We Are NYEvents at 100 State Parks, Historic Sites, Wildlife Areas, Canal Trails and Public Lands on New Year's Day

12th Anniversary of Hikes Encourage New Yorkers to Spend January 1 Holiday Enjoying Nature

Governor Kathy Hochul today encouraged New Yorkers to spend time in the outdoors this holiday season and celebrate the New Year at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, canal trails, and public lands across the Empire State on January 1, 2023. The First Day Hikes program is offering 100 varied hike options for people across the state to enjoy. 

"There's no better way to kick off the New Year than with family and friends among the winter beauty of our public parklands and state lands," Governor Hochul said.  "With so many First Day Hikes to choose from around the Empire State, New Yorkers can take a break from the hectic pace of the holidays and find the perfect setting to welcome a bright, optimistic new year."

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Canal Corporation are partnering to host the many walks and hikes being held throughout the state as part of the 12th Annual First Day Hikes program. 

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "First Day Hikes are a family-friendly tradition that offers a fresh seasonal perspective of our state's natural treasures in winter and all there is to do year-round at State Parks. I encourage New Yorkers to embrace the outdoors this New Year's Day with a fun trek in New York's breathtaking scenic settings."

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Participating in any of these popular First Day Hikes is a great way to start the New Year and experience New York's outdoor destinations. DEC is proud to partner with State Parks to help New Yorkers of all ages and abilities participate in this growing annual tradition, which brings friends and families together to enjoy our natural resources and the great outdoors."

The walks and hikes are family-friendly, and typically range from one to five miles depending on the location and conditions.  More than 90 hikes are being offered at state parks, historic sites, DEC state lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve and canal trails and environmental education centers.  New for 2023, the statewide celebrations are introducing additional hikes along the Genesee Valley Greenway, the New York State Birding Trail, and four new hikes as part of the On the Canals program, including walks along the Empire State Trail.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "As we celebrate the arrival of a new year, the Canal Corporation is delighted to collaborate with Governor Hochul and our state partners on the 12th annual First Day Hikes program by offering four unique, guided hikes and snow treks, as part of On the Canals, along the New York State Canal system and Empire State Trail. It is a joy to continue sharing free opportunities for families and travelers to learn about and experience the canal waterways and adjacent trails in all their glory, season after season, and we applaud the Governor's vision to get more New Yorkers outside to explore our state's public spaces."

Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, "The First Day Hikes program provides an invigorating way to start the new year and helps introduce more people to New York's unparalleled state parks, state canal system and other protected lands, providing ideas and inspiration for travel later in the year. I LOVE NY encourages residents and visitors alike to come be a part of it and explore all the wonder that awaits them in some of the best outdoor recreation areas in the country right here in the Empire State."

A list of  New York State First Day Hikes, location details, format, pre-registration requirements and additional information can be found online for ParksDEC,  and Canals. Interested participants are encouraged to check the details of their preferred host site and pre-register where required.   

Starting in Massachusetts in 1992, First Day Hikes are now a national event taking place in all 50 states. Other ideas for New Yorkers to celebrate 2023 in the outdoors include finding a local park or trail, or exploring local neighborhoods. 

List of First Day Hikes by region:

Western New York

Allegany State Park - Quaker Area, Salamanca; 716.354.9101 x.232

Amherst State Park, Williamsville; 716.631.7132

Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island; 716.282.5154

Boutwell Hill State Forest, Charlotte; 716.363.2052

Brockport Welcome Center Canal Hike, Brockport; elinden@brockportny.org

Clear Lake Wildlife Management Area, North Collins; 718.851.7019

Evangola State Park, Irving; 716.549.1050

Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown; 716.282.5154 (2 hikes)

Genesee Valley Greenway, Hinsdale; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway, Cuba; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway, Avon; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway; Piffard; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway, Nunda; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway, Rochester; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway, Scottsville; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway, Fowlerville; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway, York; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Park, Rochester; 585.520.9984

Golden Hill State Park, Barker; 716.282.5154

Hamlin Beach State Park, Hamlin; 585.964.2462

Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora; 716.549.1050

Letchworth State Park Humphrey Nature Center, Castile; 585.493.3680 (4 hikes)

Letchworth State Park Highbanks Picnic Shelter, Mt. Morris; 585.493.3680 (2 hikes)

Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154

Phillips Creek State Forest, Ward; glenngebhard@gmail.com

Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, Depew; 716.683.5959

Whirlpool State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154

Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area, Collins; 440.983.0023


Finger Lakes and Central New York

Bowman Lake State Park/McDonough State Forest, Oxford; 607.334.2718

Canalside Lock C/S-4, Waterloo; 315.659.9269

Catharine Valley Trail, Watkins Glen; 607.481.0584

Chenango Valley State Park, Chenango Forks; 607.648.5251

Clark Reservation State Park, Jamesville; 315.415.8377

Delta Lake State Park, Rome; 315.337.4670

Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego; 315.343.4711

Glimmerglass State Park, Cooperstown; 607.547.8662

Green Lakes State Park, Fayetteville; 315.637.611

Herkimer Home State Historic Site, Herkimer; 315.823.0398

Lesser Wilderness State Forest, Turin; 315.376.3521

Macedon Canal Park, Macedon; 585.269.8125

Montezuma Audubon Center, Savannah; Felicia.Paradise@dec.ny.gov

Newtown Battlefield State Park, Elmira; 607.732.6287

Rogers Environmental Education Center, Sherburne; 607.674.4733

Selkirk Shores State Park, Pulaski; 315.298.5737

Seneca Lake State Park, Geneva; 315.789.2331

Southville State Forest, Stockholm; 315.265.3090

Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg; 607.387.7041 ext. 131

Two Rivers State Park, Waverly; 607.732.6287


North Country/Adirondacks

Adirondack Interpretive Center, Newcomb; 518.582.2000
Hadley Mountain, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, Hadley; megan@adk.org
Moxham Mountain, Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest, Minerva; 518.338.8173
Paul Smith's Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC), Brighton; 518.327.6241
Point Au Roche State Park, Plattsburgh; 518.563.6444
Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway Day Use Area, Lake George; 518.623.1268

Robert G. Wehle State Park, Henderson; 315.938.5302
Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, Sackets Harbor; 315.646.2321
Wellesley Island State Park, Fineview; 315.482.2479


Greater Capital District

Champlain Canal Lock 5, Schuylerville; 518.583.3708

Five Rivers Environmental Education Area, Delmar; 518.475.0291 (3)

Grafton Lakes State Park, Grafton; 518.279.1155 x2

Mine Kill State Park, North Blenheim; 518.827.6111

Peebles Island State Park, Cohoes; friendsofpeebles@gmail.com (2 hikes)

Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs; 518.584.2000 x16

Thacher State Park, Voorheesville; 518.872.0800


Hudson Valley/Catskills

Catskills Visitor Center, Shandaken; 845.688.3369

FDR State Park, Yorktown; 914.245.4434

Little Stony Point/Hudson Highlands State Park, Cold Spring; 845.224.7207

John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, Katonah; 914.232.5651

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Peter's Kill, Kerhonkson; 845.255.0752

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Sam's Point, Cragsmoor; 845.647.7989

Olana State Historic Site, Hudson; 518.751.0344

Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park, Dobbs Ferry; 646.303.1448

Panther Mountain, Slide Mountain Wilderness, Shandaken; Peter@catskillmountainclub.org

Platte Clove Preserve, Hunter; 845.688.3369

Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Pleasantville; 914.666.6503

Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburg; 845.874.0568

Sterling Forest State Park, Tuxedo; 845.351.5907

Taconic State Park - Copake Falls, Copake Falls; 518.329.3993

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, Poughkeepsie; 845.834.2867

Willowemoc Wild Forest, Rockland; 845.693.4181


New York City and Long Island

Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale; 516.249.0701

Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve, Staten Island; 718-605-3970 ext. 201

Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Oakdale; 631.581.1005 (2 hikes)

Hallock Preserve, Riverhead; 631.315.5475

Hempstead Lake State Park, West Hempstead; 516.766.1029

Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh; 516.785.1600

Montauk Point State Park, Montauk; 631.668.5000

Mt. Loretto Unique Area, Staten Island; 718.313.8591

Ridge Conservation Area, Ridge; 631.444.0350

Shirley Chisholm State Park, Brooklyn; 212.866.3100

Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park; 631.269.4333

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 78 million people annually.  For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.