NH First Day Hikes 2019

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, 2019. 

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 Year’s 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

2019 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. Although the mansion is closed for the winter, Bureau of Historic Sites guides will be available to answer any questions you might have concerning the history of this historic gem. 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, Hollis Trails Committee, Nor’easters Snowmobile Club 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.  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

Milan Hill State Park, Milan, NH

The well-groomed, 16 kilometer XC ski trail network in and around Milan Hill State Park, that is maintained by the Nansen Ski Club will be open for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Park Staff and club volunteers will be onsite with trail maps and suggested routes for skiers and snowshoers of varying skill levels who wish to take a self-guided tour of the Park and its trails. The event will leave from the newly-constructed Warming Hut near the Park entrance, and your adventure will offer opportunities to spot animal tracks and take in expansive views of the Northern Presidential White Mountains from the trails, with the option of a spectacular 360 degree view from the fire tower at the top of Milan Hill, accessed via the Tower. Hot drinks and snacks will be offered back at the warming hut upon your return.  With the generous donation of demo gear provided by Nordic Skater of Newbury and Alpina Sports participants who do not have their own gear will have the opportunity to try xc skiing.

Address: 72 Fire Tower Road, Milan, NH 03588
Parking: Main park entrance parking lot
Onsite Registration: Warming Hit Park parking lot from 12pm-2pm
Pets Permitted: Yes

Pisgah State Park, Winchester NH

The Doolittle trail offers a fun, mostly gentle two mile (round-trip, out and back) hike sure to be enjoyed by all. This hike offers a comfortable and fairly easy grade, with a few short sections of steeper terrain. It is accessed just north of Park Headquarters off of Old Chesterfield Road and includes multiple historic agricultural sites along the way. The park area is diverse, including a mixed forest of both hard and soft woods, wetlands, and abundant wildlife, birds and plants. Park staff and volunteers from the Friends of Pisgah State Park will be on hand to assist those with any park related questions. Warm drinks and a snack will be served fireside at the headquarters building. Dogs are welcome, but must be leashed at all times and owners are responsible for carrying out all pet waste.

Address: 520 Old Chesterfield Rd, Winchester NH 03470
Parking: Park entrance off chesterfield road
Onsite Registration: Visitor Center from 12pm-2pm
Pets Permitted: Yes

Bear Brook State Park, Allenstown NH

**NEW FOR 2019**
Join Park staff and Derry Trail Riders volunteers on an easy 1.25-mile self-guided hike along the Catamount Pond exercise trail.  An easy relaxing stroll through the northeast side of Bear Brook leaving and returning to the Catamount Pond Beach area parking lot.  Warm drinks and a snack will be served fireside in the parking lot.  Dogs are welcome, but must be leashed at all times and owners are responsible for carrying out all pet waste. Weather permitting Larry Stone from Stoneboat Farm in Loudon will be on hand with his team of draft horses offering free horse drawn wagon rides and will be offered first come first served.   

Address: Deerfield Road, Allenstown NH 03470
Parking: Park entrance, Catamount Pond Day Use Beach Area
Onsite Registration: Catamount Pond from 12pm-2pm
Pets Permitted: Yes


Additional Event Info

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

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.