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Maryland Park Service Celebrates the New Year with First Day Hikes on January 1

Annapolis, Md. (December 16, 2011) —The Maryland Park Service (MPS) will sponsor free guided hikes in 17 State Parks on New Year’s Day 2012 as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes. This nationwide initiative offers participants an opportunity to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.  

“We are excited to host First Day Hikes as part of this national effort to get families and friends outdoors and into our Parks,” said MPS Superintendent Nita Settina. “Starting off the New Year with an invigorating walk or hike in one of our beautiful State Parks is way to cure cabin fever and burn off those extra holiday calories.”

First Day Hikes in Maryland include family-friendly, easy to moderate, guided hikes that let adults and youth alike reconnect with nature after the busy holidays. Visitors can take a hike at historic Fort Frederick State Park in Western Maryland, learn about native forests and catch a glimpse of wildlife at Greenwell State Park in Southern Maryland, hike along the scenic lake shore at Tuckahoe State Park on the Eastern Shore or learn about Patapsco Valley State Park’s geology in Central Maryland. Hikers can bring pets on a leash for many of the guided hikes. For a complete listing of all First Day Hikes in Maryland, including locations, difficulty and length visit dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/firstdayhikes.asp.

America’s State Parks is an alliance of state park systems in all 50 states. Represented by regional board members of the National Association of State Park Directors, America’s State Parks is a collaborative effort to strengthen the importance of more than 6,000 state park systems across the nation and showcase how state parks enhance and contribute to everyone’s quality of life.

First Day Hikes originated more than 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a State Park in Milton, Massachusetts. The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at State Parks. Many other states have offered outdoor recreation programs on New Year’s Day, however, this is the first time all 50 State Park systems have joined together to sponsor First Day Hikes. For more information, visit americasstateparks.org.


   December 16, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov