Published On: Fri, Dec 20th, 2013

Delaware Canal State Park celebrates New Year’s Day with family-friendly hikes in New Hope and Easton

state park hike

Hikers on the 2012 First Day Hike in Easton. (Photo: Irene Tatariw Trindle)

Delaware Canal State Park will sponsor free guided hikes in New Hope and Easton on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative. Family-friendly hikes will take place on the Delaware Canal towpath beginning at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve (lower parking lot) at 1635 River Road (Rt. 32) in New Hope and at Wy Hit Tuk Park, Rt. 611 south of Easton on Jan. 1, 2014 from 1 to 2 p.m.

At Delaware Canal State Park, First Day hikers will take a gentle 2-4 mile walk on the level terrain of the canal towpath and learn a little bit about canal history. In Easton, views of the Delaware River and winter waterfowl will be plentiful, while in New Hope hikers will pass revolutionary war landmarks such as the Thompson-Neely House and walk along a watered section of the canal. Visitors can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, experience spectacular views and vistas and benefit from the company of a knowledgeable state park guide, according to park officials.

First Day Hikes will take place in state parks all across America, and will offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family, say organizers. More information about First Day Hikes at Delaware Canal State Park is available at http://tinyurl.com/delcanalcal.

“We are thrilled that so many people across the nation started 2013 in one of America’s State Parks by joining us for a First Day Hike,” said Priscilla Geigis, President of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) and Director of Massachusetts State Parks. “Our state parks are places to get naturally healthy through physical exercise and connecting with nature close to home. We hope this experience inspires everyone to continue to enjoy these valued resources throughout the year.”

“We have so many incredible places to explore right in our own backyards,” added Dr. Phil McKnelly, NASPD’s Executive Director. “Every season is the best season to be in a state park and First Day Hikes are the perfect opportunity to burn off some of those holiday calories with a brisk hike.”

First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts.  The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks. Many other states offer outdoor recreation programs on New Year’s Day, and state parks across America will sponsor First Day Hikes in 2014.

Delaware Canal State Park Complex Public Programs – January, 2014

Wednesday, 1/1/2014 – First Day Hike in Easton, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, Wy Hit Tuk Park, Rt. 611, Easton, PA. Part of a national initiative, thousands will hit the trails of nearby state parks for a New Year’s Day hike this year. Join Delaware Canal State Park staff for a short hike on the towpath near Easton. 3 miles or less; all ages and abilities welcome. For more information, please call Sarah Berg at 610-982-0161 or e-mail sberg@pa.gov.

Wednesday, 1/1/2014 – First Day Hike in New Hope, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve lower parking lot, 1635 River Road (Rt. 32), New Hope, PA. Part of a national initiative, thousands will hit the trails of their local parks for a New Year’s Day hike this year. Join Delaware Canal State Park staff for a short hike on the towpath near New Hope. 4 miles or less; all ages and abilities welcome. For more information, please contact Ian Kindle at 610-982-0166 or e-mail ikindle@pa.gov.

Saturday, 1/04/2014 – DiscoverE Winter Stomp, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Giving Pond Recreation Area, Delaware Canal State Park, 1125 River Rd. (PA-32), Upper Black Eddy, PA. Online registration required at http://tinyurl.com/delcanalcal. A fun winter exploration for children ages 3-8 and their accompanying parents.

Sunday, 1/05/2014 – Bowman’s Hill Winter Lecture Series: History of the Delaware Canal, 2:00 to 3:00 PM, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, 1635 River Road (Rt. 32), New Hope, PA. Bowman’s Hill Members: $8 per lecture; Non-members: $12 per lecture. An illustrated presentation on the Delaware Canal’s 99 years of operation and its transformation into a recreational resource. Contact Bowan’s Hill at 215-862-2924 or http://www.bhwp.org.

Friday, 1/10/2014 – AMC Second Fridays in Upper Bucks Hike, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm., Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary, Sunnyside , Raubsville, PA. Join Appalachian Mountain Club hike leader and state park educator Ian Kindle for a 4-5 mile hilly hike. Information online at http://tinyurl.com/delcanalcal or by calling Ian at 610-982-0166 or via e-mail ikindle@pa.gov. Steady rain or heavy snow cancels. If ample snow, loaner snow shoes will be available.

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