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December 6, 2012

Maryland Celebrates New Year with First Day Hikes January 1

by Martha
Hiking at Greenbrier State Park, by Paula Mansfield

Hiking at Greenbrier State Park, by Paula Mansfield

Who: Open to the public

When: Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Where: 19 Maryland State Parks

Cost: Free

What better way to kick-off the New Year than by lacing-up the sneakers and spending quality time with loved ones while enjoying nature’s beauty?

The Maryland Park Service will sponsor guided hikes in 19 State Parks on New Year’s Day 2013 as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes. This nationwide initiative offers participants an opportunity to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.

“We are thrilled to host First Day Hikes for the second year in a row as part of this national effort to reconnect, rejuvenate and reinvigorate hundreds of citizens in our parks,” said MPS Superintendent Nita Settina. “Last year, more than 500 people participated in Maryland hikes. We encourage outdoor enthusiasts of all ages to do the same, and join us for a fun-filled  New Year’s Day.”

First Day Hikes in Maryland are family-friendly, easy to moderate, guided hikes led by Maryland State Park staff and volunteers. Residents and visitors to Maryland can journey to Cunningham Falls, the longest cascading waterfall in Maryland; or trek to the historic Turkey Point Lighthouse at Elk Neck State Park. Experience native stands of loblolly pines and catch a glimpse of an Eastern Tiger Salamander at Pocomoke River State Park on the Eastern Shore. Come explore the Orange Trail at Cedarville State Forest, where Piscataway Indians once made their winter homes because of the mild climate and abundance of game.

For a complete list of First Day Hikes in Maryland, including locations, difficulty, length and specific starting times, visit dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/firstdayhikes.asp

America’s State Parks is an alliance of state park systems in all 50 states. Represented by regional board members of the National Association of State Park Directors, America’s State Parks is a collaborative effort to strengthen the importance of more than 6,000 state park systems across the nation and showcase how state parks enhance and contribute to everyone’s quality of life.

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