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New Jersey State Parks Celebrate the New Year
with First Day Hikes across the state on January 1, 2014


 

The New Jersey State Park Service and Friends groups are offering a fabulous way to start the New Year. On January 1, 2014, get outdoors and join us on one of our FIRST DAY HIKES!

As part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative, New Jersey State Parks are hosting 23 hikes, walks and interpretive tours; two bike rides; and, a horseback ride. First Day Hikes are a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature, learn some local history, and welcome the New Year with friends and family.  See the list below for an event near you and join us for a healthy and happy way to celebrate the New Year!

 


BASS RIVER STATE FOREST                                                           Tuckerton

First Day Hike in the First State Forest
Bass River State Forest
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Start your New Year off with a hike in the first state forest of New Jersey, established in 1905. Visit the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp and explore a cabin and pavilion built by the CCC. Walk along the shores of Lake Absegami (Also created in the 1930s by the CCC) and look for some wintering waterfowl.

Hike info
4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Children 7 years and older, with parents/guardians, are welcome.
Sorry, no pets.
Cancelled if weather is very bad. Call BRSF up to 12/31. Call (609) 335-8208 on 1/1 if in doubt.
Dress for the weather. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring water and a snack.
Meet at Bass River State Forest Office, 762 Stage Road, Bass River Twp., between GS Pkwy & East Greenbush Road.

Registration
No fee.
Pre-registration required. To register, call (609) 296-1114 (BRSF office)
For more information, call Charles and Jean at (609)335-8208

 

BELLEPLAIN STATE FOREST                                                         Woodbine

Belleplain 1st Day Hike
Belleplain State Forest
10 a.m.
Join us for a 3.5 mile hike on the East Creek Trail. The hike will cover half the distance of the trail. Please dress for the weather and bring water. Dogs are welcome!

Hike info
3.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
No age restrictions
Dogs on a leash are welcome
Bring water. Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes
Cancelled if extremely bad weather. Call (609) 374-0094 on 1/1 for info.
Meet at Belleplain Forest Office

Registration
No fee. No registration required
Call (609)861-2404 for more information.

Belleplain Mountain Bike Ride
Belleplain State Forest,
11 a.m.
The South Jersey Wheelmen will lead a mountain bike ride on the newly created 10-mile trail in Belleplain State Forest. This is a technical trail with twists and turns through the forest. An option of less mileage is available. Bring your own bike.

Hike Info
It’s a bike ride
10 miles on bike trails
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult.
Bring water, gear for bike riding, helmet a must! Oh, and a bike!
Some experience with mountain biking is necessary.
Cancelled if bad weather. Call (609) 805-4073 on 1/1 for info.
Meet at Lake Nummy parking lot in Belleplain State Forest

Registration
No fee. Pre-registration not required
Call (609)861-2404 for more information.

 

CHEESEQUAKE STATE PARK                                                   Matawan

First Day Nature Hike
Cheesequake State Park
1pm to 2:30 p.m.                                                                                                                                           
Enjoy a seasonal Nature Hike on the trails of Cheesequake State Park                                                  

Hike Info
1.3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing, bring water
Children 6 and up, with parents/guardians, are welcome
Meet at Cheesequake State Park Nature Center                                                                                    

Registration
No fee. No registration required
Call (732) 566-3208 for more information.

 

GROVER CLEVELAND BIRTHPLACE                                              Caldwell

Hiking Historic Caldwell
Grover Cleveland Birthplace                                                                                                                
11 am
Ring in the New Year with a stroll through Historic Caldwell. We begin at the Grover Cleveland Birthplace located at 207 Bloomfield Avenue, proceed to Grover Cleveland Park, then to the Old Burial Grounds at the Presbyterian Church and finally return to the Birthplace.

