Connecticut DEEP First Day Hikes
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) joins America’s State Parks and all 50 state park systems for free, guided First Day Hike Programs on New Year’s Day 2017. If weather conditions are questionable, contact hike leader.
This year DEEP offers the following guided First Day Hikes:
Kellogg Environmental Center, 500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby, 1 PM, moderate, 2.5 mile hike in Osbornedale State Park. Sponsored by CT State Parks & Public Outreach. Contact: Diane Joy, email@example.com, (203) 734-2513. Bring along your furry friend, dogs on leash are allowed. Join us for a cup of hot chocolate back at the Center. Awards ceremony at 3 PM for winners of the 2016 “Sky’s the Limit” Hiking Challenge.
Hammonasset Beach State Park, 1288 Boston Post Rd., Madison, 1 PM, easy, one hour hike, meet at Meigs Point Nature Center. Sponsored by Friends of Hammonasset. Led by two outdoor enthusiasts, the hike through Meigs Point trails will include searching for wintering birds and seals, while enjoying the fresh air and natural beauty of the Park. Binoculars are suggested for enhanced viewing opportunities. No dogs please. Contact: Meigs Point Nature Center (203) 245-8743.
Mansfield Hollow State Park, Bassett’s Bridge Rd., Mansfield, CT, 11 AM (arrive by 10:45 AM), moderate, 2 hikes – 4.5 mile & 2.2 mile, meet in the Mansfield Hollow Recreation Area parking lot. Sponsored by Friends of Mansfield Hollow. Contact: Ron Manizza, 860-428-3667 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scantic River State Park, Melrose Road, East Windsor, 1 PM, moderate, 2.5 mile hike, 2 hours, meet in parking area at end of Melrose Road off Broad Brook Road. Sponsored by East Windsor American Heritage River Commission. Donations will be collected for the local food pantry (human and pet items). Contact: email@example.com
Sleeping Giant State Park, 200 Mt. Carmel Ave., Hamden, 1:30 PM (arrive by 1:15 PM), strenuous, 1 ½ hr. & 2 ½ hr. hikes, meet at the bulletin board by the kiosk. Sponsored by Sleeping Giant Park Association. No dogs please. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Make a New Year’s resolution to your health and happiness by kicking off 2017 with an invigorating First Day Hike at a state park near you. On January 1, all 50 states will be participating in the sixth annual national event that encourages everyone to celebrate the New Year with a guided outdoor exploration.
“First Day Hikes offer families the opportunity to rejuvenate and reconnect with nature on guided outdoor adventures,” National Association of State Park Directors President Domenic Bravo said. “There are shorter options for families with young children, to longer treks for adventure seekers. State parks offer stunning views, unique cultural and historical experiences, and wintering wildlife for everyone to enjoy.”
“Taking a hike with your family and friends is a great way to begin the New Year,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee, Commissioner. “Connecticut’s state parks are great to visit any time of the year, but there is something invigorating and special about being outdoors as you celebrate the first day of 2017. Whether you join DEEP for a guided hike or venture out on your own, you will not be disappointed in the variety of hiking trails that Connecticut has to offer.”
Participants are encouraged to share their adventures on social media with #FirstDayHikes.
“America’s State Parks provide havens for young and old alike to explore the beauty and serenity of nature through outdoor recreation,” National Association of State Park Directors Executive Director Lewis Ledford said. “Hiking offers inspiring ways to improve your physical and mental health, while discovering beautiful public lands in every state.”
First Day Hikes originated more than 25 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation – a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. Last year, more than 55,000 people participated on guided hikes that covered over 133,000 miles on 1,100 hikes across the country.
CT DEEP joins America’s State Parks in their commitment to promoting outdoor recreation in state parks.