Maryland State Park First Day Hikes 1/1/2020

2019 First Day Hikes Map 

Logo for First Day Hikes Assateague State Park: Ilia Fehrer / Judy Johnson Memorial Beach Walk

Worcester County
Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Assateague State Park concession building - 7307 Stephen Decatur Highway, Berlin, MD 21811
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families of all ages. Opportunities available for self-guided hike or group hike along the beach toward the north end of the island.
Length of Trail: One mile round trip
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Hot chocolate will be served on the concession deck following the walk. To save on disposables, please bring a mug for your hot chocolate.
Additional Information: Join us as we celebrate the beauty of Assateague Island. The first Assateague Beach Walk was held on January 1, 1970. The newly formed Committee to Preserve Assateague Island hosted the inaugural event to draw attention to Assateague’s wild beauty. The committee was created by Ilia Fehrer, Judy Johnson and a few friends who had organized to rally against early plans for development of Assateague Island, which included a 25-mile highway and a number of commercial enterprises, and the Ocean Beach resort, much like Ocean City. A series of 1962 nor-easters interrupted construction, and eventually National and State Parks were established. The committee became the organization, Assateague Coastal Trust, who along with Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague State Park sponsor the New Year’s Day walk each year. Dogs on a leash are welcome only as far as the boundary of the State Park (to the north of the boundary, dogs are not permitted).


Calvert Cliffs State Park: First Day Fossil Hike!

Calvert County
Time of Event: 10 a.m.
Meeting Location: Calvert Cliffs State Park, next to the bathhouse- 10540 H. G. Trueman Road
Lusby, Maryland​​
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families
Length of Hike: 3.6 miles (round-trip). Hike will last approximately 2 hours
Things to Bring: Wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow, or shine), and bring water for drinking
RSVP: Register via email to CalvertCliffs.StatePark@Maryland.gov or to call Calvert Cliffs State Park at 443-975-4360
Additional Information: ​Come kick off the New Year by joining a ranger for a fun, family-friendly hike at Calvert Cliffs State Park! The trail is approximately 3.6 miles round-trip, stroller accessible, and leads right to the Chesapeake Bay. We will stop along the hike to discuss the geologic history of the park, and with the assistance of park staff, look for fossils (including shark's teeth) once at the beach. We will finish the hike with refreshments around a cozy fire at the pavilion. Dogs on a leash are welcome!


Chapman State Park: First Day Birding Hike - Eagles and Waxwings and Ducks, Oh My!

Charles County
Time(s) of Event: 12pm-2pm
Meeting Location: Mt. Aventine Mansion at Chapman State Park - 3452 Ferry Place, Indian Head, MD 20640​
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate
Length of Hike: approximate round trip distance of 2.5 miles
Things to Bring: Binoculars (if you have them) and water, wear appropriate footwear for hiking
RSVP: (301) 743-7613 or Smallwood.statepark@maryland.gov
Additional Information: Join park staff, the Friends of Chapman State Park, and members of the Southern Maryland Audubon Society for a First Day Birding Hike. Start the year out right with a bird walk at Chapman State Park - one of our true gems in Charles County where history and unique ecology come together. Bring your own binoculars if you have them. This hike is not stroller friendly or recommended for pets.


Cunningham Falls State Park: Self-Guided First Day Hike

Frederick County
Time of Event: Available All Day - choose a good time that works for you!
Location: Lower Falls Trail Parking Lot, 14039 Catoctin Hollow Road Thurmont, MD 21788
Degree of Difficulty: Lower Falls Trail: Easy, Cliff Trail: Moderate
Length of Hike: 1 mile, round trip
Things to Bring: Sturdy close-toed shoes, warm clothing, and water.
Additional Information: This is a self-guided hike to Cunningham Falls, the largest cascading waterfall in Maryland. Visitors can choose between the Lower Falls Trail and the Cliff Trail. Dogs on a leash are welcome on both trails. This is a family friendly hike. Jogging strollers can access the Lower Falls Trail.