Hike info
2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Children with parents/guardians welcome
Dogs on leash welcome (but will not be permitted inside any historic buildings)
Wear walking shoes or boots: walk is in paved downtown/residential area with a stop in an historic cemetery
Meet at Grover Cleveland Birthplace, 207 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell, NJ 07006                                 

Registration
No fee
Registration is required. Call 908-236-2043 until 12/31/13 and leave a message stating the number of attendees. If you have questions, ask for Elizabeth.
Emergency contact number: 908-619-6651

 

ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK                                                     Seaside Park

Exploring the History & Ecology of Island Beach
Island Beach State Park
9 a.m.; 10 a.m.; 11 a.m.; 12 p.m.; 1 p.m.
Start the year off right with a guided tour of the unique historical and natural elements of Island Beach State Park.

Hike Info
1 mile
Hikes will be given on the hour, every hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Difficulty: Moderate
Children welcome.
Dogs on leash welcome.
Sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing are highly recommended
The hike will be cancelled for icy conditions. Call 732-793-0506 to check.
Meet at Reed’s Road Maritime Forest Trail Parking Area

Registration
No fee. Pre-registration is not required
Call (732) 793-0506 for more information

 

KITTATINNY VALLEY STATE PARK                 (Blairstown & Newton)

29th Annual New Year’s Day Hike
Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail at Footbridge Park
10:00 a.m.
Join members of the Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee on our 29th Annual First Day Hike! We will hike approximately 4 miles on the Paulinskill Valley Trail, a cinder-based rail trail that provides easy, level walking and riding.

Hike Info
4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Children 5 and over, with parents/guardians, are welcome.
Dogs on a leash are welcome
Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing, bring water/snacks/lunch. Weather permitting, snow shoeing and cross country skiing on trail permitted.
Meet at: Footbridge Park, Rt 94, Blairstown, NJ.
NOTE: WE WILL LEAVE FROM FOOTBRIDGE PARK – Directions  Route 94, Blairstown, NJ.  Take Route 80 to Exit 12, Route 521.  Go north on Route 521 for 5 miles to Route 94 in Blairstown.  Turn left onto Route 94 and take the second left into the park, designated by a small white sign with black lettering
                                                                                                                                                                 
Registration
No fee. No registration required. 
For more information: (908) 930 9745

4th Annual New Year’s Day Horseback Ride
Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail at Halsey Corner
(extension of Kittatinny Valley State Park)
10:00 a.m. – in the saddle by 10:30 a.m.
Bring your own horse to the 4th annual FIRST DAY horseback ride on the cinder-based rail trail of the PVRT approx 5.5 miles in Newton, NJ. RSVP needed to plan parking for rigs. First come first served for parking. We will have a gaited and a non gaited ride.    

Ride info
5.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Bring your own horse!
Children 10 years and older with a riding adult welcome.
Riding helmets are required.
Wear weather-appropriate clothing; bring pot luck to share following ride.
Cancelled if icy conditions. Call (973)600-5997 on 1/1 to check          
Meet at: 141 Halsey Road, Newton, NJ                                                                                 

Registration
No fee.
Pre-registration is required due to trailer parking limitations
To register, email gldg@embarqmail.com (preferred), or call (973)948-3814       

 

MONMOUTH BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK                        Manalapan

Follow the Footsteps of Molly Pitcher
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
11 a.m.  to 12:30 p.m.
Walk the ground where Molly Pitcher fought at Monmouth!
Meet at the Visitor Center for an overview, then we’ll drive to the northern section of the park and walk along the American lines to where Molly Pitcher’s cannon was.  We’ll finish with a visit to the likely site of Molly Pitcher’s “well”. The length of hike is subject to change depending on weather and conditions. The hike is over open fields and hills.

