The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites all Marylanders to take a First Day Hike —Maryland’s annual tradition for a fun, healthy way to welcome the New Year.  

Maryland State Parks will be offering First Weekend hike opportunities across the state from December 31, 2022 – 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 kick off the year.

First Day Hike at Patapsco Valley State Park, 2022. Maryland DNR photo

With nearly 40 ranger-led hikes and more than 25 self-guided hike options through the weekend, there is a wide variety of outdoor adventures and experiences for every level of hiker and walker throughout Maryland. These hikes provide unique access to Maryland’s cultural, historic, and natural resources and treasures, along with opportunities for education and stewardship. Many hikes are pet-friendly. Stickers for the 2023 First Day Hikes will be available at select locations while supplies last. 

In addition to scheduled hikes, all Maryland’s state parksstate forests, and wildlife management areas will be open to all for trekking hundreds of miles of trails. Hikers should check the DNR website for information about public lands near them.

After taking part in a First Day Hike or visiting a state park, hikers are asked to complete an online survey to track their hikes and how many miles they covered.?


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