Cunningham Falls State Park: Old Misery Guided Hike

Frederick County
Time of Event: 1:00 PM
Meeting Location: Dam Overlook/Old Misery Trailhead Parking Lot, 14039 Catoctin Hollow Road Thurmont, MD 21788
Degree of Difficulty: Difficult
Length of Hike: 3 miles, round trip
Things to Bring: Sturdy close-toed boots, warm clothing, water, snacks, boot ice grips, and hiking poles.
RSVP: (301) 712-6964 by Dec. 31
Additional  Information: Hike with a Ranger along the Old Misery Trail to beautiful Cat Rock. This difficult hike will begin at the Dam Overlook Parking Lot, located just North of the park's Administration Office. Start the New Year with some strenuous activity! This hike is weather-dependent, participants will be notified about cancellation via phone by Dec. 31. Dogs on a leash are welcome. No restrooms on site.


Dans Mountain State Park: First Day Hike on Dye School Trail

Allegany County
Time of Event: 11 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at Hill Run Pavilion on Water Station Run Road
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike for families. Not stroller-friendly
Length of Hike: 1 mile
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow, or shine), and bring water for drinking
RSVP: Call New Germany State  Park at 301-895-5453
Additional Information: A ranger will lead hikers along the 1 mile Dye School Trail, showcasing the natural and cultural history of the park. The route will steadily climb 200 feet to the Dye School Foundation, and will then loop downhill for the second half of the hike. The hike will take less than one hour to complete, and will conclude with hot cocoa and a warm fire at the pavilion. Dogs on a leash are welcome.


Elk Neck State Park: Marsh in the New Year!

Cecil County
Time of Event: 9:30 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet in the upper parking lot of the Rogues Harbor Area- 4395 Turkey Point Rd. North East, MD 21901​
Degree of Difficulty: Difficult  hike
Length of Hike: Approximate round trip distance of 2 miles
Things to Bring: Bring a water bottle and dress for the weather. Wear sturdy, close-toed shoes.
RSVP: 410-287-5333 or ElkNeck.StatePark@maryland.gov
Additional Information: Join a Park Ranger for a revitalizing 2-mile hike on the Beaver Marsh Loop and let the tides wash away your worries. The hike will lead to an observation platform, where participants can clear their minds while taking in the watery wonderland, and will end on a sandy shoreline of the Elk River. Dogs on a leash are welcome. This hike is not stroller-friendly. Donations welcomed!


Fort Frederick State Park: First Day Tree Hike! The Demonstration Forest of the Early 20th Century. Washington County

Washington County
Time of Event: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Meeting Location: Meet at the Fort Frederick Visitor Center, 11100 Fort Frederick Road, Big Pool, MD 21711
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate - Natural Surface Trail with Roots and Rocks
Length of Hike: Approximate round trip distance of 2 miles
Things to bring: Bring a mug for hot cocoa or cider. Dress for the weather. Wear waterproof boots. Hike will proceed rain, snow, or shine. Check website for severe weather conditions closure.
RSVP: 301-842-2155 or Jeremiah.Corbin@maryland.gov
Additional Information: Join Park Ranger Jeremiah Corbin for a tree identification hike and to learn some fun historical facts about the Plantation Trail. Dogs on a leash are welcome. This trail is not stroller friendly.


Gambrill State Park: Gambrill Overlook Guided Sunset Hike

Frederick County
Time of Event: 4:15 PM
Meeting Location: Gambrill Nature Center, 8448 High Knob Road Frederick, MD 21702
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Length of Hike: Approximately 2 miles, round trip.
Things to Bring: Sturdy close-toed shoes, warm clothing, water, and a flashlight.
RSVP: No pre-registration required. Call (301) 712-6964 by Dec. 31 for additional information.
Additional Information: Hike with a Ranger to all three of Gambrill's overlooks and enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Middletown Valley. Dogs on a leash are welcome. This is a family friendly hike, but is not stroller accessible. No restrooms on site.