Hike Info
1.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Children age 8 and over, with parent/guardian, are welcome.
Cancelled if bad weather. (To check on 1/1, call (609) 529 5356)
Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate, warm clothing,
Bring water/snacks
Meet at Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center                                                                                

Registration
No fee
Registration is required. To register, and to request more information, email: dmartin@peddie.org

First Day Amble
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
12 p.m.
Looking for a leisurely stroll along some accessible paths? This is the ‘hike’ for you! People of all ages and abilities are welcome to come out and enjoy the splendor of the outdoors on this first day of the year! Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be supplied at the end by the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield (small donation requested)

Hike Info
1 mile
Accessible trails
Difficulty: Easy
Everyone welcome
Dogs on leash are welcome outside, but only service animals may enter the building
Hike will be cancelled for dangerous conditions (ice, storms, etc). Call (732)598-3688 on 1/1
Meet at Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center at 12 p.m.

Registration
No fee required, but pre-registration is required.
Call Monmouth Battlefield State Park (732) 462-9616 to register. Or, email diane.lowrie@dep.state.nj.us with “Monmouth Hike” in subject line stating your intent to participate, the number of people in your party, and a phone number.

 

Revolutionary Resolutions First Day Hike
Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Manalapan
1 p.m.
Start off the New Year with an invigorating 3-mile hike around this historical battlefield. Work off the holiday treats while enjoying some of the most beautiful countryside in Monmouth County. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be supplied at the end by the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield (small donation requested)

Hike info
3 miles on park trails
1 hour (approx)
Difficulty: Moderate
Bring water and snacks.
Children who like a mildly energetic 3-mile walk are welcome
Dogs on a leash are welcome
Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing, wear layers.
Hike will be cancelled for dangerous conditions (ice, storms, etc). Call (732)598-3688 on 1/1
Meet at Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center at 1 p.m.

Registration
No fee, but pre-registration is required.
Call Monmouth Battlefield State Park (732) 462-9616 to register. Or, email diane.lowrie@dep.state.nj.us with “Monmouth Hike” in subject line stating your intent to participate, the number of people in your party, and a phone number.

 

PRINCETON BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK                             Princeton 

Real Time Tour of the Battle of Princeton
Princeton Battlefield State Park
7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Trace the steps of American and British units at the same time of day as the original battle.  Attendees will come away with a better understanding of the rigors of eighteenth-century combat and a deeper appreciation of the engagement at Princeton.

Hike Info
1.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Children of all ages, with parents/guardians, welcome.
Dogs on leash welcome.
Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing
Meet at the Thomas Clarke House

Registration
No fee.
Registration is required. To register, and for more information, email princetonbattlefieldtours@gmail.com

 

RANCOCAS STATE PARK                                                       Hainesport

First Day Hike at Rancocas ~ Hike 1
Rancocas State Park
11am – 12:45
On January 1, in all 50 states, state parks are offering First Day Hikes. In keeping with the tradition, join a Burlington County Park Ranger for a hike at Rancocas State Park.  Begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike.

Hike info
3 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Children ages 6 and up, with parent/guardian, are welcome
No pets, please
Inclement weather cancels. Call park at (609) 265-5858 during business hours. On 1/1, call Bill at (609)352-1018 if weather conditions are uncertain.
Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing. No restroom facilities
Meet at 800 Rancocas Ave, Hainesport. Go through open gate and down gravel driveway until you see a park ranger, park along the gravel driveway shoulder.

Registration
No fee.
Pre-registration is required, please call 609-265-5858
For more information:  Parks office: 609-265-5858, website: www.co.burlington.nj.us/parks

First Day Hike at Rancocas ~ Hike 2
Rancocas State Park
1pm – 3pm
On January 1, in all 50 states, state parks are offering First Day Hikes. In keeping with the tradition, join a Burlington County Park Ranger for a hike at Rancocas State Park.  Begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike.

