Here’s where to hike in the New Year!

For me — and thousands of others in North Carolina — it’s as much a New Year’s Day tradition as black-eye peas and college football: the New Year’s Day hike. Make it a tradition for yourself as well, whether it’s to shake out the cobwebs from ushering 2010 out the door or, on a more progressive note, to get your year off to a healthy start. A walk through the woods can’t help but put you in a good frame of mind for the year ahead.

Odds are there’s an organized New Year’s Day hike not far from where you live. Here’s a rundown of the ones I know. Note: Most hikes are at 10 a.m., greet the New Year accordingly.



Hikin’ in the New Year
Location: Reedy Creek Nature Center
Sponsor: Reedy Creek Nature Center
Time: 10 a.m. (long hike), noon (short hike)
Note: Morning hike is 4-5 miles, afternoon hike 1-2 miles.
Details here.



North Cary Park Greenway Hike
Location: North Cary Park/Black Creek Greenway.
Sponsor: Triangle Hiking and Outdoors Group (Meetup).
Time: 10 a.m.
Note: “… no fixed itinerary … you are free to hike as long as you want!”
Details here.

Umstead State Park New Year’s Day Hike (Harrison Avenue entrance)
Location: Umstead State Park.
Sponsor: Raleigh Weekday Outdoor Activity Group (Meetup)
Time: 10 a.m.
Note: Hiking Company Mill and Inspiration trails (about 6 miles).
Details here.

Eno River Association New Year’s Day Hike

Location: Eno River State Park.
Sponsor: Eno River Association.
Time: 2 p.m.
Note: The biggest New Year’s day hike we know of, attracting up to 500 hikers in good weather. Two hikes: 2 miles and 4-5 miles; refreshments follow. (See photo at top, by Ed Clayton, courtesy Eno River Association.)
Details here.


Piedmont Hiking and Outing Club New Year’s Day Hike
Location: Hanging Rock State Park
Sponsor: Piedmont Hiking and Outing Club
Time: Noon
Note: Various hikes; car pooling from Shoney’s at I-40 and NC 68
Details here.


Carolina Mountain Club New Year’s Day Hike
Location: Green River Gamelands
Sponsor: Carolina Mountain Club.
Time: 8 a.m. for breakfast, 9:15 a.m. for hike.
Note: Covering several trails on the Green River Gamelands.
Details here.

Asheville Amblers New Year’s Day walks
Location: Asheville
Sponsor: Asheville Amblers Walking Club
Time: 9:45 a.m.
Note: 5K and 10K walks
Details here.


Halyburton Park New Year’s Day Hike
Location: Halyburton Park, Wilmington.
Sponsor: Halyburton Park
Time: 10 a.m.
Note: Two-mile hike taking in longleaf pine forest and Carolina Bay. Pre-registration required: (910) 341-0075.
Details here.

Lake Waccamaw
Lake Waccamaw State Park New Year’s Day Hike
Location: Lake Waccamaw State Park
Sponsor: Lake Waccamaw State Park
Time: 3 p.m.
Note: No note.
Details here.

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