NJ Residents Invited to Take Hikes in State Parks, Forests and Historic Sites on January 1; Total of 28 Hikes
TRENTON – New Jerseyans are invited to ring in 2022 and kick off the new year with a healthy hike in a state park or forest, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced today.
In total, the State Park Service is offering 28 hikes and one lighthouse climb throughout the state.
“Spending time outdoors to appreciate New Jersey’s beautiful state parks and forests while breathing in fresh air is a great way to welcome the new year,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “First Day hikes are the perfect opportunity to get closer to nature, look for birds and other wildlife and recognize the value of our open spaces.”
The State Park Service did not host any formal guided first day hikes on Jan. 1, 2021 due to COVID-19 outdoor gathering restrictions, but still encouraged park users to go for a hike with their immediate family.
“New Year’s Day is the perfect time to visit a new state park, forest or historic site for the first time,” said John Cecil, Director of the Division of Parks and Forestry. “We understand that some visitors may still be cautious of gathering in groups, and we are pleased to offer a number of self-guided options.”
In 2020, more than 2,000 hikers traveled 5,625 miles on First Day Hikes throughout New Jersey’s vast network of trails.
There are a variety of hikes available at all difficulty levels. Among them:
Spend the day hiking a rugged 16 miles on the Warren Highlands Trail between Phillipsburg and Ragged Ridge in Warren County. The hike begins at 8:30 a.m. Children at least 10 years old who can hike 16 miles in the winter and are accompanied by parents or guardians are welcome, as are leashed dogs. Hikers should bring water, snacks and lunch. There are no restrooms or stores along the hike route. Registration is required by calling hike leader Mike Helbing at (908) 343-8374 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The hike will be canceled only in the event of severe inclement weather.
For a complete list of hikes and related details, visit www.njparksandforests.org/