Hike Info
3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Children ages 6 and up, with parent/guardian, are welcome
No pets, please
Inclement weather cancels. Call park at (609) 265-5858 during business hours. On 1/1, call Bill at (609)352-1018 if weather conditions are uncertain.
Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing
Meet at the Rancocas Nature Center parking lot. 794 Rancocas Rd., Westampton

Registration
No fee.
Pre-registration is required, please call 609-265-5858
For more information:  Parks office: 609-265-5858, website: www.co.burlington.nj.us/parks

 

RINGWOOD STATE PARK                                                         Ringwood

First Day Hike
Skylands Botanical Garden, Ringwood State Park                                                                            
1 p.m.
Join New Jersey Botanical Garden members and Ringwood State Park staff on an easy, child-friendly hike in the Garden's woodlands. We'll join nature lovers hiking all around the country to celebrate our beautiful state parks. Our hike in and around the Botanical Garden will be designed to fit the group.

Hike Info
2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Children of any age, with parents/guardians, are welcome
No pets please.
Wear sturdy shoes
Hike cancelled for snow or other severe weather
Meeting location: Skylands Carriage House                                                                                            

Registration
No fee. Registration not required.
For more information: www.njbg.org ; (973) 962-9534

 

ROUND VALLEY RECREATION AREA                                     Lebanon

New Year’s Hike
Round Valley Recreation Area
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Welcome the New Year with a brisk trail hike and resolve to visit Round Valley Recreation Area more often in 2014 J  Hot chocolate will be available at the office after the hike.

Hike Info
2-3 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Children with adults welcome.
Dress warm, wear comfortable shoes, protective to feet as terrain is all natural and not paved.
Hike cancelled if icy conditions. Call 908-236-6355 up to day before hike to check.
Meeting location: RVRA South Lot

Registration
No fee
Pre-registration required.  To register, and for more information, please call park office 908-236-6355 or email roundvalley@dep.state.nj.us 

 

SPRUCE RUN RA and VOORHEES STATE PARK                      Clinton

Highlands Trail Hike- From the Reservoir to Schooley’s Mountain.
Spruce Run Recreation Area/ Voorhees State Park
8:45 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Are you up for the challenge? Last year we had a great hike on the Highlands Trail heading southwest; this year we will take it 15 miles from Clinton to Long Valley. Half the hike travels along easy and wide rail trail, about 3.5 miles winds along more rugged trail, and there are 3 scenic sections of road walking. Hikes of this distance take about 7.5 hours.      

Hike Info
15 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Children, accompanied by parents/guardians, who can hike 15 miles in the winter, are welcome.
Dogs on a leash are welcome
Wear sturdy footgear and weather appropriate clothing. 
Please bring water, snacks and lunch. Remember, we will be out and moving for at least 7 hours.
Hike is rain or shine!
Meeting location: Parking Area for the Columbia Trail along Rte 24/ Schooley’s Mtn Rd in Long Valley NJ.   We will shuttle to Clinton for the start of the hike. [Latt:  40˚47’12.27”N
Long: 74˚46”51.84”W]

Registration
No fee
Pre-registration is required. To register, call hike leader (Mike Helbing) at (908)343-8374, or email him at sneezehorse@hotmail.com
Please call Mike if you are cancelling, or for more information. (908)343-8374

 

WASHINGTON CROSSING STATE PARK                                Titusville

First Day Hike: From Ferry to Ferry
Washington Crossing State Park                                                                                                          
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Follow in the steps of the Continental Army across the River Delaware. From McKonkey's Ferry on the PA side to the Johnson Ferry House in NJ, with stops along the way; including the Nelson House and ferry boat, the Overlook, the Stone Barn, and the Johnson Ferry House. Learn some facets of this signature event that you have never heard before.

Hike Info
1 mile
Difficulty: Interpretive Tour/Easy
Children of 10 years and older with parents/guardians are welcome
Sorry, service animals only as we will be going into historic buildings.
Wear warm and comfortable footgear and clothing
Cancelled in dangerous/icy weather. Call 609-737-0623, or 0616 on 1/1 to check.

