Are you always trying to come up with ways to get outside more? Out into the great outdoors? For the last 12 years, the New York State Parks Department has been sharing a great way for you to get out and also start of the new year getting that fresh air and exercise.

If you need further motivation, there are actual guided hikes available to encourage you to get out there. How can you be involved in this "First Day Hike" tradition? How can you start your own tradition? Here's more info:

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Where are the 'NYS Parks First Day Hike' Events being held?

bhunter/tsm
bhunter/tsm
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The First Day hikes are being held throughout New York State. The NYS Parks has a locator on their website, as to which parks will have guided hikes, ranging from one to five miles. Here are a few of the Hudson Valley locations where there are First Day Hikes:

  • Staatsburg State Historic Site. This is a two-mile hike, hot chocolate and cider will be served after the hike. Pre-registration is required.
  • Hudson Highlands State Park/Little Stony Point. Pre-registration is not required, and the hike will step off about 11 am. You can choose between a 1-mile and a 3-mile hike, with free hot cocoa, cider, snacks and music after.
  • Sam's Point Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Want to head out on a 3-mile snowshoeing hike? Then this is one for you. If you have snowshoes, great. However, if you don't, you can rent them that day for $5. If there isn't enough snow to go snowshoeing, then this event will take place as a regular hike. Pre-register by calling, Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.
  • Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Frozen Waters Hike. The hike steps off about 1 pm. This is an interesting hike because it takes you on the Mossy Glen Footpath and near the Awosting Falls. You will need to pre-register for this hike by calling 845-255-0752.
  • Olana State Historic Site, pre-registration is required. Hikes are about 1 mile in length.
  • Taconic State Park-Copake Falls. This is a 3-mile hike starting at about 1 PM with a bonfire and hot chocolate when you return from the hike. Appropriate for all ages, well behaved, leashed dogs are also welcome.
  • Sterling Forest State Park. This is a 4-mile hike, pre-registration is required, and you are encouraged to bring water and a snack with you. The website mentions that the trails are not maintained, so you are encouraged to wear proper shoes.
  • Walkway Over the Hudson. The hike here is 1.28 miles (From one side of the walkway to the other). The walk is free to attend, no pre-registration is required, well behaved, leashed dogs are also welcome.

Where can you find the complete list of New York State Parks First Day Hikes?

PC: NYS DEC
PC: NYS DEC
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You can get the entire list of all the NYS Parks First Day Hikes here. Looking for other places to take hikes across New York State? Feel free to send us your photos of you out and about on your very own "First Day Hike!"

Here are a few upstate hikes to get you started on this winter! Bundle up.

Taking a hike doesn't mean you have to punish yourself with a difficult hand over hand climb to some remote mountaintop. At least it doesn't mean that for this writer! Here are 9 hikes you can take which, for the most part, are more like an enjoyable "walk in the woods." And remember, the view from the top when you finally get there is always worth the trip!

Looking to hike in areas that have a historic feel or historic landmark? Here are a few:

Welcome to some of the best Nature Trails, Historical Landmarks, and all-around great views right here in the Hudson Valley!

The Valley is filled to the brim with amazing places you can go right now, so what are you waiting for?

Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind before you head out on your next hike:

Do not be like my friends and me, who decided to go on an impromptu hike up Stissing Mountain in Pine Plains with little to no preparation whatsoever. Learn from our mistakes, and consider these things before your next Hudson Valley hike.