Gathland State Park: First Day History Hike at Crampton’s Gap

Washington County
Time of Event: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM- Self-Guided. Ranger-guided Hike begins at 2:00 PM
Meeting Location: Meet at Gathland State Park at the Gathland Hall Museum, 900 Arnoldtown Road, Jefferson, MD 21755
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike; Self-guided from 11:00AM to 2:00 PM; Ranger-guided hike at 2:00PM; Great for history enthusiasts of all ages.
Length of Hike: Approximate distance of 1 mile.
Things to Bring: Dress for the weather! Wear warm layers and the appropriate footwear (i.e. waterproof hiking boots). Bring a water bottle or coffee mug for refreshments at Gathland Hall after your hike.
RSVP: To RSVP, please call the Greenbrier Visitor Center at (301) 791-4656. RSVP’s are encouraged but not required.
Additional Information: Enjoy a moderate, self-guided hike around Gathland State Park and the new Crampton’s Gap Trail featuring interpretive markers about the Battle of South Mountain. Start at the Gathland Hall or Lodge museum, take a walk around the park to see some of the remnants of the Townsend estate, ending with the Crampton’s Gap trail behind the War Correspondent’s Memorial Arch. Dogs on lead are welcome.


Greenbrier State Park: Seeing Green First Day Hike (Self-Guided)

Washington County
Time of Event: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Meeting Location: Meet at Greenbrier State Park Visitor Center - 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike; Self-guided; Great for beginners and families
Length of Hike: Approximate distance of 1 mile
Things to Bring: Dress for the weather! Wear warm layers and the appropriate footwear (i.e. waterproof hiking boots). Bring a water bottle or coffee mug for refreshments at the Visitor Center after your hike.
RSVP: please call the Greenbrier Visitor Center at (301) 791-4656. RSVP’s are encouraged but not required.
Additional Information: Enjoy a mildly challenging, self-guided hike on the Green Trail at Greenbrier State Park. Starting at the Visitor Center, this loop trail features interpretive markers on various tree species found in the region as well as interesting changes in elevation and vegetation. Dogs on lead are welcome.


Greenbrier State Park: First Day Challenge Hike (Self-Guided)

Washington County
Time of Event: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Meeting Location: Meet at Greenbrier State Park Visitor Center (will be directed to start at Gazebo #1 in Day Use) 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike, Self-guided, Great for experienced hikers and families with older children
Length of Hike: Approximate distance of 2.5 miles
Things to Bring: Dress for the weather! Wear warm layers and the appropriate footwear (i.e. waterproof hiking boots). Bring a water bottle or mug for refreshments at the Visitor Center after your hike.
RSVP: please call the Greenbrier Visitor Center at (301) 791-4656. RSVP’s are encouraged but not required.
Additional Information: Enjoy a challenging, self-guided hike around Greenbrier State Park. Following the Lakeside Loop Trail starting at Gazebo #1 in the Day Use area, follow the orange blazes around the lake to the Copperhead Trail (green blazes), then Big Red trail (red blazes), and back to the Lakeside Loop Trail (orange blazes) for a total of about 2.5 miles. Dogs on lead are welcome.


Greenbrier State Park: Marked Mile First Day Hike (Self-Guided)

Washington County
Time of Event: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Meeting Location: Meet at Greenbrier State Park Visitor Center - 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike; Self-guided; Paved-surface; Great for beginners and families with small children; Stroller-friendly if no snow/ice
Length of Hike: Approximate distance of 1 mile
Things to Bring: Dress for the weather! Wear warm layers and the appropriate footwear (i.e. waterproof hiking boots). Bring a water bottle and/or coffee mug for refreshments at the Visitor Center after your hike.
RSVP: please call the Greenbrier Visitor Center at (301) 791-4656. RSVP’s are encouraged but not required.
Additional Information: Enjoy an easy, self-guided walk around Greenbrier State Park. Following the white arrows and orange cones on paved surfaces in the Day Use area, start at the ‘X’ by the Visitor Center and cut through the upper tier Day Use path for a total of about 1 mile. Dogs on lead are welcome. Stroller-friendly if no snow/ice.


