The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will host 17 self-guided hikes throughout Delaware State Parks on Jan. 1 to ring in the new year. First Day Hikes is a national movement sponsored by America’s State Parks to encourage the celebration of fitness in the nation’s great outdoors.
There is no need to register for any of the hikes listed below, but participants are encouraged to stop by each hike’s check-in table between the times indicated to be counted as part of the nationwide initiative. While the hikes are self-guided, park staff will be available to answer questions. After the hike, participants are invited to fill out the feedback form at www.destateparks.com/firstday and record how many miles they covered.
Items hikers may want to bring along include comfortable hiking/walking shoes, a camera, a bottle of water, appropriate layers for the weather, a hat, sunglasses, a backpack and snacks. Dogs are allowed on the hiking trails, unless indicated otherwise below, and must be on a maximum 6-foot leash. Some hikes may require water-resistant shoes. Not all hiking trails are suitable for strollers.
Check out one of the following hikes to celebrate the new year at a Delaware state park:
- 9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Auburn Valley State Park Yorklyn Bridge Trail and Auburn Valley Loop Trail. 2.8-mile loop. Moderate. Check in at the Park pavilion on Yorklyn Road.
- 10 a.m.-noon – Alapocas Run State Park Northern Delaware Greenway Trail, Wilmington. 2 miles one way. Easy/moderate difficulty. Accessible. Check in at the Blue Ball Barn, Courtyard Entrance.
- 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. – Brandywine Zoo pathway, Wilmington. .1 mile. Easy. Check in at the ticket window. Service animals allowed.
- 10 a.m.-noon – Fort DuPont State Park Riverview Trail, Delaware City. 1 mile. Easy. Check in at the Riverview Trail Trailhead.
- 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Trap Pond State Park American Holly Loop to Bob Trail, Laurel. 1.1-mile loop. Easy/Moderate. Accessible. Check in at the Nature Center.
- 10 a.m.-noon – White Clay Creek State Park Tri-Valley Trail, Newark. 2.5 miles, out and back. Easy. Check in at the Smith Mill parking Lot.
- 11 a.m.-noon – The Point at Cape Henlopen, Lewes. 2 miles. Moderate. Ages 5 and older. Check in at The Point parking area. No pets allowed.
- 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – First State Heritage Park, Dover. 1 mile. Easy. Check in at the John Bell House.
- Noon-1 p.m. – Indian River Inlet Bridge, Delaware Seashore State Park, Rehoboth Beach. .75 miles. Check in at the North Inlet Day Area.
- Noon-4 p.m. – Lums Pond State Park Swamp Forest Trail/Little Jersey Trail, Bear. 2 miles. Easy. Little Jersey Trail is accessible. Check in at the Nature Center.
- 12:30-1:30 p.m. – Cape Henlopen State Park Fort Miles Artillery Park, Lewes .25 to 2 miles. Easy/moderate. Check in at the Orientation Building.
- 1-2 p.m. – Killens Pond State Park Bike Trail, Felton. 2 miles, with length option. Moderate. Accessible. Check in at Pavilion 1.
- 1-3 p.m. – Bellevue State Park Bellevue Trail, Wilmington. 1.12 miles. Easy. Check in at the top of main parking lot.
- 1-3 p.m. – Brandywine Creek State Park Meadows Trail, Wilmington. 2 miles. Easy/moderate. Check in outside the Nature Center.
- 1-3 p.m. – Lums Pond State Park Swamp Forest Trail, Bear. 6.4 miles. Easy. Check in at the Area 1 Pavilion.
- 1-3 p.m. – White Clay Creek State Park PennDel and Pomeroy trails, Newark. 2.29-mile loop. Easy. Pomeroy Trail is accessible. Check in at the Nature Center parking lot.
- 2-3 p.m. – Holts Landing State Park Sea Hawk Trail, Dagsboro. 1.3 miles. Easy. Accessible. Check in at the Holts picnic pavilion.
For more information about the Delaware State Parks First Day Hikes, go to https://destateparks.com/firstdayor call 302-739-9220.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.