Courtesy of Vermont State Parks
Groton Nature Center
Looking to start 2017 with some exercise and fresh air? Multiple state parks are offering free, family-friendly guided hikes on New Year's day. Professional guides and outdoor educators will lead participants, sharing their knowledge and love of the Vermont outdoors.
Below is a list of participating parks. Preregistration is not required; simply show up ready to enjoy the outdoors and the company of other participants. Dress for the weather and bring beverages and snacks. Dogs are welcome on leash unless otherwise noted.
Hikes on January 1, 2017
Ascutney State Park, Windsor
Guide: Scott Davison (The Woodstock Naturalist) Meet at 10 a.m. at the ranger station. Hike: 1+ hour, easy terrain. Note: Not a summit hike.
Bomoseen State Park, Castleton
Guide: Caitlin Gates (Vermont State Park Interpreter) Meet at 1 pm at park entrance station. Hike: 1+ hour, easy terrain
Button Bay State Park, Ferrisburgh
Guide: Ron Payne from Otter Creek Audubon Society Meet at 9 a.m. at park entrance. Hike: 3 hours, easy terrain
Groton Nature Center, Big Deer State Park, Groton
Guide: Dave Spencer (local expert) Meet at 1 p.m. at Groton State Forest Nature Center parking area on Boulder Beach Road, 1.6 miles from Route 232. Hike: 1+ hour loop, easy terrain.
Hunger Mountain, Waterbury
Guide: Caitlin Miller from the Green Mountain Club Meet at 9 a.m. at Hunger Mountain Trailhead (Waterbury). Hike: 3.5 miles, 5 hours, moderate to difficult terrain. Hike to the summit if weather permits.
Jamaica State Park, Jamaica
Guide: Lowell Lake Park Ranger Scott Renker Meet at 10 a.m. by the park office at the entrance. Hike: 1+ hour, 1-mile, easy terrain. Participants will have the option of a longer hike along the same trail.
Niquette Bay State Park, Colchester
Guide: Jessica Savage from Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation Meet at noon at the trailhead in Niquette Bay State Park. Hike: 1.5 miles, 2 hours, moderate terrain.
Taconic Mountain Ramble State Park, Hubbardton
Guide: Bat biologist Alyssa Bennett Meet at noon at the Hubbardton Battlefield parking lot on Monument Hill Road. Hike: 2-3 hours, easy to moderate terrain, followed by fresh-baked cookies!
Underhill State Park, Underhill
Guide: John Connell, Greenmont Farms Meet at 1 p.m. at gate just below Underhill State Park on Moutain Road in Underhill Center. Hike: 3 hours, easy to moderate terrain. Bring a snack and warm beverage to share!
For hike updates, please call (802) 249-1230. For more information on First Day Hikes and to view additional hike offerings as they are added, visit www.vtstateparks.com or check out Vermont State Parks on Facebook and Twitter.