Greenwell State Park: Welcome to the New Year at Greenwell State Park

St. Mary's County
Time of Event: 8:00 AM
Meeting Location: Meet at the Pavilion (Drive down Rosedale Manor Lane and take the first left.)
Degree of Difficulty: Easy side of moderate
Length of Hike: Approximate round trip distance of 2 miles
Things to Bring: Bring a mug for hot cocoa and hot apple cider
RSVP: Ranger Catherine Donley (301) 872-5688 or catherine.donley@maryland.gov by 12/20/19
Additional Information: Let's welcome the new year with an early morning hike on the Brown Trail. This hike is not stroller friendly but dogs on leashes are welcome. Please wear sturdy, closed toed shoes or boots. Park address: 25420 Rosedale Manor Lane Hollywood MD 20636


Gunpowder Falls State Park: First Day Hikes at the Historic Jerusalem Mill Village

Harford County
Time(s) of Events: 10 a.m. AND 2 p.m. (TWO opportunities
Meeting Location: Street Address: 2813 Jerusalem Road, Kingsville, MD 21087. Meet in the Meadow between the Blacksmith Shop and the river.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy-to-moderate difficulty.
Length of Hike: Approximately 2.5 miles roundtrip (~1.5 hours).
Things to Bring: Dress for the weather and bring water. Water-resistant boots are highly recommended.
RSVP: Pre-registration recommended, but not mandatory. Contact Ranger Nicole Staab at nicole.staab@maryland.gov for more information or to RSVP.
Additional Information: The Friends of Jerusalem Mill will lead hikers along the Little Gunpowder Falls. The hike will cover some wet or uneven terrain. Friendly, leashed dogs with hiking experience are welcome. Trail not suited for strollers, and it is advisable for children over the age of 10. Snacks and drinks will be graciously provided by the Friends of Jerusalem Mill. Donations encouraged. This event will be cancelled due to inclement weather.


Gunpowder Falls State Park: First Day BIKE on the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

Baltimore County
Time of Event: 9 a.m.
Meeting Location: Paper Mill Parking Lot off of the Torrey C. Brown Trail. Street Address: 1302 Paper Mill Road, Cockeysville, MD 21030.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy-to-moderate difficulty.
Length of Bike: Approximately 5-miles roundtrip (~1.25 hours)
Things to Bring: Bicycles are not provided – please bring your own! Dress for the weather and bring water. Children under age 16 are welcome, however they are required to wear helmets.
RSVP: Pre-registration is required. Limited space available! Contact Ranger Nicole Staab at nicole.staab@maryland.gov for more information or to RSVP.
Additional Information: Led by Crew Members of the Maryland Conservation Corps, this First Day Bike Route will begin at the Paper Mill Parking Lot, and will continue to the Phoenix Road Parking Lot and back. This event will be cancelled due to inclement weather.


Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park: Start the Year of the Woman at Harriet’s House

Dorchester County
Times of Events: 10:00 a.m.
Meeting Location: The lobby of the Visitor Center- 4068 Golden Hill Road, Church Creek, MD 21622​
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families
Length of Hike: Approximately 1.5 miles
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine) and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Registration is required. Please e-mail Ranger Angela Crenshaw (angela.crenshaw@maryland.gov) to register and for information about the event.
Additional Information: 2020 is the Year of the Woman and in honor of Harriet Tubman, join Team Tubman for a 1.5 mile hike on the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge's Wildlife Drive. Hike along the Blackwater River and see Canada and snow geese, tundra swans, bald eagles, ducks, sika deer and other wildlife found in South Dorchester County. This will be an easy hike perfect for families. The wildlife drive is flat and paved. Pets are NOT permitted in the refuge. Guests are welcome to enjoy hot cocoa and light refreshments after the hike. Then explore the Visitor Center and learn about the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman, an American shero. Afterwards flex your Tubman knowledge by participating in Tubman Trivia at 1:30 p.m., the top two teams will receive a prize! Take your experience further and become a Junior Ranger or visit our research library. To register e-mail Ranger Angela Crenshaw (angela.crenshaw@maryland.gov).


Herrington Manor State Park: Frozen in Time First Day Hike

Garrett County
Time of Event: 2 p.m.
Meeting Location: Herrington Manor State Park Office; 222 Herrington Ln. Oakland, MD 21550
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Length of Trail: 1 mile
Things to Bring: Please bring a water for the hike and wear appropriate clothing suitable for the weather conditions including warm, waterproof footwear.
RSVP: Please RSVP via the Herrington Manor office and call the Duty Ranger Phone to check for any cancellations on the day of the hike. Office Phone: 301-334-9180 and Duty Ranger Phone: 240-321-5966
Additional Information: The hike will be on the yellow trail and guide you past some of our historic landmarks and areas such as the dam of Herrington Lake. The hike will finish at the lake house, where refreshments will be provided and a fire to warm up by.


