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New Jersey State Parks Celebrate the New Year
with First Day Hikes across the state on January 1, 2017


The New Jersey State Park Service is hosting 19 guided hikes, 1 mountain bike ride and 1 horseback ride in state parks, forests and historic sites on New Year’s Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes program. These free First Day Hikes offer a great incentive to get outside, exercise, experience history, enjoy nature, and celebrate the New Year with friends and family in one of your state parks.

For all hikes and rides, wear sturdy footgear and bring water and snacks. Check the weather before you leave the house and wear weather-appropriate clothing. Layers are best for exercising in colder temperatures

See the list below and join us – and thousands of other people, dogs, and horses all over
America - for a great way to welcome the New Year!

 


                                                                               

ATSION RECREATION AREA/ WHARTON STATE FOREST      
Shamong

New Year’s Day Hike 2017
Wharton State Forest/Atsion Recreation Area
10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Start the New Year with a Hike in New Jersey's beautiful Pine Barrens. Our lunch spot will have views of the Mullica River. If snow or ice on ground bring walking stick.

Hike Info
Moderate pace ~ 6.5 miles
Children over 10 with parents/guardians welcome. Paths are not wheelchair accessible.
Bring lunch and beverage.
Meeting Location: Field next to the Atsion Office at 744 US-206,Shamong, NJ 08088.

Registration & Cancellation
No registration required. For more information, email cdenneler157@yahoo.com or camperpat123@aol.com Additional info: ocsj.org. Outdoor Club of South Jersey/Meetup for any changes due to weather. (http://meetup.com/Outdoor-Club-of-South-Jersey-Hiking) Call
(609)351-2789 Cancellation info: http://meetup.com/Outdoor-Club-of-South-Jersey-Hiking (or Check ocsj.org)

ATSION RECREATION AREA/ WHARTON STATE FOREST      
Shamong

Historic Hampton Furnace Hike - Atsion
Wharton State Forest – Atsion Recreation Area
11:00 a.m. 1:30 p.m. (approx)

Join a NJ Woodland Steward on a nature hike around the historic Hampton Furnace settlement. This 5 mile loop hike will explore beautiful natural areas deep in the heart of Wharton State Forest. See historic sites! Enjoy the beautiful scenery. Learn about the fire dependent pitch pine ecosystem.

Hike Info
Easy-Moderate ~ 5 miles
Children 12 and over, with responsible adult, welcome. Well-behaved dogs on a leash are welcome. Restrooms available at meeting area only. Bring water and snacks.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Atsion Office at 744 US-206, Shamong, NJ 08088. We will carpool from the meeting area to the trail head at Hampton Furnace.

Registration & Cancellation
No Fee Pre-registration IS REQUIRED. Call (856) 767-7075 or email jhspinnaker@yahoo.com; or join the hike event on Facebook “2017 First Day Hike – Hampton Furnace” Cancelled if gusty winds, blizzard conditions, dangerous wind-chill, hazardous road conditions such as accumulating snow or ice, torrential or heavy rains forecasted. To check, call (856) 767-7075 or the hike event on Facebook “2017 First Day Hike – Hampton Furnace”

BASS RIVER STATE FOREST        
Woodland

West Pine Plains Ramble
Bass River State Forest
10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Join us for a hike in Bass River State Forest “North” which encompasses the West Pine Plains and the “Pygmy Pines” – the worldʼs largest acreage of this globally rare forest community. Large portions of the hike will be through places where the mature trees are scarcely taller
than the hikers themselves and in some places are not. The hike will traverse several ridges that will provide fantastic views of the surrounding area which is a rarity for this part of the state. At the conclusion of the hike, there might be a tour of Coyle Field – the New Jersey Forest Fire Serviceʼs air attack base.

Hike info
Moderate~ 7.4 miles
Children over 10 with responsible adult are welcome. Service animals only. Bring water and snacks. No restrooms.
Meeting Location:
N 39 49.238 W 74 25.819 which is located along NJ 72 at the eastern boundary of Coyle Field. The meeting location is approximately 10.4 miles east of the intersection of NJ 72 and NJ 70 and approximately 3.5 miles west of the intersection of NJ 72 and Ocean County Road 539. Parking is along NJ 72. There is no street address for this location.   

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is required and capped at 35 participants. For more information and to register, call (609)296-1114. Cancelled if snow on the ground and/or it is raining or snowing. To check, call the hike leader at (609)272-1142.         

BASS RIVER STATE FOREST        
Woodland

New Jerseys First State Forest First Day Hike
Bass River State Forest

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Hike through various NJ Pine Barrens terrain including a plantation of pine trees with stops at an historic CCC Camp and a Forest Fire Memorial.

Hike info
Easy to Moderate~ 3.5 to 4 miles
Children over 10 with responsible adult are welcome.
Service animals only.
Bring water and snacks
Meeting Location: Bass River Park Office at 762 Stage Road, Tuckerton. Meet in the parking lot. Restrooms available at office.             

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is not required, but we recommend registration so we have contact information in case of cancellation. Please call (609)296-1114 to register.                                            

BELLEPLAIN STATE FOREST        
Woodbine

1st Day East Creek Trail Hike
Belleplain State Forest
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Join us for a 3.5 mile hike on the East Creek Trail. The hike will cover half the distance of the trail. Please dress for the weather and bring water. Dogs are welcome!

Hike info
Moderate ~ 3.5 miles.
No age restrictions.. Dogs on a leash are welcome.
Meeting Location: Belleplain Forest Office

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is NOT required. For more information, call (609)861-2404. Cancelled if extremely bad weather. Call (609)374-0094 on 1/1 for info.

BELLEPLAIN STATE FOREST        
Woodbine

1st Day Mountain Bike Ride
Belleplain State Forest
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Join us for a mountain bike ride on the 10-mile-long trail at Belleplain State Forest. This is a technical trail with twists and turns through the forest. An option of less mileage is available.

Hike Info
Moderate to difficult ~ 10 miles
Bring water, your own bike, bike-riding gear, especially a helmet a must! Some experience with mountain biking is necessary. Wear weather-appropriate clothing
Meeting Location: Office in Belleplain State Forest

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is NOT required. For more information, call (609)861-2404
Cancelled if bad weather. If in doubt, call (609)805-4073 on 1/1 for more information.

BOXWOOD HALL
Elizabeth

Tour Historic Midtown Elizabeth
Boxwood Hall State Historic Site
1:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m.


Explore where New Jersey began. Learn about the famous (&infamous) who called Elizabeth home. Discover architecture from four centuries. Make a quick visit to one of Alexander Hamilton's residences. Optional tour of First Presbyterian Church Cemetery after the hike.

Hike Info
Easy~ 1.5 miles
Children are welcome but must be accompanied by adults, as we will be crossing busy
streets. Dogs on leashes are also welcome as long they are socialized. Restrooms available
at the church.
Meeting Location: First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, 42 Broad St., Elizabeth, NJ

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is limited to 30 people, please email name, number in party & phone number (preferably cell phone) to ElizabethFirstDay17@gmail.com or telephone the same information to 908-282-7617.
Hike leaders will contact registered hikers if the walk is cancelled.

CHEESEQUAKE STATE PARK        
Old Bridge

First Day Hike
Cheesequake State Park
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.                                                                                                    
Join us for a guided hike on the trails of Cheesequake to celebrate the New Year.          

Hike Info
Moderate ~ 3 miles
Children 8 and up with parents/guardians welcome.
Meeting Location: Cheesequake State Park Nature Center                                    

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is NOT required. For more information, call (732)566-3208
Cancelled if weather conditions are bad. To check, call (732)566-3208 after 9 a.m. on 1/1  

KITTATINNY VALLEY STATE PARK/PAULINSKILL VALLEY RAIL TRAIL       
Blairstown

Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail Committee 32nd Annual New Year’s Day Hike
Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail (extension of Kittatinny Valley State Park)
10:00 a.m. – open
Join the Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee (PVTC) at 10:00AM on Sunday January 1, 2017 at Footbridge Park in Blairstown, NJ. The PVTC, a Friends Organization of the Kittatinny Valley State Park, will host the hike. The trail is a cinder-based rail-trail which provides easy, level walking.

Hike Info
Moderate ~ 4–5 miles. The cinder-based rail-trail provides easy, level walking.
Children with responsible adult are welcome.
Bring lunch and a drink. Dogs on a leash are welcome. No motorized vehicles on trails.
Meeting Location: WE WILL LEAVE FROM FOOTBRIDGE PARK, 1 Footbridge Lane, Blairstown, NJ 07825. GPS Coordinates: 40.981345, -74.957191
Directions: Route 94, Blairstown, NJ.  Take Route 80 to Exit 12, Route 521.  Go north on Route 521 for 5 miles to Route 94 in Blairstown.  Turn left onto Route 94 and take the second left into the park, designated by a small white sign with black lettering.

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is NOT required. For more information, call (908)930-9745
Cancelled if deep snow, heavy rain or heavy snowstorm. To check, call (908)930-9745

KITTATINNY VALLEY STATE PARK/PAULINSKILL VALLEY RAIL TRAIL       
(Blairstown)

First Day Horseback Ride
Sussex Branch & Paulinskill Valley Rail Trails (extension of Kittatinny Valley State Park)
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Come earlier to unload, saddle up etc.)

Bring your OWN HORSE if you’d like to participate in a 2- hour guided horseback ride. In addition to the guided horseback ride, all other trail users are encouraged to start a new tradition: Kick off the New Year by hiking, cycling or horseback riding on the Sussex Branch and Paulinskill Valley Rail Trails and/or other places in Kittatinny Valley State Park on New Year’s Day on your own or with friends and family, and consider meeting up with others for a meal or snacks in the Chatterbox (Under your own steam). Whinny with the horses before they leave at 1:00 p.m., or meet them on their return at 4:00 p.m. (Please note: The horseback ride is the only organized, guided activity at this location. All other suggested activities are your responsibility and should be conducted independently)

Horseback Ride info
Easy ~ 6-10 miles (depending on weather)
Bring your own horse!
Children 10 years and older with a riding adult welcome. Riding helmets are required.
Meeting Location: The Chatterbox Restaurant, 1 State Highway 15, Augusta, NJ 07822 (corner Rt 15/206)
                                                   
Registration & Cancellation
Registration is recommended.
To register and/or for more information, call, text or email Carolyn at (845)667-2015 or cmoran789@gmail.com
Cancelled if weather conditions are not safe for riding. Contact Carolyn at (845)667-2015                           

MONMOUTH BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK
Manalapan

Walk with Molly Pitcher
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Walk the ground where Molly Pitcher fought at the Battle of Monmouth!
Hike over rolling fields and hills on the actual battlefield. Learn about the Battle of
Monmouth and the role of women warriors and camp followers. Learn the actual story of
Molly Pitcher, who she was and what she did.

Hike Info
Moderate ~ 1 mile. (Slow pace, with historical interpretation. Over open fields with uneven surfaces.)
Children age 10 and over with parent/guardian are welcome. Pets on Leash welcome.
Meeting Location: Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center, 16 Business Rte. 33, Manalapan, NJ 07726(About 2 miles west of Freehold Raceway Mall, Route 33 entrance)

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is recommended, but not required. For more information, email David Martin at martin@peddie.org Cancelled if there’s snow, ice or rain. If you’ve registered, you’ll receive an email by 10a.m. To check, call (609)529- 5356 between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., or the park office (732)462-9616 on 1/1    

PARVIN STATE PARK      
Pittsgrove

Parvin Historic Walk
Parvin State Park
1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
Experience a new year outdoors and learn about Parvin State Park History.

Hike Info
Easy~ 2 miles
Children with parents/guardians are welcome; service animals only. Please dress appropriately and bring along snacks and water.
Meeting Location:
Parvin State Park, 701 Parvin Mill Road. Please park in main parking lot. Restrooms available.

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is NOT required. For more information, email parvinvolunteers@gmail.com
Cancelled if rain or snow. Please check Parvin State Park Appreciation Committee, Inc. Facebook page or Twitter.                                            

RANCOCAS STATE PARK          
Hainesport

First Day Hike at Rancocas ~ Hike 1
Rancocas State Park Park, Westampton section
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

All 50 states sponsor hikes in their state parks on January 1. In keeping with the tradition, join a County Park Ranger for a hike at Rancocas State Park in Westampton. Begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike. Meet at the Rancocas Rd. festival entrance between Irick Rd and the Westampton municipal building.

Hike Info
Easy ~ Two routes to choose from: 2 or 3 miles
Children ages 6 and up, with responsible adult, are welcome.
Service animals only. No restrooms available.
Meeting Location: Meet at Rancocas Road, Festival Entrance between Irick Road and the Westampton municipal building.

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is not required. For more information, please call Burlington County Parks office (609)668-5164.
Cancelled if there is lightening, otherwise hike will be held in all other weather. Call park at (609) 668-5164 between 6:00 AM and 5:30 PM. www.co.burlington.nj.us/parks                                                                                                                                       

RINGWOOD STATE PARK     
Ringwood

First Day Hike
New Jersey State Botanical Gardens, Ringwood State Park                                                           
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
A self-guided family friendly hike in the State Park woodlands at the NJ State Botanical Garden. Weather permitting; you can climb to the Mt. Defiance overlook on the Halifax trail and return, or choose our alternate hike without a climb. This annual event is a joint project of State Park staff and volunteers from the NJBG/Skylands Association. Meet at the Carriage House Visitor Center at NJBG between 1pm and 2pm. Map and hike directions will be provided at the start. Allow about 90 minutes for the hike.

Hike Info
Easy to moderate ~1 or 3 miles. 2 possible routes, one route is flat terrain of the Botanical Garden and one has ups and downs in the wooded areas.
Children with parents/guardians are welcome; small children may need to be carried.
Service animals only.
Meeting Location: Carriage House Visitor Center, New Jersey State Botanical Garden,
Skylands Manor

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is NOT required. For more information, call (973)962-7031
Cancelled if snow or other severe weather conditions. Check the SPS website and Facebook or call (609)218-3532 for more information

ROUND VALLEY RECREATION AREA     
Lebanon

New Year’s Hike
Round Valley Recreation Area
10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Whatever you did the night before, this is your chance to get outdoors in New Jersey and start 2017 off on the right foot. We will hike the 2.5 mile Water Trail and look for signs of new life as the year begins. 

About the Hike
Easy to moderate ~ 2.5 miles
Children with adults welcome, service animals only.
Wear comfortable & sturdy footwear as terrain is all natural and not paved.
Meeting Location: RVRA South Lot (first right past park office)

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information: Call park office (908)236-6355
Cancelled if snow or ice on the ground. We will call registered participants. If in doubt, please call the park office (908)236-6355 or Jim Tubman (908)963-0546

 

 

STOKES STATE FOREST
Branchville

Silver Mine Hike (hike #1)
Stokes State Forest
10:00 a.m. – Noon.

Join the Friends of Stokes for a moderate loop hike. View waterfalls, animal tracks if there is snow and a silver mine.

About the Hike
Moderate ~ 3.5 miles
Children over 10 with adults welcome. Dogs on leash are welcome. Hiking boots & winter
clothing recommended. Micro spikes or snowshoes recommended if snow or ice on ground.
Meeting Location: Stokes State Forest Office, 1 Coursen Rd., Branchville NJ

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information, email friendsofstokes@gmail.com or john@summitcadd.com or call 973-948-3820

Cancelled if severe weather. For cancellation information, check both the Friends of Stokes Facebook page and your email.
                                       

STOKES STATE FOREST  
Branchville

First Day Hike to the Tower
Stokes State Forest
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Start 2017 with a glorious hike up Tower Trail to the
Appalachian Trail (AT) with the Friends of Stokes. Beautiful views from the AT.

About the Hike
Moderate to Strenuous ~ 4 miles
Children over 10 with adults welcome. Dogs on leash are welcome. Hiking boots & winter clothing recommended. Micro spikes or snowshoes recommended if snow or ice on ground.
Meeting Location: Stokes State Forest Office, 1 Coursen Rd., Branchville NJ

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information, email
friendsofstokes@gmail.com or john@summitcadd.com or call 973-948-3820
Cancelled if severe weather. For cancellation information, check both the Friends of Stokes Facebook page and your email.

 

Pemberton Rail Trail South
Pemberton Borough

Walking On the Edge!
Pemberton Rail Trail South
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (approx.)
(Meet at 9:30am)
Start your year hiking and casually exploring the “dividing edge” between two ecological communities. We will discover interesting finds along an area that teeters between the New Jersey Inner Coastal Plain and the Outer Coastal Plain. Characteristics of both will be evident throughout our hike. Added to your enjoyment will be the attendance of several experts representing various fields of nature studies, each one happy to answer questions along the way! (Botanical explorations expected)

Hike info
Easy to Moderate ~ 2-3 miles
Welcome: Well-behaved “adults and children” with a desire to learn about the surrounding environment and do a little exploring along the way, of and dogs on a leash. Bring water, snacks, binoculars, field guides, cameras.
Meeting Location: Behind/alongside Clark’s Canoe Rental. 201 Hanover St., Pemberton NJ 08068. Also parking in the lot at Creekside Glass & Mirror. (Across from Good Will Fire Co.)

