Embrace the chill and take your family on one of these Maryland First Day Hikes to kick off the new year!
First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get active and enjoy the outdoors. On New Year’s Day, hundreds of free, guided hikes will taking place in all 50 states, including Maryland. It is a great time to enjoy the beauty of our state parks.
Kick off your New Year with a First Day Hike
Maryland Parks First Day Hikes
January 1–3, 2022. Maryland State Parks will be offering self-guided hike opportunities across the state. Be sure to follow Maryland State Parks policies to slow the spread of Covid-19, including keeping a 6-foot distance from anyone outside of your household and wearing a face covering when in close proximity to others and when indoors. First Day Hikes in Maryland are listed at the link below by county. https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/pages/firstdayhikes.aspx
First Day Hikes in Anne Arundel County
Start your year off on the right foot by joining knowledgeable park rangers, naturalists, and volunteers in one of Anne Arundel County’s beautiful parks. Times vary by park. Use this link to find Anne Arundel County First Day Hikes. This program is free, but registration is required: https://bit.ly/3djwdP4
First Day Hike with Scenic Rivers Land Trust. Kick off the new year with a serene hike through your local, protected forest! Scenic Rivers Land Trust staff will lead a guided hike of the southern portion of Bacon Ridge Natural Area, which is forever protected by a conservation easement. All ages welcome, but please be aware that we will hike on unpaved trails through the woods. Pets on leash are permitted. Length: 2-4 miles. 10am. Pre-register at https://sforce.co/3sr9v0e Hawkins Road Trailhead, Bacon Ridge Natural Area, Crownsville, Maryland
First Day Hike through Spa Creek Headwaters. Hike a rarely seen part of Annapolis through a restored wooded marsh. Two hiking options, one bushwhacking through the marsh and the other on pavement around the perimeter. Approximately 2.5 miles. 1pm. Meet at Weems Whalen Field, 935 Spa Road.
First Day Hikes in Calvert County
First Day Hike at Biscoe Heritage Farm. Family program, ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Ring in the new year with an approximately three mile guided hike at Biscoe Gray Heritage Farm. 9-11 a.m. Biscoe Gray Heritage Farm, Prince Frederick. md-calvertcountyedc.civicplus.com.
First Day Hike at Flag Ponds Nature Park. Family program, ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Approximately three miles of a guided hike at Flag Ponds Nature Park. 9-11 a.m. Flag Ponds Nature Park, Lusby. Md-calvertcountyedc.civicplus.com
First Day Hike in Montgomery County
First Day Hikes are a part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. Free. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Black Hill Visitor Center, Boyds. montgomeryparks.org
1st Weekend Walk – January 2
Ages 5+. Say goodbye to 2021 and start 2022 off right by being outside! On January 2, join a Naturalist as we take a walk in the great outdoors. Wear sturdy shoes. $2 members $4 non-members. $2.00 – $4.00. 1-3 p.m. Cromwell Valley Park, Parkville. Cromwellvalleypark.org
All total there are over 40 Maryland First Day Hikes
taking place. Times vary, and please note some parks are stroller and pet friendly, and some are not. A full list of Maryland First Day Hikes with park specific details is provided by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources
. In case of inclement weather, contact the individual park that day to see if there are any changes in the schedule. Other weekend events
Winter Hiking Tips and Tricks
It’s officially winter, so please follow these cold weather tips to keep everyone safe and warm.
Dress in layers
Those puffy coats that keep you from putting your arms down may not be the best accessory when hiking. Instead, dress in several layers that can be peeled off or put on when you stop and go on the trail. The base layer should be a wicking fabric that will pull your sweat away from the skin.
Overheating is a dangerous threat since excessive moisture that isn’t allowed to escape can freeze and cause hypothermia. If you ever wondered why some of jackets have zippers under the armpits, it’s to keep air circulating and prevent your clothes from getting wet.
Listen to your mother and wear a hat
If your head is warm, it is easier for the rest of your body to be warm. Our heads are filled with oxygen-carrying capillaries which fuel our brains and consume one third of our energy. During the colder months it is important to keep your head covered so as to not lose precious body heat.
Keep your water bottle warm so you can stay hydrated
A foam sleeve like a koozie will help prevent the water from freezing in a bottle. Another tip to keep water from freezing is to keep your water bottle on the inside of your jacket –with the cap on tight.
Don’t forget the sunscreen
There may be a coating of snow on some trails so don’t forget about the sun’s glare reflecting off of white snow. A winter sunburn is just as painful on your little one’s nose as one during the middle of summer. Some SPF 30 will go a long way in ensuring the family is safe from the harmful rays of the sun.