Janes Island State Park: First Day Hike

Somerset County
Time of Event: 9 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the camper registration parking lot, 26280 Alfred Lawson Drive Crisfield, MD 21817
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families.
Length of Trail: Approximately 3 miles
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Call Janes Island State Park at 410-968-1565 for information
Additional Information: Bring your whole family and join a ranger for an approximately 3-mile hike along Daugherty Creek Canal, around the park boundary and throughout the forested fire trails in the interior of the park. This hike traverses a flat grassy path, suitable for some strollers, as well as some paved roads. Hikers can view wildlife including a variety of waterfowl, Whitetail deer, winter- roosting songbirds as well as local vegetation. Dogs on a leash are welcome. We have a few pairs of binoculars to share, but we always encourage guests to bring their own. The portions of the trail along the waterfront can be quite windy, please dress accordingly.


Martinak State Park: Tree Huggers Hike!

Caroline County
Time of Event: 2 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at Martinak Nature Center, 137 Deep Shore Road, Denton, MD 21629
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families
Length of Hike: approximate round trip distance of 1.5 miles
Things to Bring: Bring a mug for hot cocoa and a water bottle. Dress for the weather.
RSVP: 410-820-1668 or tuckahoe.statepark@maryland.gov
Additional Information: Join park staff on a fun family hike through Martinak State Park! Refreshments provided. Dogs on leash are welcome. Stroller Friendly. In case of poor weather, contact duty ranger (443-221-8285) to confirm.


Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary: First Day in the Forests of the Patuxent

Prince George’s County
Time of Event: 11 a.m.
Meeting Location: Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, Visitor Center, 11704 Fenno Road, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate
Length of Trail: 3.5 miles (round-trip). Hike will last approximately 2 hours
Things to bring: Wear clothing and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow, or shine), and bring water for drinking
RSVP: Register via email to MerkleWildlife.NRMA@Maryland.gov or call Merkle Wildlife NRMA at 443-510-9920.
Additional Information: Join park staff for a 3.5 mile hike along Poplar Springs to include a newly constructed extension to the trail! The trail winds through the forests of Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, passing by an award winning poplar tree. Afterwards, refreshments will be served in the Visitor Center and participants are welcome to stop in, learn about the history of the park, and meet some of our resident animals. Dogs on a leash are welcome! Trail is not stroller friendly.


New Germany State Park: New Germany through the Years

Garrett County
Time of Event: 3 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at New Germany Lake House- 403 McAndrews Hill Road, Grantsville, Maryland
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families. Not stroller friendly
Length of Hike: 2 miles and in case of snow the trail may be changed to a shorter selection
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow, or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Call New Germany State Park at 301-895-5453
Additional Information: During this easy winter hike, a ranger will talk about the history of New Germany as a 19th-century industrial community, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp and a state park. The hike will conclude with a warm fire and hot cocoa at the Lake House. Dogs on a leash are welcome.


North Point State Park: First Day Hike at North Point State Park

Baltimore County
Time of Event: 9 a.m.
Meeting Location: Street Address: 8400 North Point Road, Edgemere, MD 21219. Meet in Parking Lot A (just beyond the Contact Station to the left).
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families
Length of Hike: Approximately 2-miles roundtrip (~1.5 hours)
Things to Bring: Dress for the weather and bring water. Water-resistant boots are highly recommended. Wildlife viewing opportunities plentiful; bring binoculars if interested in birdwatching.
RSVP: Pre-registration recommended, but not mandatory. Contact Ranger Nicole Staab at nicole.staab@maryland.gov for more information or to RSVP.
Additional Information: The Maryland Conservation Corps crew members will be leading this hike down the scenic Black Marsh Trail. Bring binoculars for bird watching and other wildlife viewing opportunities. History buffs will also enjoy learning about the historic Bay Shore Amusement Park and even seeing the 1900's trolley car powerhouse. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch to enjoy at the picnic area overlooking the Chesapeake Bay after the hike. Friendly, leashed dogs with hiking experience are welcome. Trail not suited for strollers, but children are welcome.


