2021 First Day Hikes at NY and VT Parks

Collage of two graphics advertising First Day Hikes from NY Parks and Rec and VT Parks and Rec.

2021 First Day Hikes at NY and VT Parks

Start the new year on the right foot with a hike in a state park! Both New York and Vermont State Parks are inviting everyone to celebrate the start of 2021 by heading out on the trails.

New York Offerings

More than 60 state parks, historic sites, DEC state lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails and environmental education centers will host family-friendly walks and hikes generally in the one- to five-mile range. Hike location details, format, pre-registration requirements, and additional information can be found online at parks.ny.gov and dec.ny.gov.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for safe outdoor recreation, there will be no large group hikes this year. Event options range from self-guided treks to staff- or volunteer-led hikes with a limited number of participants. All hikes are subject to regional COVID-19 guidelines and masks or face-coverings are mandatory. Hikes will span Friday, Saturday or Sunday of January, allowing participants the time and space to physically distance while still enjoying nature's winter wonders. Familiarize yourself with New York’s Play Smart-Play Safe-Play Local guidelines before heading out at https://parks.ny.gov/covid19/.

Contact phone numbers for the North Country/Adirondack hikes are noted below:

  • Goodnow Mountain, Newcomb; 518.582.4551 ext. 104
  • John Brown Farm State Historic Site, Lake Placid; 518.744.7112
  • Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center, Paul Smith's, 518-327-6241
  • Point Au Roche State Park, Plattsburgh; 518.563.6444
  • Wildway Overlook, Essex, 518.962.2287

Vermont Offerings

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vermont’s 2021 First Day Hikes will be self-guided adventures. Hikers should check out and follow COVID-19 outdoor recreation health and safety guidance before heading out to recreate.

Click on the headers below for PDFs with links to maps and planning information for some of the hikes offered in the Lake Champlain watershed.

Southwest Region

Button Bay Point Trail | 0.8-mile roundtrip | Button Bay State Park in Ferrisburgh, VT

Northwest Region

Burns Trail | 2.0-mile roundtrip | Niquette Bay State Park in Colchester, VT

Marsh Brook Nature Trail | 1.5-mile roundtrip loop | Lake Carmi State Park in Enosburg Falls, VT

Northeast Region    

Groton Nature Trail | 0.6-mile roundtrip loop | Groton Nature Center in Groton, VT

Pack beverages and snacks, dress for the weather and bring snowshoes if you’re heading to an area where the snow is deep. On-leash dogs are welcome unless otherwise noted. Pre-registration is not required and hikers can simply show up whenever they’d like. Click here for full day hike details