Start the New Year outdoors

Harry Wallace celebrates while passing underneath the railroad trestle across the Winnipesaukee River in Franklin during the annual First Day Kayak Run on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Roughly 40 paddlers from the Merrimack Valley Paddlers and other New England outdoor associations battled class III and IV rapids while braving temperatures in the teens. (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
Harry Wallace celebrates while passing underneath the railroad trestle across the Winnipesaukee River in Franklin during the annual First Day Kayak Run on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Roughly 40 paddlers from the Merrimack Valley Paddlers and other New England outdoor associations battled class III and IV rapids while braving temperatures in the teens. (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
Dan Bennis of Spencer, Massachusetts, carries his kayak away from the shore of the Winnipesaukee River in Franklin during the annual First Day Kayak Run on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Roughly 40 paddlers from the Merrimack Valley Paddlers and other New England outdoor associations battled class III and IV rapids while braving temperatures in the teens. (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
Dan Bennis of Spencer, Massachusetts, carries his kayak away from the shore of the Winnipesaukee River in Franklin during the annual First Day Kayak Run on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Roughly 40 paddlers from the Merrimack Valley Paddlers and other New England outdoor associations battled class III and IV rapids while braving temperatures in the teens. (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
A group rests at a viewpoint during the First Day Hike at Mount Monadnock in 2013.
A group rests at a viewpoint during the First Day Hike at Mount Monadnock in 2013.

If you’re more a morning person than a night owl, perhaps you’d rather celebrate New Year’s Day than New Year’s Eve. In that case, we’ve got a couple of events that might be your style.

First Day Hikes

Join the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation and its partners on a rejuvenating family-friendly hike this New Year’s Day.

New Hampshire State Parks invites the public to kick off the New Year and New Year’s Day with a hike. Five state parks across New Hampshire will host free hikes to providing the opportunity for individuals and families to welcome in 2020 in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature.

Registration and check-in for First Day Hikes, at all locations, will run from 12 to 2 p.m. Hikes commence at noon and continue to 4 p.m. Online registration at nhstateparks.org/news-events/first-day-hike is recommended.

N.H. Parks will serve a hot beverage and a healthy snack to returning hikers.

Participants of First Day Hikes can explore historic sites, state parks and even enjoy pet-friendly (see list of hike locations for those which permit pets) hikes either on their own or discover and experience nature with a guided hike led by park staff and our partner volunteers.

“First Day hikes are a great opportunity to embrace winter and experience the beauty of NH State Parks,” said Eric Feldbaum, N.H. Division of Parks and Recreation community recreation specialist. “We are excited to offer First Day Hikes for the tenth season. We invite you to become part of this great tradition.”

The nearest hike site to Concord is Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, 12 Podunk Road. It will be a moderate 2.5 mile hike on the Big Bear Trail and Salt Lick Trail. Dogs are allowed on this hike, but must be leashed and pet waste removed by owners.

Other hikes are at the Flume Gorge in Franconia, Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, Monadnock State Park in Jaffrey and Milan Hill State Park in Milan.

Hikers are encouraged to dress in layers appropriate for the weather and wear appropriate footwear. Traction devices for boots are encouraged as trails may be icy. Suggestions can be found at hikesafe.com. Pack water and a snack for the hike. A warm drink and snack will be provided at the conclusion of the hike.

For more information, visit stateparks.org/initiatives-special-programs/first-day-hikes.

Take to the river

Franklin will again hold its First Day Franklin along the Winnipesaukee River. Kayaks will head down class III and IV rapids ending at Trestle View Park. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in a heated tent. Community groups will have chili, cocoa, and more. You can also snowshoe and ski along the river trail in the park.

Author: Insider Staff

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