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First Day Hikes

First Day Hikes

First Day Hikes

Enjoy New Year's Day in the Great Outdoors

On January 1, North Carolina State Parks will be hosting First Day Hikes to start the year off right. Many parks will be hosting guided hikes at varying levels, or you can explore your favorite park on your own. We resolve to have a year full of fun, history and nature! 

 



For the first time day of 2019, everyone is invited to hike up Chimney Rock Park Road!
The Park Superintendent will lead an informative discussion about the park's history while the group strolls up to the 3.2-mile entrance road.
Usually restricted only to vehicle traffic, there will be no cars in your way if you show up for this special, early morning, FREE entry!
Start at the park entrance next to the Old Rock Café at 8:00 a.m. 
Cross a bridge over the Rocky Broad River that was first traversed in 1916, and continue your hike through history until you reach the top. 
The park will provide shuttle transportation if needed back down to your vehicles in Chimney Rock Village by 10:00 a.m.
 
State parks across the nation are offering First Day Hikes as a way to promote healthy lifestyles and year-round recreation at America's state parks.
Each year over 720 million people visit America's state parks and contribute $23 billion to the economy.  
State parks are a "close to home" resource and an important part of our national fabric, enhancing our quality of life.
We hope this hike inspires you to make state parks a regular part of your exercise routine and your life.
 
Bring plenty of drinking water, clothing suited to the weather, and wear sturdy hiking shoes. 
This hike will be moderately strenuous.

Date of Event:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 8:00am
Start Location:
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park - Start at the park entrance next to the Old Rock Café


Start the year off in the outdoors! Join a park ranger for a 1.5 mile hike through the forests of Lake Norman State Park.   We will be hiking through a mixture of hardwood and pine forests that are found in the Piedmont of North Carolina.  Discussion on the hike will include the history of Lake Norman State Park and the plant and animals that are found during the cold winter months.  Participants should meet at the Visitor Center at 9:00 am for this program. Please wear sturdy shoes for this moderately strenuous walk in the woods.  This event is free of charge and is open to the general public. Contact the park office at (704) 528-6350 with any questions.
 

Date of Event:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 9:00am
Start Location:
Visitor Center


Start the year off right by getting outside for a First Day Hike! Meet over at the Weymouth Center at 555 E. Connecticut Ave in Southern Pines for an easy 1-mile hike through old growth longleaf pine forest. You’ll meet the oldest known living longleaf pine in the world as well as the former state champion longleaf!

Date of Event:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 9:00am
Start Location:
Weymouth Center - 555 East Connecticut Ave, Southern Pines


Join a statewide and national effort to celebrate parks and healthy living on January 1st! Park staff will be leading an approximately 8 mile hike on a moderate section of the Ridgeline Trail. We will begin at the Kings Mountain State Park,  SC in the camping area (as in years’ past). and end in the Crowders Mountain State Park, Boulders Access Area State Park,   Please bring water, snacks, suitable clothing, and appropriate footwear. 

The hike will be canceled in the event of heavy rain, below normal temperatures, or winter weather.  If the weather is questionable, please call the Crowders Mountain State Park Office at 704.853.5375 to confirm. Pets are not allowed on this hike.  All children 16 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Shuttle Service provided by YMCA Camp Cherokee. The shuttle will run from the Boulders Access back to Kings Mountain State Park.

Date of Event:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
Start Location:
Kings Mountain State Park


Start the New Year on the right foot! Come and meet with a Park Ranger on the first day of the new year. During the easy .8 hike on Jomeokee Trail, we will be discussing the park's history, geology and local flora and fauna. 

Date of Event:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 9:00am to 10:00am
Start Location:
Summit Parking Lot


What a great way to start the New Year! Start the first day of the year with a ranger walking in the woods. Dress for the weather and bring plenty of snacks. If you're a birder, don’t forget those binoculars! No need to register; just show up for the hike. If you would like more information, please contact the park office at 919-362-0586.
 
The first hike with a ranger will be at New Hope Overlook. You will be hiking the Blue Loop Trail, which is 2.7 miles long. This is a challenging trail with several steep hills. Hikers will enjoy sweeping views of the lake, mature hardwood forests, groves of mountain laurel and much, much more. Plan to meet at the trailhead near the boat ramps at 9am.
 
Location: Jordan Lake Recreation Area
      New Hope Overlook
       Blue Loop Trail
 
Time:       9am-11am
 

Date of Event:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am
Start Location:
New Hope Overlook Campground


Meet a park ranger at 9:00 a.m. at Singletary Lake State Park's Education Building (on the park's main entrance road) for a First Day Hike to get the new year going with a healthy start.  Hikers will traverse Singletary's easy one-mile CCC Loop Trail with a ranger who will provide background on North Carolina's bay lakes creation theories and give some insight into the Civilian Conservation Corps' role in constructing and establishing Camp Ipecac in the 1930's on park grounds.  Hikers will be able to view wintering waterfowl on Singletary Lake itself so bring binoculars if you have them and those who desire to hike further may explore the park above the lake's spillway if they'd like once the guided portion has concluded.  Hikers may call the park office at 910-669-2928 to register in advance but walk-ins will be welcomed on Jan. 1 also.

Date of Event:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 9:00am to 10:30am
Start Location:
Singletary Lake State Park Education Building


This hike will combine beautiful scenery with some history about the park and the community that once lived here.  We will see never finished millstones in the woods, see some  ruins and share some stories of the people who lived here.  We will turn around at a huge rock that not many people know of and go back a little different way to see an old scout camp in the woods.  

Program Length: 2.5  hours
Reservations required. Please call the visitor center at 919-571-4170 to make reservations.

Date of Event:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 9:00am
Start Location:
Reedy Creek Parking Lot (Located off Interstate 40 Exit 287/Harrison Ave, Cary)


Come out and enjoy the first day of the year at Goose Creek State Park. Start off the year with a hike along the Pamlico River while looking for waterfowl and other wildlife along the way. Dress for the weather and meet in the last parking lot on the main road.

Date of Event:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 10:00am
Start Location:
Last Parking Lot on Main Road


Start the new year off with a hike in your favorite state park. Fort Macon will be offering 2 rangers led hikes this year, both starting at 10 a.m. at the Visitor Center. One hike will be 3.3 miles on the Elliott Coues Trail.  The other will be a shorter ¾-mile nature hike on the Yarrow’s Loop Trail and inlet beach. Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather, good sturdy shoes, and bring a water bottle. 

Date of Event:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 10:00am
Start Location:
Visitor Center