New Hampshire's First Day Hikes 2017

First Day Hikes offers individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a free organized hike on January 1, 2017. 

Looking for an invigorating opportunity to get outside and celebrate New Year's with your family and friends? Come join New Hampshire State parks and our partners with a rejuvenating family-friendly hike on New Years Day.

Participants of First Day Hikes can explore historic sites, state parks and even enjoy pet friendly hikes with their four footed friends either on their own or discover and experience nature with a guided hike lead by park staff and out partner volunteers.

Here are a few helpful tips to make your day enjoyable:
  • Please remember to check the weather prior to the event.
  • All hikes will be rain, snow, or shine.
  • Dress in layers appropriate for the winter weather and wear appropriate footwear. For more information regarding recommended clothing and gear, please visit Hike Safe.
  • Traction devices such as micro spikes or yaktrax are highly recommended (trails may be icy).
  • Be sure to pack water and a snack for during the hike. The Park will provide a warm drink and healthy snack at the completion of the hike.
Participants can register on location, just note registration time for each park.

New Hampshire First Day Hike locations include:

Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion State Historic Site, Portsmouth NH

Join park staff and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests land stewards for a self-guided natural history tour of the Little Harbor Loop Trail. The loop trail is considered an easy 1.5 mile hike that will take approximately 1-1.5 hours to hike. Guides will be present to share the natural history of the abutting Creek Farm Reservation. Join us to seek signs of wildlife, watch shorebirds on the tidal flats, discover a tidal pool, and enjoy the many varieties of tree and plants that highlight Creek Farm as a unique coastal habitat. After the hike, enjoy a warm drink and snack inside the park’s visitor center. Event begins at 12pm and ends at 3pm.
Address: 375 Little Harbor Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Parking: Main parking lot
Onsite Registration: Inside the visitor center from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Pets Permitted: No

Silver Lake State Park, Hollis NH

Join park staff and the Beaver Brook Nature Center for a relaxed, self-guided hike through Silver Lake State Park. Start your New Year with a healthy activity while connecting to nature. We’ll investigate the nature loop on the State Park property overlooking Silver Lake then venture onto Hollis Conservation Land in the Woodmont Orchard. Enjoy a lovely view overlooking the apple orchards to the north. Guides will be present to highlight areas along the nature loop while you enjoy your self-guided hike. Afterwards, stop by the campfire near the beach for some snacks and warm beverages. In the event of snow, Beaver Brook will have a limited supply of snowshoes to loan out (weather permitting). Dogs are welcome to come along but must be leashed at all times and owners are responsible for carrying out all pet waste. Event begins at 12pm and ends at 3pm.
Address: 138 Silver Lake Rd, Hollis, NH 03049
Parking: Main park entrance
Onsite Registration: Park Beach from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Pets Permitted: Yes

Monadnock State Park, Jaffrey NH

Join park staff and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests land stewards for a 3-mile hike along the Parker Trail to the Little Mountain Viewpoint. This hike will take approximately 3 hours to complete. For those looking for a more leisurely hike of 2 miles, enjoy a hike along the Parker Trail to the Cliff Walk junction and back. This leisurely hike will take approximately 2 hours on relatively flat terrain. After the hike, take part in a warm drink and snack while warming up next to the outdoor fire. Event begins at 11am and ends at 3pm.
Address: 116 Poole Road, Jaffrey, NH 03452
Parking: HQ parking lot
Onsite Registration: Pavilion behind park store from 11:00am to 12:00pm
Pets Permitted: No

Weeks State Park, Lancaster NH

For the third year in a row, Weeks State Park will be hosting a dog friendly hike. Bring your four legged friend along for a casual, self-guided hike up the Mt Prospect auto road. The auto road is a moderate 3.2 mile round-trip hike and should take approximately 2 hours. While atop the summit, take in the panoramic view of the Presidential Mountain Range. Dogs must be leashed at all times and owners are responsible for carrying out all pet waste. After the hike enjoy a warm drink and snack at the base of the auto road. Event begins at 11am and ends at 3pm.
Address: 200 Weeks State Park Rd, Lancaster, NH 03584
Parking: Base of auto road
Over flow parking: Mt. Prospect Ski Tow parking lot
Onsite Registration: Base of auto road from 11am-12pm
Pets Permitted: Yes

Wellington State Park, Bristol, NH

*NEW LOCATION FOR 2017*
Join park staff, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and the Newfound Lake Region Association for a moderate hike through Wellington State Park. Enjoy a 1.5 mile round-trip hike along the Elwell Trail to the summit of Little Sugarloaf. At the summit catch your breath and enjoy a stunning panoramic view overlooking Newfound Lake. Dogs are welcomed but must be leashed at all times and owners are responsible for carrying out all pet waste. Event begins at 12pm and ends at 3pm.
Address: 614 West Shore Road, Bristol, NH 03222 
Parking: Main park entrance parking lot
Onsite Registration: Park parking lot from 12pm-2pm
Pets Permitted: Yes

Any questions please call (603)271-3556 or email NHFDH@DRED.NH.GOV
See you on New Year’s Day!

Our 2017 First Day Hike Partners