Patapsco Valley State Park: Cascade Falls First Day Hike

Baltimore County
Time of Event: 9:30 am until 10:30 am
Meeting Location: Orange Grove Area of Patapsco Valley State Park, Cascade Falls Trailhead - 5120 South Street, Halethorpe MD 21227
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Length of Hike: Approximately 1/2 mile round trip
Things to bring: Hikers will need to bring their own water, wear closed toed shoes appropriate for travel across all terrain (mud/water included), and dress appropriately for the weather.
RSVP: Registration is required and will be limited to 40 participants. Contact Park Headquarters at 410-461-5005 by 12/27/19 to register.
Additional Information: Due to the nature of the Cascade Falls Trail, strollers are prohibited on this hike. The hike is no cost, but the park Service Charge of $2/car is required at time of entry. Pets are not permitted on this guided hike. Hike is "shine only" and will be canceled in event of rain or show.


Patapsco Valley State Park: McKeldin Area First Day Hike

Carroll County
Time of Event: 11:00 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: McKeldin Area of Patapsco Valley State Park, Shelter 501- 11676 Marriottsville Road Marriottsville, MD 21104
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate; the hike will cover varied terrain and will involve steep slopes
Length of Hike: Approximately 4 miles round trip
Things to bring: Hikers will need to bring their own water, wear closed toed shoes appropriate for travel across all terrain (mud/water included), and dress appropriately for the weather.
RSVP: Call Registration is required and will be limited to 100 participants. Contact Park Headquarters at 410-461-5005 by 12/27/19 to register.
Additional Information: Due to terrain and distance, participants must be age 10+ to participate. The hike is no cost, but the park Service Charge of $2/car is required at time of entry. Pets are not permitted on this guided hike. Hike is "shine only" and will be canceled in event of rain or snow.


Patapsco Valley State Park: Serpentine Trail Self-guided First Day Hike

Time of Event: Park Hours 9:00 am until sunset
Meeting Location:Soldiers Delight Overlook, 5200 Deer Park Road, Owings Mills MD, 21117
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate; the hike covers varied terrain and will involve steep slopes and involve one stream crossing.
Length of Hike: 2.5 miles
Things to bring:Hikers will need to bring their own water, wear closed toed shoes appropriate for travel across all terrain (mud/water included), and dress appropriately for the weather.
RSVP: None, hike is self guided
Additional Information:A map of the Serpentine Trail is located on the bulletin board at the trailhead. Maps can be downloaded or printed from the Park website, https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Documents/SoldiersDelight_map.pdf​. Hike is suitable for all ages. Dogs on leash welcome. Bicycles prohibited in all areas of Soldiers Delight NEA.​


Patapsco Valley State Park: Union Dam Self-guided First Day Hike

Time of Event: Park Hours 9:00 am until sunset
Meeting Location:Union Dam Trailhead, Hollofield Area, 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City MD, 21043
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate; the hike involves very steep slopes.
Length of Hike: 1.5 miles
Things to bring:Hikers will need to bring their own water, wear closed toed shoes appropriate for travel across all terrain (mud/water included), and dress appropriately for the weather.
RSVP: None, hike is self guided
Additional Information:A map of the Hollofield Area is located on the bulletin board at the Trailhead. Maps can be downloaded or printed from the Park website, https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Documents/Patapsco_HollofieldPickallmap.pdf​. Hike is suitable for all ages. Dogs on leash welcome.


Patuxent River State Park: First Day Hike

Howard and Montgomery Counties
Time of Event: 2 pm
Meeting Location: Patuxent Nature Center (23222 Georgia Avenue, Brookville, MD 20833)
Difficulty: Easy hike for families
Length: 2 mile loop
Things to Bring: Warm clothes, boots
RSVP: 301-924-2127 or email at PatuxentRiver.StatePark@maryland.gov
Additional Information: Dogs on leash are welcome. Bonfire, hot chocolate and snacks after the hike.


