Enjoy the great outdoors on New Year’s Day with a first day hike at any of the 41 Virginia State Parks.
All state parks offer free parking on Jan. 1, and visitors to each park will receive a commemorative water bottle sticker (while supplies last).
For a list of scheduled hikes and programs, www.virginiastateparks.gov/firstdayhikes
Virginia State Parks has many hikes and opportunities to choose from or visit a park and create your own special First Day Hike. Here are a few ideas:
Sky Meadows State Park will open at 5:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day to support the sunrise celebration of various cultures. At 10 a.m., join a ranger at the Backcountry Trailhead for a guided hike.
Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield offers a special New Year’s Eve night hike to celebrate the countdown. The park also offers a variety of special hikes for different ages and capabilities throughout New Year’s Day.
Guided hikes are available every hour from 9 a.m. – noon at Natural Bridge State Park. The approximately 45-minute hike will lead you to great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Join a ranger at Smith Mountain Lake State Park on a mile hike that is rated as easy. The hike includes a scavenger hunt to discover winter’s hidden secrets in nature.
At Clinch River State Park, a ranger will lead you on a 4-mile hike along the Clinch and to ruins of a failed French settlement.
The 41 award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. For more information, or to buy an annual pass or gift certificate, visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.