The state once again will host self-guided hikes through state parks on Jan. 1 to celebrate the new year.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control 17 hikes are spread through the state’s parks as part of a national movement sponsored by America’s State Parks to encourage fitness in the nation’s great outdoors.
Admission to all state parks is free until March 1, and there’s no fee for the hikes.
No one needs to register, but participants are encouraged to stop at each hike’s check-in table to be counted as part of the nationwide initiative. Park staff will be available to answer questions.
After the hike, participants are invited to fill out the feedback form at www.destateparks.com/firstday and record how many miles they covered.
Hikers may want to bring along comfortable hiking/walking shoes, a camera, a bottle of water, appropriate layers for the weather, a hat, sunglasses, a backpack and snacks. Dogs are allowed on many trails, but not all, and must be on a maximum 6-foot leash.
Some hikes may require water-resistant shoes. Not all hiking trails are suitable for strollers.
Here’s what DNREC is planning:
- 9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Auburn Valley State Park Yorklyn Bridge Trail and Auburn Valley Loop Trail. 2.8-mile loop. Moderate. Check in at the Park pavilion on Yorklyn Road.
- 10 a.m.-noon – Alapocas Run State Park Northern Delaware Greenway Trail, Wilmington. 2 miles one way. Easy/moderate difficulty. Accessible. Check in at the Blue Ball Barn, Courtyard Entrance.
- 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. – Brandywine Zoo pathway, Wilmington. .1 mile. Easy. Check in at the ticket window. Service animals allowed.
- 10 a.m.-noon – Fort DuPont State Park Riverview Trail, Delaware City. 1 mile. Easy. Check in at the Riverview Trail Trailhead.
- 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Trap Pond State Park American Holly Loop to Bob Trail, Laurel. 1.1-mile loop. Easy/Moderate. Accessible. Check in at the Nature Center.
- 10 a.m.-noon – White Clay Creek State Park Tri-Valley Trail, Newark. 2.5 miles, out and back. Easy. Check in at the Smith Mill parking Lot.
- 11 a.m.-noon – The Point at Cape Henlopen, Lewes. 2 miles. Moderate. Ages 5 and older. Check in at The Point parking area. No pets allowed.
- 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – First State Heritage Park, Dover. 1 mile. Easy. Check in at the John Bell House.
- Noon-1 p.m. – Indian River Inlet Bridge, Delaware Seashore State Park, Rehoboth Beach. .75 miles. Check in at the North Inlet Day Area.
- Noon-4 p.m. – Lums Pond State Park Swamp Forest Trail/Little Jersey Trail, Bear. 2 miles. Easy. Little Jersey Trail is accessible. Check in at the Nature Center.
- 12:30-1:30 p.m. – Cape Henlopen State Park Fort Miles Artillery Park, Lewes .25 to 2 miles. Easy/moderate. Check in at the Orientation Building.
- 1-2 p.m. – Killens Pond State Park Bike Trail, Felton. 2 miles, with length option. Moderate. Accessible. Check in at Pavilion 1.
- 1-3 p.m. – Bellevue State Park Bellevue Trail, Wilmington. 1.12 miles. Easy. Check in at the top of main parking lot.
- 1-3 p.m. – Brandywine Creek State Park Meadows Trail, Wilmington. 2 miles. Easy/moderate. Check in outside the Nature Center.
- 1-3 p.m. – Lums Pond State Park Swamp Forest Trail, Bear. 6.4 miles. Easy. Check in at the Area 1 Pavilion.
- 1-3 p.m. – White Clay Creek State Park PennDel and Pomeroy trails, Newark. 2.29-mile loop. Easy. Pomeroy Trail is accessible. Check in at the Nature Center parking lot.
- 2-3 p.m. – Holts Landing State Park Sea Hawk Trail, Dagsboro. 1.3 miles. Easy. Accessible. Check in at the Holts picnic pavilion.
For more information about the hikes, go to https://destateparks.com/firstday or call 302-739-9220.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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