Delaware Canal State Park hosts 2 First Day Hikes on Jan. 1

Guided hikes available in Easton and New Hope

Published: Dec 18 2013 09:50:49 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 18 2013 09:52:26 AM EST

If getting more exercise is on your 2014 New Year's resolutions list, why not start on the first day of the year?

The Delaware Canal State Park is making it easy to get out with the family on New Year's Day by sponsoring two free guided hikes.

The walks will take place from 1-2 p.m. on the Delaware Canal towpath, starting at two locations:

Wy Hit Tuk Park, Route 611, Williams Twp., Northampton County and
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve (lower parking lot) at 1635 River Road/Rt. 32 in New Hope, Bucks County.

“We are thrilled that so many people across the nation started 2013 in one of America’s State Parks by joining us for a First Day Hike,” said Priscilla Geigis, President of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) and Director of Massachusetts State Parks.

“Our state parks are places to get naturally healthy through physical exercise and connecting with nature close to home. We hope this experience inspires everyone to continue to enjoy these valued resources throughout the year,” she added.

At Delaware Canal State Park, First Day hikers will take a gentle 2-4 mile walk on the level terrain of the canal towpath and learn a little bit about canal history.

In Easton, hikers will have plentiful views of the Delaware River and winter waterfowl, while in New Hope hikers will pass revolutionary war landmarks such as the Thompson-Neely House and walk along a watered section of the canal.

Visitors can listen to birds, breathe in the fresh air, discover wildlife tracks, feel the wind and the warmth of the sun or the coldness of the snow.

Additional First Day Hikes will be held at:

* Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, Bushkill Twp., Northampton County
* Marsh Creek State Park, North Coventry and Warwick Twps., Chester County
* Nescopeck State Park, Butler and Dennison Twps., Luzerne County

The family friendly hikes will be part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative, which started more than 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts.

The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year round recreation at state parks.

Many other states have offered outdoor recreation programs on New Year’s Day.

State parks all across America will sponsor First Day Hikes in 2014.