Ring in the new year with a hike: Residents urged to get outdoors

DOVER — The Division of Parks and Recreation is urging people to get outside and go hiking on New Year’s Day.

To help kick off the year (and the decade!) right, the agency will offer free First Day hikes at 18 locations. The initiative is part of a national movement to encourage that both encourages healthy activities promotes state parks.

Hikers should come prepared and may want to bring water, a camera, appropriate layers for the weather, a hat, sunglasses, a backpack and snacks.

Not all hikes are suitable for all ages.

For more information about the Delaware State Parks First Day Hikes and to see maps of the park trails beforehand, go to https://destateparks.com/firstday or call 302-739-9220.

Designated meeting times and locations for different trails around the state are listed below.

•10 a.m. – Alapocas Run State Park, Wilmington: About 2 to 3 miles; easy to moderate. Meet at Blue Ball Barn. Leashed, well-behaved dogs welcome.

•10 a.m. – Fort Dupont State Park, Delaware City: About 1.1 miles; easy. Met at the parking lot closest to the river, at the end of Wilmington Avenue/Old Battery Lane.

•10 a.m. – Trap Pond State Park, Laurel: About 2 miles; easy. Meet at Baldcypress Nature Center.

•11 a.m. – Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes: About 1.5 miles; moderate. Park in the Point Comfort Station Parking lot and walk north to the Point parking lot. Minimum age is 7 years old with an adult.

•12:30 p.m. – Brandywine Zoo, Wilmington: About 1/4 mile; easy . Meet at the gift shop.

•12:30 p.m. – Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area, Lewes: About 1.7 miles; easy. Meet at Fort Miles Parking Lot. Minimum age is 7 years old with an adult.

•1 p.m. – Bellevue State Park, Wilmington: About 1.5 to 3 miles; easy. Meet at Bellevue Arts Center. This hike is for all ages and is stroller-friendly.

•1 p.m. – First State Heritage Park, Dover: About 1/4 mile; easy. Meet at the John Bell House.

•1 p.m. – Holts Landing State Park, Bethany Beach: About 1.7 mile; easy. Meet at Holts Landing Picnic Pavilion
•1 p.m. – Killens Pond State Park, Felton: About 1 to 3 miles; varying difficulty. Meet at the Nature Center.

•1 p.m. – Lums Pond State Park, Bear: About 2.5 miles; easy to moderate. Meet at Area 1 Pavilion. Pets are permitted but must be on a 6-foot leash.

•1 p.m. – Auburn Valley State Park, Yorklyn: About 1.1 miles; moderate. Meet at 1516 Snuff Mill Road Trail lot.

•1 p.m. – Brandywine Creek State Park, Wilmington: About 2 to 2.5 miles; moderate. Meet at the Nature Center.

•1 p.m. – White Clay Creek State Park, Newark: Multiple difficulties.

Millstone Pond Trail: About 1.3 miles; moderate. Meet at Carpenter Recreation Area.

Arc Corner Monument Loop: About 2 miles; moderate to difficult. Meet at Nature Center.

PennDel/Pomeroy Trail: About 2 miles; moderate. Meet at Nature Center

Twin Valley Trail: About 2.5 miles; moderate to difficult. Meet at Carpenter Recreation Area.

• 3:30 p.m. – Auburn Valley State Park: About 1 mile; easy. Meet at the Paper Mill Parking Lot on Benge Road.