First Day Hikes offered individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking an organized hike on January 1, 2014.
to offer free, guided hikes at Monadnock State Park and Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion Historic Site as well as guided snowshoe/xc ski tours at Milan Hill State Park on New Year’s Day. Statistics and event descriptions from each location are listed below.
This was the first year a location was located in the North Country. Monadnock and Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion were both carried over from years past being that they both were successful in previous years. This was the 3rd year Monadnock had hosted an event and the 2nd for Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion.
Milan Hill State Park
Onsite registration was from 12:00 pm to 12: 45 pm located at the snowmobile lot inside the park. The event began at 12:45 pm with XC skiers joining the president of Nansen Ski club for a round trip journey of just less than 2 miles, with a stop just before the halfway point to enjoy an expansive view of the Northern Presidential White Mountains. Snowshoe hikers joined Andrew Zboray on a 1.25 mile climb and descent to and from the top of Milan Hill.
Eastern Mountain Sports were able to donate demo snowshoes and coupons to hand out to those who participated. Being that the event was held in a park with beautiful groomed XC ski trails Alpina Sports supplied 20 pairs of XC skis for participants to demo. Nansen Ski Club not only helped host the event but had pre groomed the trails as well as assisted with registration and food. Shaw’s Supermarket in Lancaster donated $50.00 to be put towards healthy food and hot drinks.
Monadnock State Park
Onsite registration was from 11:00 am to 11:45 am located inside the Hikers Cabin. The event began at 11:45 am with two groups heading out on the Parker Trail. The first group led by John Bigl, Carol Gardner and Dave Targan, hiked along the Parker Trail to Little Mountain. The 3 mile hike brought participants to the top of Little Mountain for a great view of Mt. Monadnock. The shorter second hike was led by Meredith Collins and Brenda Bhatti along the Parker Trail to the junction of the Lost Farm Trail. This hike was tailored for those who wanted to hike at a slower pace and take part in a interpretive hike with tree identification, rock formations, and animal tracking. The two groups were evenly split with participants.
For the third year in a row Eastern Mountain Sports was present to demo snowshoes and show off the latest in winter camping gear and clothing. They supplied the group with coupons and lip balm. Shaw’s in Peterborough donated $25.00 to be used to purchase healthy snacks and hot drinks for the event. The Hikers Cabin was used for registration and as a warming location with a fire for participants as they returned from the hike. Each participant was also given a Special Edition Parks Beanie.
Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion Historic Site
Onsite registration was from 12:00 am to 12:45 am located inside Coolidge Center. Everyone was welcomed to the event and Sandy Phelps (WCM Guide) gave a brief introduction and history of the Mansion. The hike began at 12:45 am with two groups heading out on the Little Harbor Loop trail. The first group which moved at the faster pace was led by Robley Hall from the Forest Society. There were a few points along the trail Robly stopped and answered questions but most of the participants moved through the 1.5 mile loop pretty quickly. The second group was the natural history tour led by Marsha Richelli also from the Forest Society. The slower pace allowed for stops along the trail to talk about tree identification, animal tracks, and history of the Creek Farm. Participants enjoyed having the options especially the interpretive hike for those who wanted more than just to hike.
Eastern Mountain Sports supplied demo snow shoes with only 2 people using them; most participants brought their own traction devices. EMS handed out coupons as well as answered questions about the mini gear display they had set up inside the Coolidge Center.
- Three Shaw’s Supermarket (Peterborough, Lancaster, and Portsmouth) donated a total of $75.00 in gift cards that were used to purchase healthy snacks and hot drinks for all three sites. Portsmouth Shaw’s supplied hot cocoa and granola bars.
- Alpina Sports supplied 20 pairs of demo xc-skis and boots for the event at Milan Hill SP.
- Eastern Mountains Sports (Peterborough, Portsmouth, Concord) all supplied snowshoes and coupons to be handed out at all three sites. Display tables were set up at Monadnock and Wentworth-Coolidge and staffed with EMS Guides to talk about the latest in winter gear and clothing.