The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites everyone to kick off the New Year with one of Maryland’s fastest-growing traditions: a First Day Hike. On January 1, 2019, the Maryland Park Service will offer more than three dozen hikes on more than 30 state lands and parks, as part of a nationwide event sponsored by America’s State Parks.

Kick off the New Year with a First Day Hike! Courtesy MD DNR
Kick off the New Year with a First Day Hike! Courtesy MD DNR

These hikes will provide a wide array of outdoor adventures and experiences for every level of hiker and walker, providing unique access to Maryland’s cultural, historical, and natural resources and treasures, along with opportunities for education and stewardship. Many hikes are even pet-friendly.

Numerous parks, state forests, and wildlife management areas will also be open January 1 for self-guided treks.

“2019 will be an exciting year as we continue to create, enhance, and maintain public access and recreation opportunities throughout the state,” Maryland Natural Resources secretary Mark Belton said. “I urge everyone to kick it off with a resolution to join us in Maryland’s great outdoors.”

In 2018, despite frigid temperatures, New Year’s Day saw 1227 people hike 2535 miles in Maryland. For 2019, parks will again distribute “I Hiked” stickers to First Day Hike participants, a popular new addition.

First Day Hike locations include Assateague State Park, Calvert Cliffs State Park, Cunningham Falls State Park, Dans Mountain State Park, Deep Creek Lake State Park, Elk Neck State Park, Fair Hill NRMA, Gunpowder Falls State Park, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, Janes Island State Park, Patapsco Valley State Park, Rocks State Park, Sandy Point State Park, and others. Find details on each hike at