Seemingly overnight, North Carolina State Parks has gone from having just 19 hikes on January 1 (Saturday) to now having 27! All but a handful are branded as First Day Hikes, the designation given New Year’s Day hikes at State Parks across the country.
Five North Carolina First Day Hikes that catch our eye:
First Day Hike, Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Wake Forest, 9 a.m. Falls Lake doesn’t host many hikes, making this 1.2-mile walk on the Duck Cove Trail especially alluring. The hike is at the park’s Beaverdam Recreation Area. More info here.
- First Day Discovery Hike, Jones Lake State Recreation Area, Elizabethtown, 10 a.m. Winter is a great time to hike the coastal plain; if you don’t get enough on this 1-mile hike, tack on another 4 miles by hiking the Bay Trail. Learn more here.
- First Day Paddle and First Day Hike, South Mountains State Park, Morganton/Connelly Springs, the former at 10 a.m. the latter at 1 p.m.. The paddle is at the park’s newish Clear Creek Access, on the Clear Creek Reservoir. BYOB, or you can borrow a park kayak. Nice mountain lake for a paddle. More info here. The hike is at 1 p.m., and will head out from the Jacob Fork Parking Lot to High Shoals Falls, 2.7 miles total. Learn more about the hike, here.
- Boulders Overlook First Day Hike, Crowders Mountain State Park, Kings Mountains, 1:30 p.m. This hike is a 2-mile out-and-back; if you’re looking for something longer it pairs with the FDH in South Carolina’s adjoining Kings Mountain State Park for a little more than 5 miles. Shuttles are provided. Learn more here.
- Medoc Mountain First Day Hike 2022, Medoc Mountain State Park, Hollister, 2 p.m. Our favorite State Park that nobody knows about — and not because it’s not worthy of a visit. Take this 2-mile hike along the Stream and Little Fishing Creek trails, then explore on your own. Learn more here.
Learn more about other First Day Hikes in the state here.
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Keep the mojo going
Get the year off to an active start with a First Day Hike, then keep it going with us. We’ve got a variety of hiking and backpacking programs designed to keep you moving into the new year, from a Sunday hiking program to Tuesday Night Hikes to Weekend Hiking Escapes and more. Check them out by clicking Explore with Us!