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.
Local First Day Hikes near Columbus on January 1, 2022
Dress for the weather!
There are also some New Year’s Eve hikes; see more details here.
New Years Hike For Adults at Sharon Woods: Rugged Ravine Ramble
January 1 at 9 am. Join the naturalist for a rugged 2.5-mile hike off-trail in the park. We’ll cross ravines and small streams, and explore a state nature preserve all while learning about the history of the park. Ages 18+.
Please bring water and dress for the weather. Boots and jeans or other sturdy long pants (nothing that can snag easily.)
Christmas Bird Count at Battelle Darby Creek Little Darby Picnic Area
January 1 at 9 am – 12 pm. Calling all birders of every level! Come participate in the nation’s longest-running community science bird project. We will take a 2.5-mile walk to identify all of the birds we see and hear.
First Day Hike at Clear Creek Creekside Meadows
January 1 at 10 am. Start the New Year off with a 4-mile hike along one of the park’s most rugged trails. The Hemlock Trail is steep and uneven in areas, wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water. Meet at the Creekside Meadows Parking Lot, 23833 Clear Creek Road in Rockbridge.
New Year’s Bird Hike at Blacklick Woods
January 1 at 10 am. Join us on a 1.5-mile hike through the forest as we search for wintering birds.
New Year’s Hike at Blendon Woods: Programs for Adults 50+
January 1 at 1 pm. Bring in the New Year as we hike 1.5-miles on easy to moderate trails through the woods and over Ripple Rock Creek. Meet at the Nature Center.
January 1 at 10 am. Kick off the new year by joining us for our annual first hike of the year. We will walk the scenic 1.5-mile loop trail at Char- Mar and then finish up with some hot refreshments. The hike will be moderately strenuous with some hills. All ages.
January 4, 2022 from 9:30 am – noon $5
Bring in 2022 with a self led distanced winter meditation trail walk through the woods of Shepherd’s Corner. Enjoy the start of the year with some time on the meditation trail. Come take a winter time walk at Shepherd’s Corner. Enjoy the trail at your own pace during a time of year when it’s generally close to visitors. Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. Registration is $5.
Take a little drive for these First Day Hikes
Lake Hope State Park (SE Ohio): First Day Hike at 10 a.m. Start your year off with some exercise in the elements! This 3-mile hike begins at the Hope Furnace with the naturalist. Wear sturdy, waterproof shoes, and dress in layers.
Portage Lakes State Park (NE Ohio): First Day Hike at 10 a.m. Join Naturalists as they traverse the Northeast District on a series of winter hikes showcasing our beautiful parks. Hiking sticks, sturdy shoes, weather appropriate clothing and water are suggested during winter hikes. Portage Lakes Shoreline Trail, 3.6 miles, moderate hike. Meet at the Big Oaks Parking Lot. 5031 Manchester Road, Akron, OH 44319
Pymatuning State Park (NE Ohio): First Day Hike at 10 a.m. Join the Naturalist and start the New Year right- with a hike in the great outdoors! Hiking sticks, sturdy shoes, weather appropriate clothing and water are suggested during winter hikes. Pymatuning Lake Overlook Trail — approx. 1.2+ miles, moderate hike. Meet at Nature Center, we will walk over to the trail head. 7514 Pymatuning Lake Road, Andover 44003
Shawnee State Park (south of Chillicothe): First Day Hike at 1 p.m. Start the new year with an outdoor experience. Take an easy 1-mile hike on Lampblack Trail. Visit the holiday decorations and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies with others. Relax by the fireplace after a nice walk. Dress in layers.
Caesar Creek State Park (SW Ohio): First Day Hike at 1 p.m. On New Year’s Day, Meet at the Nature Center. Start the New Year off on the right foot. Join us for a 3-mile guided hike to the Swinging Bridge and Horseshoe Falls. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and dress for the weather. Trails can be muddy.
Salt Fork State Park (Eastern Ohio): First Day Hike at 1 p.m. Meet at the Kennedy Stonehouse Nature Trail parking lot to hike into the new year. A warm fire and hot chocolate provided at the Kennedy Stonehouse. No pre-registration required. Weather dependent. Wear sturdy footwear and weather appropriate clothing.
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.