New Hampshire State Parks invites the public to celebrate the New Year with a self-guided virtual hike. This year’s First Day Hikes will run from December 26 through New Year’s Day 2021 at all state parks across New Hampshire. The goal of this year’s hikes is to provide individuals and families the opportunity to safely welcome in 2021 in the outdoors while maintaining social distancing practices.
This is the tenth year New Hampshire has participated in the First Day Hikes program. The program is part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors.
Since NH Park’s 2021 First Day Hikes will be virtual self-guided outings, hikers can choose to explore any of our state historic sites, parks, or recreational rail trails at thier own pace. Leashed pets are permitted at many parks in the off-season so visit the parks pet-friendly webpage, if you plan to bring your four-footed friends.
Share your First Day Hike on social media for a chance to win prizes!
NH State Parks will be giving away a bunch of parks' swag for the best photos in the categories below. In order to be considered, follow us @nhstateparks on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, use the hashtags #firstdayhikes #nhstateparks and tag us in your photo. Pictures must also be taken at one of our NH state park properties between December 26, 2020 - January 1, 2021.
Winners will be selected in each of the following categories:
- Best Family Photo
- Best Couple or Friend Photo
- Best Photo with a Pet
- Best Photo Highlighting a Natural Feature
- Best Photo Taken with a Trail or Park Sign
NH State Parks will be featuring the winning photos on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. Winners will be selected and contacted during the first week of January. Be sure to look for your photos, winners or not. Winners will be notified once photos are selected.
Here are a few helpful tips to make your day enjoyable:
- Please remember to check the weather prior to heading out.
- Follow all social distancing recommendations and practices.
- Dress in layers appropriate for the winter weather and wear appropriate footwear. Make sure someone knows you are out on the trails and when you will be returning from your hike. For more information regarding recommended clothing and gear, please visit HikeSafe.com
- Traction devices for footwear are highly recommended (trails may be icy).
- Maintain 6ft of distance between others.
- Carry hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.
- Move to the side of the trail to allow others to pass.
- Wear a mask when around others.
- Slow down or speed up to maintain space along the trail.
- Be sure to pack water and a snack for during the hike.
- Avoid groups of more than 10 people