First Day Hikes will be held in several state parks in the Tidewater Region. Hikes will occur on January 1, 2020; times vary depending on the location.
2020 First Day Hike Events:
False Cape State Park Hike
January 1, 2020 – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (for transport to False Cape)
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Start off the New Year with a First Day Hike in one of Virginia’s most unique state parks. The journey will begin at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge for a ride down the beach to the Virginia-North Carolina border followed by a 2-mile round trip hike along the Monument Trail. Reservations are required, space is limited. To make a reservation please call (757) 426-7128. This is a moderate hike through patches of soft sand. Not appropriate for strollers. Fee: $8 per person.
First Landing State Park Hike
January 1, 2020 – 11 a.m and 1 p.m
2500 Shore Dr.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
First Day Hike Participants will meet at the Trail Center. Celebrate New Year’s Day by experiencing the splendor and the beauty of the Bald Cypress Swamps and maritime forest on this 1 mile guided hike. Two hikes will be offered one at 11 a.m. and the other at 1 p.m. Each will be approximately 1 hour long. Parking fees are waived for the day.
Kiptopeke State Park Hikes
January 1, 2020 – 9 a.m and 2 p.m
3540 Kiptopeke Dr.
Cape Charles, VA 23310
Participants for the First Day Hike should meet at the gazebo in the picnic area. During two 1 hour hikes, a park interpreter will guide hikers through an upland maritime forest, along Chesapeake Bay coastal dunes, and across open meadows of reclaimed farmland. Hikers will explore a freshwater pond, wildlife viewing blinds, and several bay overlooks where deer, fox, turkey, and other wildlife are sometimes seen. A morning hike will begin at 9 a.m. and an afternoon hike begins at 2 p.m. Hikers can also enjoy the trails on their own. Parking fees are waived for the day.
Westmoreland State Park Hike
January 1, 2020 – 10 a.m
145 Cliff Road
Montross, VA 22520
On Virginia’s Northern Neck, a First Day Hike with a park ranger goes to Fossil Beach and the boardwalk over the marsh to learn about the park, natural resources, and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Opportunities to hunt for shark teeth will be provided. The hike will be just over 1.2 miles and is rated easy. Pets are welcome. The trip will begin at Big Meadows Trailhead. January 1 is a fee free day at Westmoreland State Park.
York River State Park Hikes
January 1, 2020 – 11 a.m – 3 p.m.
9801 York River Park Rd.
Williamsburg, VA 23188
At York River State Park, hikers can enjoy two first day hikes and other recreation. Hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers are invited to meet at the Visitor’s Center at 11 am for a welcome to the New Year.
The main hike will cover a little over 4 miles. Bring water and a lunch/snack. Be prepared to pack in/pack out. Much of the terrain is flat, but, the hill leading to the overlook is steep.
A shorter hike of about 1.5 miles will go around Woodstock Pond through the quiet Beaver Trail. The trail is narrow with one steep ravine and surrounded by a mix of pines and hardwoods. This trek ends with a gorgeous view of the river and pond leading back up to the Visitor Center.
Dogs on leashes are welcome on both hikes. Parking fees waived for the day. No reservations required.
For information about a Virginia State Parks First Day Hike photo contest and New Year Challenge, visit: https://vasp.fun/2020firsthike
source: Virginia State Parks