Pocomoke River State Park: First Day Hike 2020

Worcester County
Time of Event: 11 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at PRSP Nature Center - 3461 Worcester Highway, Snow Hill MD 21863
Degree of Difficulty: Easy flat trails and waterside paths
Length of Hike: Round trip roughly 1.5 miles
Things to Bring: Appropriate dress for weather, bring water
RSVP: No reservation required
Additional Information: Meet a Park Ranger to celebrate the arrival of 2020, a new year of outdoor activities and adventures. Join a Ranger in a hike through the Shad Landing Area of Pocomoke River State Park. We will traverse the parks wooded trails as well as walk alongside Corkers Creek. From Bald Cypress trees to Bald Eagles, there is still plenty to see and experience along the Pocomoke River even on a hike in the heart of winter. At the end of the hike, warm your hands by a fire and your body with a hot beverage. Come join us and welcome 2020! Pets on leash are welcome.


Rocks State Park: Winter Rocks Spectacular

Harford County
Time of Event: 11:00 a.m.
Meeting Location: Wilson's Picnic Pavilion - 3805 St. Clair Bridge Road, Jarrettsville, Md 21084
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate for families
Length of Trail: 1 mile round trip
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Rocks State Park at 410-557-7994 to register
Additional Information: Soaring natural rock outcrops provide breathtaking views at the King and Queen Seat area of Rocks State Park. Join us for a hike to witness this spectacular sight, in winter - possibly the best time to visit. Dogs on a leash are welcome. Please be sure to wear sturdy footwear with good traction.


Rocky Gap State Park: New Year’s Goals in The Gap

Allegany County
Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Touch of Nature Trail Head, at the end of Old Hancock Road, past the Rocky Gap Casino Resort
Degree of Difficulty: : A moderate to challenging hike with steep sections and a rocky, uneven natural trail surface. During the hike, participants will climb nearly 500 ft of elevation, scramble over boulders and cross a narrow footbridge.
Length of Hike: The hike will be 2.15 miles long. Participants should expect to take at least an hour to complete.
Things to Bring: Dress for the weather, including waterproof boots and gloves to prepare for rock scrambling and snowy conditions. Hiking poles are recommended to help with slippery, uneven terrain. Bring your own drinking water; the trail head has a portable toilet, but no potable water.
RSVP: RSVPs are not required, but are encouraged to help us plan accordingly. Contact Ranger Julia Musselwhite at julia.musselwhite@maryland.gov 301-722-1480 to let us know how many in your party are planning to attend.
Additional Information: If the steep climbs don't take your breath away, then the scenery certainly will! Experience the rugged side of Rocky Gap by hiking into a State Wildland and see first-hand the beauty of Rocky Gap Run Gorge, or "The Gap", in winter. You will walk through a lush rhododendron and hemlock forest, cross over a thriving mountain trout stream, and end with serene lakeside views. This hike is not suitable for wheelchairs or strollers. Pets are permitted on a leash, but owners must know their pet's limitations over challenging terrain. Rocky Gap staff will provide a limited number of trekking poles, but encourage hikers to bring their own. Hot beverages and light refreshments will be provided.


Sandy Point State Park: Sandy Point’s First Day Hikes

Anne Arundel County
Time of Events: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (TWO opportunities)
Meeting Location: Meet at Sandy Point Maintenance Shop, 1100 E. College Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21409
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike for all ages
Length of Hike: approximate round trip distance of 3 miles
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Hot chocolate will be available following the hike. To save on disposables, please bring your own mug.
RSVP: 410-974-2149 or kayla.frank@maryland.gov
Additional Information: Join park staff to ring in 2020 with a brisk hike between 2-3 miles! Dogs on leashes are welcome. Not recommended for strollers.


Sang Run State Park: New Year, New Park!

