Montpelier—Start the New Year on the right foot and get outside for a “First Day Hike” in a Vermont State Park. Individuals and groups are invited to join one of several free, family-friendly hiking events taking place on January 1, 2017 throughout the state in beautiful parks and forests. Professional guides and outdoor educators will lead the way, sharing their knowledge and love of the Vermont outdoors.
The hikes having different starting times and anticipated durations. See below for a list of offered hikes and details. Pre-registration is not required; simply show up ready to enjoy the outdoors and the company of other participants. Dress for the weather and bring beverages and snacks. If there are several feet of snow on the ground, please consider bringing snowshoes. Dogs are welcome on leash unless otherwise noted.
Don't need a guide? Take advantage of the breadth of opportunities to choose your own trek or ramble through Vermont State Parks and forests this winter. Find a park near you to explore. Entry to State parks in the winter is free.
Ascutney State Park:
Guide: Scott Davison (The Woodstock Naturalist) Meet: 10:00 am at the ranger station
Hike: 1+ hour, easy terrain. NOTE: Not a summit hike.
Bomoseen State Park:
Guide: Caitlin Gates (Vermont State Park Interpreter) Meet: 1:00 pm at park entrance station.
Hike: 1+ hour, easy terrain
Button Bay State Park:
Guide: Ron Payne from Otter Creek Audubon Society Meet: 9:00 am at park entrance
Hike: 3 hours, easy terrain
Groton Nature Center, Big Deer State Park:
Guide: Dave Spencer (local expert) Meet: 1:00 pm at Groton State Forest Nature Center parking area on Boulder Beach Road, 1.6 miles from Route 232.
Hike: 1+ hour loop, easy terrain.
Guide: Caitlin Miller from the Green Mountain Club Meet: 9:00 am at Hunger Mountain Trailhead (Waterbury)
Hike: 3.5 miles, 5 hours, moderate to difficult terrain. Hike to the summit if weather permits.
Jamaica State Park:
Guide: Lowell Lake Park Ranger Scott Renker Meet: 10:00 am by the park office at the entrance
Hike: 1+ hour, 1-mile, easy terrain. Participants will have the option of a longer hike along the same trail.
Niquette Bay State Park:
Guide: Jessica Savage from Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation Meet: Noon at trailhead in Niquette Bay State Park.
Hike: 1.5 miles, 2 hours, moderate terrain.
Taconic Mountain Ramble State Park:
Guide: Alyssa Bennett, Bat Biologist Meet: Noon at the Hubbardton Battlefield parking lot on Monument Hill Road
Hike: 2-3 hours, easy to moderate terrain, followed by fresh baked cookies!
Underhill State Park:
Guide: John Connell, Greenmont Farms Meet: 1:00 pm at gate just below Underhill State Park on Mountain Road in Underhill Center.
Hike: 3 hours, easy to moderate terrain. Bring a snack and warm beverage to share!
For hike updates on December 31st and January 1st, please call (802) 249-1230. For more information on First Day Hikes and to view additional hike offerings as they are added, visit www.vtstateparks.com or check out Vermont State Parks on Facebook and Twitter.
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