Get Active in 2018 with "First Day Hikes" Around Bay Watershed

If you want to kick off 2018 in the great outdoors with an eggnog-burning walk in the woods, check out the free “First Day Hikes” being offered at state parks in Maryland and Virginia.

On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks is offering free, guided hiking programs in parks across all 50 states. That includes dozens on the Chesapeake Bay, or in its watershed.

The aim is to encourage people to ring in the New Year outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature.

Last year, nearly 55,000 people hiked over 133,000 miles on guided hikes throughout the country. In Maryland and Virginia, sites from Elk Neck to Calvert Cliffs to Pocahontas State Park had plenty of folks treating their cabin fever with a healthy dose of fresh air and sunshine.

In Virginia, 37 state parks are offering guided hikes. And Virginia State Parks is offering two contests for those who participate, each with a $500 grand prize! The first is for those who “resolve” or pledge to take part in a First Day Hike, and then complete it. The second is a photo contest, for those who capture images of their First Day Hike. For details on both contests, as well as the full list of guided hikes in Virginia, click here.

For a comprehensive list of locations and activities of First Day hikes in Maryland, click here.