Get moving on Day One

The Peters Kill thundering over a Shawangunk conglomerate cliff at Minnewaska State Park’s Awosting Falls. (Photo by Julie O’Connor)

The First Day Hike program began in 1992 in the state of Massachusetts. Wedding the health resolutions that tend to follow the excesses of the holidays and the turning of the calendar to an environmental and natural resource awareness campaign, First Day Hikes went national in 2012, with the offering of guided hikes in all of the 50 states.

Not surprisingly, the nature-rich and environmentally-aware Hudson Valley honors First Day with a splendid and diverse variety of guided hikes this Tuesday, January 1. Shake off the night before and enjoy some natural beauty and camaraderie while you help further entrench this relatively new and bracing New Year’s Day tradition.


First Day Hike at Catskill Interpretive Center

Your new year can get off to a vigorous start on the afternoon of January 1 with a wintry stroll on the grounds of the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper. The group will hike just as the day turns to dusk, watch the light change and finish with a campfire and cocoa. If there’s snow, you can bring your snowshoes (or call ahead for information about renting them). The hike will cover about a mile-and-a-half over easy terrain.

Participation in the First Night Hike is free, but preregistration is requested; e-mail or call (845) 688-3369. Wear warm layers, waterproof shoes or boots, a daypack with a bottle of water and a headlamp if you have one. 

Tuesday, Jan. 1, 3-5 p.m.


Catskill Interpretive Center

5096 Route 28

Mount Tremper

(845) 688-3369

Day One Hike in Kingston

Not a protest, the organizers emphasize, but an expression of unity: walkers are invited to gather at the Hudson River Maritime Museum Riverport Wooden Boat School, have some food donated by Bread Alone and take a walk ending uptown on Wall Street at BSP. Following the trek, there will be a showing of Disturbing the Peace, a film by Reconsider.

Tuesday, Jan. 1

12 – 5 p.m.

Martime Museum’s Riverport Wooden Boat School 

50 Rondout Landing


First Day Hike at Walkway Over the Hudson

In conjunction with New York State Parks and Trails, Walkway Over the Hudson offers a First Day Hike for walkers, cyclists, runners, skaters and pets on a leash. It goes both ways, and participants can gather at the East or West entrances to the Walkway at 2 p.m. and begin a group hike that converges at the Center Overlook. All participants will be entered into a raffle with a chance to win items including annual memberships to the Walkway, Walkway apparel, tickets to the Walkway’s Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular and more. The raffle will be held at the Center Overlook at 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 1

2 p.m

East Entrance:

61 Parker Avenue, Poughkeepsie

West Entrance:

87 Haviland Road


First Day Hike by the Peters Kill at Minnewaska

Minnewaska offers a refreshing two-mile hike to two scenic overlooks in the Peters Kill area of the park, both of which feature stunning views in clear weather. If it snows, there will be a limited number of snowshoes available for participants to borrow for this program, which meets at the Peters Kill park office. Otherwise, snowshoes may be rented for $5 per person. Early arrival is suggested if you would like to borrow snowshoes. If there is insufficient snow cover, this program will be offered as a hike and the hiking destination may change. Pre-registration is required.

Tuesday, Jan. 1

9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Peters Kill Entrance

Minnewaska State Park

5080 Route 44-55, Gardiner

(845) 255-0752

First Day Hike to Awosting Falls at Minnewaska

Minnewaska’s second offering of the day is a two-and-a-half-mile hiking or snowshoe trek to Awosting Falls. Starting from the Peters Kill park entrance, participants will hike briefly on the Awosting Falls Connector Footpath and then journey up the scenic Awosting Falls Carriage Road, which has a gentle incline as it approaches Awosting Falls. If weather conditions are cold enough, a frozen volcano-like structure forms at the base of the waterfall. A limited number of snowshoes are available for participants to borrow for this program, weather permitting, from the education department. Otherwise, snowshoes may be rented for $5 per person. 

Tuesday, Jan. 1

1 p.m. – 3 p.m

Peters Kill Area

5080 Route 44-55, Gardiner

(845) 255-0752

First Day Hike at Sam’s Point

Begin the new year with a First Day Hike at Sam’s Point preserve in the Shawangunks. Weather permitting, there will be an invigorating snowshoe or hiking outing of approximately three miles through the scenic preserve. Snowshoes may be rented for a fee of $5 per person. If there is insufficient snow cover, this program will be offered as a hike. Meet at the Sam’s Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required.

First Day Hike at Sam’s Point

Tuesday, Jan. 1

1–3 p.m.

Sam’s Point Visitor Center

400 Sams Point Road, Cragsmoor

(845) 647-7989 

First Day Hike at Olana

The Olana State Historic Site in Hudson will host a gentle guided walk along the artist-designed Ridge Road as participants traverse Hudson River School painter Frederic Church’s home and property and the views that have inspired artists across centuries.

First Day Hike at Olana

Tuesday, Jan. 1

11 a.m.

Olana State Historic Site

5720 NY-9G, Hudson

(518) 828-0135