First Day Hikes at NC State Parks


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Hanging Rock State Park

Photo courtesy of VisitNC

What better way to kick off the New Year than by spending time with the family, enjoying nature and working off those extra holiday pounds?

On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks are offering First Day Hikes. Several North Carolina State Parks are participating including the parks below, which are a short drive from the Triad. So, bundle up, grab a walking stick and start 2017 connecting with nature and enjoying the area's beautiful scenery and landscapes.


First Day Hike at Hanging Rock State Park
Hanging Rock State Park, 1790 Hanging Rock Park Road, Danbury.
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free. 336-593-8480. Start off the new year atop the highest peak in Stokes County and join a ranger for Hanging Rock’s 2017 First Day Hike. The hike will begin at the lake bathhouse and venture up the Moore’s Wall Loop Trail to the tallest point in the Sauratown Mountain Range at 2,580 feet. Please come prepared for a strenuous 4.7-mile trek, wear appropriate footwear and dress for the weather. Remember, good hydration is just as important while hiking in wintertime as it is during the summer. We will begin at 9 a.m., and plan on finishing back at the lake by 1 p.m., just in time to observe (or participate) in the Polar Plunge.


First Day Hike at Morrow Mountain State Park
Morrow Mountain State Park, 49104 Morrow Mountain Road, Albemarle.
9 a.m. Free. Start the New Year 2017 off by joining a ranger for a hike along the Fall Mountain Trail. The hike begins at the Morrow Mountain Boat House Parking Lot. We will hike the 4.1-mile loop of the Fall Mountain trail. This hike is moderate and should take about two hours. Dress accordingly for weather and bring water. All children must be accompanied by an adult. If hike is canceled it will be posted on the Morrow Mountain State Park website.


First Day Hike at Haw River State Park
Haw River State Park, 339 Conference Center Drive, Browns Summit.
10 a.m. Free. This easy to moderate hike will lead first day hikers from the conference center down to the boardwalk and head waters area of the Haw River. We will continue from there through a mixed forest and wind our way back to the main lodge. We love having pets join us on our programs, but do ask that those walking dogs stay back in the line so those who aren’t as keen on dogs can stay towards the front. Meet at the main lodge at the Summit Conference Center.


First Day Hike at Mayo River State Park
Mayo River State Park, 500 Old Mayo Park Road, Mayodan.
1-3 p.m. Come out to Mayo River State Park as we start the new year off with a First Day Hike. Take a stroll with the park ranger on the Mayo Mountain Ridge Trail. We will meet in the Picnic Area parking lot at 1 p.m. ncparks.gov/mayo-river-state-park.


First Day Hike at Stone Mountain State Park
Stone Mountain State Park, 3042 Frank Parkway, Roaring Gap.
10 a.m. Free. Bring in the new year with a 3-mile, moderate First Day Hike past the Hutchinson Homestead, Black Jack Ridge and Cedar Rock. Bring shoes for hiking. Meet at the Lower Trail Head Parking Area.


First Day Hike: Jomeokee Trail at Pilot Mountain State Park
Pilot Mountain State Park, 1792 Pilot Knob Park Road, Pinnacle.
2-3 pm. Free. Meet with a park ranger at the Summit Area display board located on the upper side of the Summit Area parking lot. We will be hiking along the Jomeokee Trail. During the hike we will be discussing the park’s history, geology, and the local flora and fauna.


First Day Hike: Mountain Trail at Pilot Mountain State Park
Pilot Mountain State Park, 1792 Pilot Knob Park Road, Pinnacle.
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Learn about state park history, Pilot Mountain history and more. 6 miles round trip. Meet at the park office to hike the Mountain Trail.

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