Kick off the New Year with some fresh air by joining in on one of the many First Day Hikes in state parks across the country.
Most are interpretive and introduce visitors to wildlife, trees and geology.
Many people, especially those in northern states, have never visited state parks in winter, so a First Day Hike can be a new experience in a familiar place.
While there aren’t any hikes for Central Ohio listed on the America’s State Parks page, the Ohio State Parks website lists First Day Hikes in most regions of Ohio, including one in Central Ohio.
Alum Creek: First Day Hike at 9 a.m.
Start 2023 with an easy 4-mile hike through the forest and along the lake. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Meet at the New Galena Picnic Area by the bulletin board at the trailhead of the multi-purpose south loop trail.
4550 Africa Rd, Galena, OH 43021
Take a drive to more First Day Hikes around Ohio
Maumee Bay (NW Ohio): First Day Hike at 10 a.m. Enjoy an easy morning hike on the boardwalk. Length: 1.9 mi. Dress in layers. Call 419-836-9117 to confirm during inclement weather. Meet at the Nature Center. 1400 State Park Road, Oregon, OH 43616
Marblehead Lighthouse (Northern Ohio): First Day Hike at 10 a.m. Enjoy a short 0.5 mile loop near the Marblehead Lighthouse. Dress in layers and weat closed to shoes. Call 419-635-8612 for more information. 113-77 Lighthouse Dr, Marblehead, OH 43440
Rocky Fork (SE Ohio): First Day Hike at 10 a.m. 9800 North Shore Drive, Hillsboro, OH 45133
Indian Lake (Western Ohio): First Day Hike at 1 p.m. Join a naturalist for an easy 1 mile walk at Pew Island. Meet in the parking lot at Pew Island. Stokes Township, OH 43324
East Harbor (Northern Ohio): First Day Hike at 1 p.m. Spend the afternoon welcoming in 2023 on the Meadow trail, an easy 0.75 mile loop. Meet at the Lockwood Shelter house near the pond. Please dress for the weather and be sure to wear close toed shoes. Call 419-635-8612 for more information.1169 N Buck Road, Lakeside-Marblehead, OH 43440-9610
Caesar Creek (SW Ohio): First Day Hike at 1 p.m. Start the New Year off on the right foot. Join us for a 3-mile guided out & back hike through Pioneer Village to Horseshoe Falls, and acroos the swinging bridge. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and dress for the weather. Trails can be muddy. Check for updates on the Caesar Creek State Park Facebook page. Meet at the Nature Center. 4006 Pioneer Village Rd, Waynesville, OH 45068
Pymatuning (NE Ohio): First Day Hike at 1 p.m. Take an afternoon hike in the woods and check out a brand new trail. This 2.5 mile hike is moderately difficult. Dress for the weather and wear hiking shoes. A hiking stick and water are recommended. Meet at the Pymatuning Cabin Launch Ramp. Andover, OH 44003
Wingfoot Lake (NE Ohio): First Day Hike at 1 p.m. Start the New Year off with an afternoon hike around the park. Meet at the nature center for this 1 mile, easy hike. Dress in weather appropriate clothing and hiking shoes. Event updates will be available on the ‘Wingfoot Lake State Park’ Facebook page. 2J7R+XV, Mogadore, OH 44260
Paint Creek (SE Ohio): First Day Hike at 2 p.m. 280 Taylor Rd, Bainbridge, OH 45612
Hikes at Columbus Metro Parks on January 1, 2023
Central Ohio has plenty of local parks to enjoy and hike all year round. Check out these New Years Day Hikes at our Metro Parks! Be sure to dress for the weather!
Find these and more winter hikes on the website.
First Hike of 2023 Blendon Woods
First Hike of 2023! at 7:30 a.m. Welcome the first sunrise of 2023 with an early morning hike out to the lake at dawn. 4265 E Dublin Granville Road, Columbus, OH 43081
First Day Hike at Clear Creek
New Year’s Day Hike at 10 a.m. Get moving in 2023 with a guided 4.5-mile or 7-mile hike on some of the park’s most rugged trails. Both hikes will begin together, with the 7-mile option exploring additional off-trail areas. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, bring a hiking stick, and water is a must. Meet at the Fern Parking Lot, 22937 Clear Creek Road in Rockbridge.
New Year’s Day Hike at Blues Creek Park
New Year’s Day Hike at 10 a.m. Kick off the new year by joining Preservation Parks for the annual first hike of the year. Walk the scenic 1.1-mile loop trail at Blues Creek Park and then finish up with some hot refreshments. The hike will be mostly gravel with very little elevation change. 9627 Fontanelle Road, Ostrander, OH 43061
New Year’s Day Hikes at Blacklick Woods
New Year’s Bird Hike at Blacklick Woods
Join a naturalist as we take a 1-mile hike through the forest in search of birds on New Years Day at 10 am.
First Hike of 2023 at Blacklick Woods
Take a 2.5-mile hike through forests and fields to bring in the new year from 2 pm – 3 pm.
Can’t make a hike on New Year’s Day? Find a hike that fits your schedule with the Winter Hike Series with the Columbus Metro Parks.
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