Garrett County
Time of Event: 10 a.m.
Meeting Location: Friends Store at Sang Run State Park- 3735 Sang Run Road McHenry, MD 21541
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate difficulty, but will increase in difficulty with the presence of snow and cold weather.
Length of Hike: Approx. 2 miles and 2 hours
Things to Bring: Please bring water for the hike and a reusable cup for hot cocoa at the end of the hike. Depending on the weather, the hike may require snow boots and clothing to stay warm in cold and windy conditions. Great place for snowshoeing if enough snow has fallen.
RSVP: (301) 387-5563 or samantha.dixon@maryland.gov
Additional Information:Join us for the first First Day Hike at one of Maryland's newest state parks - Sang Run State Park. This hike will provide perimeter views of the park's open meadows as well as the rolling mountains of Western Maryland in the background. Dogs are welcome on the hike and must remain on a leash at all times. Degree of difficulty will change significantly depending on the weather. While typically a fairly easy family hike, the presence of wind or snow could make the uphill sections of the hike challenging. Wind down after the hike at the historic Friends Store with hot chocolate around the fire and explore the store's rich past through displays and photographs.


Seneca Creek State Park: First Day Great Seneca Hike

Montgomery County
Time of Event: 9 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at Park Office – 11950 Clopper Road. Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike.
Length of Hike: Round trip is approximately 2 miles.
Things to Bring: Weather appropriate attire, comfortable walking shoes, a water bottle, and a thermos or mug for hot cocoa after the hike.
RSVP: Call (301) - 924-2127 or email SCSPNaturalist@gmail.com for more info.
Additional Information: Join us in hiking a 2 mile loop starting on the Great Seneca Trail and finishing along a diverse habitat of field and forest. Dogs on leash are welcome however the trail is not stroller accessible and young children may have difficulty. Participants are welcome to gather around the campfire and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa after the hike.


Susquehanna State Park: Explore the Greenway

Harford County
Time of Event: 11 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at Fisherman's Park below the Conowingo Dam (2569 Shures Landing Road, Darlington MD 21034)
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike for families
Length of Trail: 2 miles round trip
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Susquehanna State Park at 410-557-7994 to register
Additional Information: Join a park ranger and see fantastic views of the Susquehanna River in winter. Dogs on a leash are welcome.


Swallow Falls State Park: First Day Canyon Hike

Garrett County
Time of Event: 10 a.m.
Meeting Location: Swallow Falls State Park Pavilion, 2470 Maple Glade Rd, Oakland, MD 21550
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate
Length of Hike: 1.25 miles
Things to Bring: A bottle of water, and appropriate shoes and clothes.
RSVP: Please RSVP via the Herrington Manor office and call the Duty Ranger Phone to check for any cancellations on the day of the hike. Office Phone: 301-334-9180 and Duty Ranger Phone: 240-321-5966
Additional Information: Start the year out right with Maryland's tallest free falling waterfall. Join park staff on a hike around Swallow Falls State Park's Canyon trail to enjoy the old growth hemlocks and 4 scenic waterfalls. Dogs are welcome, but the trail is not stroller friendly. Depending on the weather conditions, the trail may be icy so wear appropriate footwear and attire. Please RSVP in advance in case the hike needs to be cancelled due to weather extremes.


Tuckahoe State Park: First Day Lake Hike!

Caroline County
Time of Event: 11 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Tuckahoe Lake Pavilion (13187 Crouse Mill Road, Ridgely, MD 21660)
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families
Length of Hike: approximate round trip distance of 2 miles
Things to Bring: Bring a mug for hot cocoa and a water bottle. Dress for the weather.
RSVP: 410-820-1668 or tuckahoe.statepark@maryland.gov
Additional Information: Join park staff on a fun family hike along Tuckahoe Creek! Refreshments provided. Dogs on leash are welcome. In case of poor weather, contact duty ranger (443-221-8285) to confirm.


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Wye Island: First Day Hike!

Queen Anne County
Time of Event: 12 p.m.
Meeting Location: Park at the Schoolhouse Woods Trail lot - 632 Wye Island Road, Queenstown, MD 21658
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families
Length of Hike: Approximately 1.5 mile hike
Things to Bring: Bring a mug for hot cocoa and a water bottle. Dress for the weather.
RSVP: 410-820-1668 or tuckahoe.statepark@maryland.gov
Additional Information: Ring in the New Year with a hike through the old growth forest at Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area. Refreshments provided. Dogs on leash are welcome. In case of poor weather, contact duty ranger (443-221-8285) to confirm.


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