AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Parks and Lands will host free, guided hikes in five state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative.
That initiative, held in all 50 states, offers individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on Thursday, Jan. 1, at a state park close to home.
Park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the park. First Day Hikes will take place at the following locations and times:
Popham Beach State Park, Phippsburg: 1 p.m., easy mile hike on the Fox Island tombolo investigating tidal pools. Wear warm clothes and sturdy footwear. Meet at the West side parking lot. FMI: 389-1335.
Range Ponds State Park, Poland: 12:30 p.m.,-easy 1.5-mile ranger-led hike on interpretive trail and along the beach; just one short hill. Hikers are encourage to bring warm clothes, boots or snowshoes if the snow is deep. Meet at flag pole in front of bathroom buildings. FMI: 998-4104.
Sebago Lake State Park, Casco: 10:30 a.m., leisurely 1.5-mile woodlands hike. Snacks will be provided and hikers should wear warm clothes and sturdy foot wear. Snowshoes are a good idea if people have them. Meet at the day use area boat launch. FMI: 693-6231.
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Freeport: 10 a.m., leisurely 0.3-mile guided walk to learn how plants and animals survive the cold winter months. The program is approximately an hour; wear warm clothes and sturdy footwear. Meet at the picnic shelter by the second parking lot. Dogs are not suitable for the hike. FMI: 865-4465.
Lily Bay State Park, Beaver Cove: noon, leisurely 2.5-mile ranger led hike along the shore of Moosehead Lake. Wear warm clothes, sturdy shoes or boots and bring snacks. Meet at the entry booth parking lot. FMI: 695-2700.
Maine’s 48 state parks and historic sites offer year-round recreational opportunities. Even those parks not staffed during the winter are open from 9 a.m. to sunset daily.
Visit http://www.maine.gov/dacf/winterfamilyfundays and http://www.parksandlands.com to see complete event listings, review trail conditions and locate a park.
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to http://www.maine.gov/dacf.