Meeting location: Begin at McKonkey's Ferry in WCHP, PA. (Hike will end at Washington Crossing State Park, NJ) Meet The McConkey Ferry Inn on the corner of Route #532 and Route #32, Washington Crossing, PA 18977. There is some parking available on Route 532 just after the Inn and in other public lots nearby (within a block of the site).  The Inn is immediately after the bridge on the right, coming from New Jersey.

Registration
No Fee
Pre-registration is required. To register, call (609) 737-2515                                                                   
For more information, call (609) 737-2515

                                                                                                                                                                

WATERLOO VILLAGE                                                                   Byram

Waterloo, A Place of New Beginnings
Waterloo Village (Allamuchy Mountain State Park)
1 p.m.
Waterloo, A Place of New Beginnings is an outdoor guided interpreted walk.  Participants will hear about the many roles Waterloo has played throughout the history of New Jersey and the United States of America.

Hike Info
2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
All ages (paths are not stroller friendly)
Walk is on unpaved surfaces
Bad weather will cancel (If in doubt, call 609-203-4140)
Dogs on leashes welcome.
Wear sturdy footgear and weather-appropriate clothing.
Meet at the Pavilion                                                                                                                                 

Registration
No fee
Registration is required. To register, call 973-786-6445
For more information, email: waterlooris@gmail.com

 

WHARTON STATE FOREST                                                  Hammonton

Batsto Bike Ride
Wharton State Forest
10:30 a.m.
The Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (JORBA) is partnering with us to lead a 6-10 mile mountain bike ride leaving from Batsto Village.

Bike Ride Info
6 -10 miles
Difficulty: Easy pace, all dirt trails
Minimum age: 14 yrs
No pets
Helmet Required (all ages), eye protection required.
Bring your own bike, water bottle, wide tire bicycle & weather-appropriate clothing.
Meeting Location: Batsto Village Parking Lot. (Rt. 542 and Batsto Rd.).  

Registration
No fee.
Pre-registration is required. To register, contact Gil Mika, Wharton State Forest, (609) 567- 4559, or e-mail Wharton.nature@comcast.net

 

WHARTON STATE FOREST/ATSION RECREATION AREA Shamong

New Years Day Hike 2014
Wharton State Forest
10:00 a.m.

Start of the New Year with the Outdoor Club of South Jersey with a hike in our beautiful Pine Barrens. We will follow trails and sand roads and view some old bogs.

Hike Info
7-8 miles
Degree of difficulty: Moderate pace
Children with parents/guardians welcome
Paths are not wheelchair accessible
Wear sturdy footgear and weather appropriate clothing, bring lunch and beverage.
For cancellation info: http://meetup.com/Outdoor-Club-of-South-Jersey-Hiking (or Check ocsj.org)
Meeting Location: Field next to the Atsion Recreation Area Office, off Route 206.

Registration
No fee. No registration required.
Call for more info: Christine, 609-351-2789, Pat 856-767-8064
Additional info: Outdoor Club of South Jersey/Meetup for any changes due to weather. (http://meetup.com/Outdoor-Club-of-South-Jersey-Hiking)

 

WHARTON STATE FOREST, FRANKLIN PARKER PRESERVE Chatsworth

First Day Hike: Shoal is Purty
Wharton State Forest/Franklin Parker Preserve
10 a.m.
Start the New Year quietly exploring the Shoal Branch reservoir and bogs at NJCF’s Franklin Parker Preserve.  The area is a haven for bird enthusiasts and peaceful walks on the property.  We will walk the dike roads, hopefully observe some wildlife activity and share in some basic winter botany

Hike Info
3 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Children age 8 and older, with parents/guardians, are welcome
Wear sturdy foot gear and weather-appropriate clothing.  Bring snacks & beverages.
Meeting location: Route 563 and Dukes Br. Road (across from Chatsworth Cemetery), next to Franklin Parker Preserve                                                                                                                                                   

Registration
No fee

Registration is required. To register, and for more information, call: 609-412-3394

 

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