Registration & Cancellation
Pre-registration is REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information, Terry Schmidt at (609)412-3394 and leave your name and cell phone number.
Cancelled if rain; snow may shorten the route length. Cancellation decisions made by 3 PM on 12/31. If we have your phone info, we will call you.

WARREN HIGHLANDS TRAIL   
Warren County

Warren Highlands First Day Hike
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Join us for our traditional First Day Hike, this time returning to the route of the Warren Highlands Trail in western Warren County. This hike includes lovely vistas and historic sites including the Van Nest Hoff Vanatta Farmstead, Merrill Creek and Marble Hill. This is a strenuous and long all-day hike. For a more detailed description of the hike please visit the Metrotrails meetup website at: https://www.meetup.com/Metrotrails/events/235809065/


Hike Info
Moderate to Difficult ~ 15 miles (This is an ALL DAY event; not for beginners)
Children who can hike 15 miles in the winter and are accompanied by parents/guardians are welcome. Dogs on a leash are welcome.
All participants need to be aware of the duration of the hike and prepare accordingly. Bring water, snacks and lunch.
Meeting Location: Van Nest-Hoff-Vanatta Farmstead, 3026 Belvidere Road, Phillipsburg.
Note: Please contact the hike leader or visit the Metrotrails Meetup page the week of the event in case of a slight change in the meeting place.

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information, call hike leader (Mike Helbing) at (908)343-8374, or email him at sneezehorse@hotmail.com Hike is rain or shine, but if it is cancelled, registered participants will receive a phone call.
Note: Please call Mike if you are cancelling.

                                                                                                    

WASHINGTON CROSSING STATE PARK     
Hopewell

From Ferry to Ferry -100 horses, 18 cannons, and the wagons
Washington Crossing State Park/Johnson Ferry House                                             
10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
A guided walk of the route taken by the "stuff" of the Continental Army on Christmas Night, 1776 across the Delaware River into New Jersey. Sights and stops include the Washington Crossing Bridge, the Nelson House, the Ferry Boat replica, the pedestrian bridge, overlook, the Stone Barn, and the Johnson Ferry House.

Hike Info
Interpretive Tour/Easy to Moderate ~ 1.2 miles
Children of 10 years and older with responsible adult are welcome.
Bring cameras, binoculars, note pad, water and snack if desired. Service dogs and calm, well trained dogs on a leash welcome.
Meeting location: Begin at McKonkey's Ferry in Washington Crossing Historic Park, PA (Hike will end at Washington Crossing State Park, NJ) Meet at The McConkey Ferry Inn on the corner of Rte. 532 and Rte. 32, Washington Crossing, PA 18977. There is some parking available on Rte. 532 just after the Inn and in other public lots nearby (within a block of the site). Coming from New Jersey, the Inn is immediately after the bridge on the right.

Registration & Cancellation
Registration is REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information, call (609)737-2515 or email jfhwashxing@fast.net                                                                                                        
Cancelled if conditions dangerous/icy weather/extreme cold. To check, call (609)737-2515 on 12/31 or early on 1/1.

                                                                                                                                          

WATERLOO VILLAGE    
Byram

Waterloo, A Place of New Beginnings
Waterloo Village Historic Site (Allamuchy Mountain State Park)
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Waterloo, A Place of New Beginnings is an outdoor, guided, interpreted 2 mile walk.  Participants will hear about the many roles Waterloo has played throughout the history of New Jersey and the United States of America.

Hike Info
Moderate ~ 2 miles
All ages (paths are not stroller or wheelchair friendly due to uneven surfaces)..
Walk is on unpaved surfaces. Dogs on leashes welcome.
Meeting Location: Waterloo Village Historic Site parking lot

Registration & Cancellation
Pre-registration is required. To register, call (973)347-1835.
Cancelled if inclement weather. If in doubt, call (609)203-4140
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For general information about First Day Hikes, email Stephanie Fox at Stephanie.Fox@dep.nj.gov

                    

 

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