DCNR celebrating New Year with ‘First Day Hikes’ in 5 local Pa. state parks

Western PA News

HARRISBURG — The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will start 2022 by exploring five local parks in Western Pennsylvania.

As part of the nationwide “First Day Hike” effort, DCNR will lead hikes in Cook Forest, French Creek, Kinzua Bridge, Presque Isle and Pymatuning on Jan. 1.

“First Day Hikes are a great way to make a resolution to enjoy nature and get more exercise and keep it on the first day of the year,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “They also help remind people that our state parks and forests are open for healthy outdoor adventures in all four seasons, including winter. Consider taking hike and spending time outdoors to start the 2022.”

The day will feature a total of over 50 free, guided hikes in 37 state parks in Pennsylvania.

State parks staff and volunteers lead the hikes, which are usually about one or two miles, but can be longer, depending on the park and its terrain. Including the local parks, the following Pennsylvania state park facilities are participating during daylight hours Jan. 1, 2022: 

  • Beltzville
  • Black Moshannon
  • Caledonia
  • Canoe Creek
  • Codorus
  • Cook Forest
  • Cowans Gap
  • Delaware Canal
  • French Creek
  • Gifford Pinchot
  • Hills Creek
  • Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
  • Kings Gap Environmental Education Center
  • Kinzua Bridge
  • Lackawanna
  • Laurel Hill
  • Laurel Ridge
  • Little Buffalo
  • Lyman Run
  • Maurice K. Goddard
  • Moraine
  • Nescopeck
  • Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center
  • Ohiopyle
  • Parker Dam
  • Pine Grove Furnace
  • Point
  • Presque Isle
  • Prince Gallitzin
  • Pymatuning
  • Raccoon Creek
  • RB Winter
  • Ridley Creek
  • Shawnee
  • Sinnemahoning
  • Trough Creek

All 50 states have cooperatively sponsored First Day Hikes since 2012, and the hikes are organized by the National Association of State Park Directors. Last year, they were not held in Pennsylvania because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“America’s State Parks provide havens for young and old alike to discover the tranquility and beauty 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 exploring beautiful public lands in every state.”

Additional details can be found HERE

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