Start the New Year off with a hike

Looking for an opportunity to get outside and celebrate New Year's Day with family and friends? Join other outdoor enthusiasts for a rejuvenating and invigorating family-friendly trek on New Year’s Day at five of New Hampshire's state parks.

These free, annual First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin 2019 by connecting with the outdoors by taking a organized or self-guided hike. Participants can explore historic sites, state parks and even enjoy pet-friendly hikes with their four-legged friends either on their own or discover and experience nature with a guided hike lead by park staff and out partner volunteers. If snowshoeing or cross country skiing is more your pace, then this is the perfect day for that too.

2019 New Hampshire First Day Hike locations include:

Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion State Historic Site
375 Little Harbor Road
Portsmouth, NH
Pets permitted: no

Join park staff and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests land stewards for a self-guided natural history tour of the Little Harbor Loop Trail. The loop trail is considered an easy 1.5 mile hike that will take approximately 1-1.5 hours to complete. Guides will be present to share the natural history of the abutting Creek Farm Reservation. Guests will seek signs of wildlife, watch shorebirds on the tidal flats, discover a tidal pool, and enjoy the many varieties of tree and plants that highlight Creek Farm as a unique coastal habitat. After the hike, enjoy a warm drink and snack inside the park’s visitor center.

Silver Lake State Park
138 Silver Lake Road
Hollis, NH
Leashed pets permitted: yes

Join park staff, Hollis Trails Committee, Nor’easters Snowmobile Club and the Beaver Brook Nature Center for a self-guided hike through Silver Lake State Park. Guests will investigate the nature loop on the State Park property overlooking Silver Lake and then venture onto Hollis Conservation Land in the Woodmont Orchard. Families will enjoy a lovely view overlooking the apple orchards to the north and guides will be present to highlight areas along the nature loop. Afterward the hike, stop by the campfire near the beach for some snacks and warm beverages.

Milan Hill State Park
72 Fire Tower Road
Milan, NH
Leashed pets permitted: yes

The well-groomed, 16 kilometer XC ski trail network in and around Milan Hill State Park, that is maintained by the Nansen Ski Club will be open for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Park Staff and club volunteers will be onsite with trail maps and suggested routes for skiers and snowshoers of varying skill levels who wish to take a self-guided tour of the Park and its trails. The event will leave from the newly-constructed Warming Hut near the Park entrance, and this adventure will offer opportunities to spot animal tracks and take in expansive views of the Northern Presidential White Mountains from the trails, with the option of a spectacular 360 degree view from the fire tower at the top of Milan Hill, accessed via the Tower. Hot drinks and snacks will be offered back at the warming hut upon return.  With the generous donation of demo gear provided by Nordic Skater of Newbury and Alpina Sports participants who do not have their own gear will have the opportunity to try cross country skiing.

Pisgah State Park
520 Old Chesterfield Road
Winchester, NH
Leashed pets permitted: yes

The Doolittle trail offers a fun, mostly gentle two mile hike (roundtrip) sure to be enjoyed by all. This hike offers a comfortable and fairly easy grade, with a few short sections of steeper terrain. It is accessed just north of Park Headquarters off of Old Chesterfield Road and includes multiple historic agricultural sites along the way. The park area is diverse, including a mixed forest of both hard and soft woods, wetlands, and abundant wildlife, birds and plants. Park staff and volunteers from the Friends of Pisgah State Park will be on hand to assist those with any park related questions. Warm drinks and a snack will be served fireside at the headquarters building.

Bear Brook State Park
Deerfield Road
Allenstown, NH
Leashed pets permitted: yes

Join park staff and Derry Trail Riders volunteers on an easy 1.25-mile self-guided hike along the Catamount Pond exercise trail.  This is a relaxing stroll through the northeast side of Bear Brook leaving and returning to the Catamount Pond Beach area parking lot.  Warm drinks and a snack will be served fireside in the parking lot. Weather permitting, Larry Stone from Stoneboat Farm in Loudon will be on hand with his team of draft horses offering free horse drawn wagon rides and will be offered first come first served.   

Categories: Winter Holidays, Winter Sports