on our public lands to keep you busy. Throughout the winter, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hikes on snow-covered trails are all great ways to get outdoors and stay healthy as we head into 2023.

And finally, with the holidays around the corner, it is a popular time for Marylanders to share wonderful traditions, such as passing recipes down from generation to generation. That is why we began – and continue to expand – our online cookbook for wild game and fish, Wild Maryland. This year we are gathering new submissions for a holiday edition cookbook, which will showcase the recipes of our hunters, anglers, and foragers. We hope you will share your recipes with us!

Thank you, as always, for your strong support of our mission at DNR. Happy holidays and see you outside!

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio is the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.


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