CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Various West Virginia state parks are making themselves available to prospective hikers hoping to break in the New Year with a First Day Hike.
First Day Hikes is an initiative led by America’s State Parks that started back in Massachusetts in 1992 and has since expanded to all 50 states of the nation. State parks across the nation offer up free guided hikes to help people start off the New Year, and West Virginia is no different.
Those joining in should wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather and terrain. Hikers are also asked to bring their own water, snacks and trekking poles. At the end of the hike, participants will receive a West Virginia State Park First Day Hike patch.
On Jan. 1, you will be able to visit the following parks to conduct your First Day Hike, according to wvstateparks.com:
Starting at 10 a.m. at the Sled Run parking area, this hike will be an approximately 3-mile round-trip along Forest Road 18 and Lindy Point Trail to a spectacular view.
Starting at 10 a.m. at the Events Building, the “moderately strenuous” 2 and a half mile hike includes Cabin and Big Pine trails and concludes with a shuttle ride back to the top of the mountain.
Starting at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center, hikers will be given the choice between The Cabin/Laurel/Central Trail, a 2 and a half mile hike full of mountain views and the upper lake, or The Hovermale Trail, an “easy to moderate” 1.4 mile hike featuring hemlock evergreens and several stream crossings.
Starting at 1 p.m. at the Cass Company Store, hikers will explore the “mostly flat and easy” Greenbrier River Trail.
Starting at 9 a.m. at the gray log cabin/campground check-in building, hikers will drive together to the trailhead before taking of on the “doable for all ages and skill levels” half-mile trail. A group selfie will also be taken at an old chimney along the trail.
Starting at 10 a.m. at the Museum in the Park, hikers will travel on the Cliffside Trail, which has “one steep section to get started, but then it is an easy hike and appropriate for all skill levels.”
Starting at 1 p.m. at the Claudia Workman Wildlife Education Center, hikers will be guided by a retired WVDNR biologist through the Forks of Coal State Natural Area.
All starting at 1 p.m., hikers can choose from three separate hikes. The Spotted Salamander Trail (.25 miles) hike will meet at the Spotted Salamander parking lot and is wheelchair-accessible. Spotted Salamander Trail. The CCC Snipe Trail or Davis Creek Trail (TBD – 2 miles) as well as the loop of Davis Creek, Teaberry Rock, Middle Ridge and Alligator Rock trails (4 miles total) will begin at the Nature Center.
Staring at 1 p.m. at Shelter #3, the leisurely hike will feature “some brief, interpretive stops.”
Starting at 1 p.m at the campground store, hikers will traverse the Cliffside Trail, “featuring two prominent vistas at Twin Falls.” The trail is described as being easy until the cliff area, whose difficulty depends on the snow cover at the time.
Starting at 10 a.m. at the campground, hikers will conduct a 2 mile round-trip on the School Bus Loop Trail.
For more information about each hike, you can visit the West Virginia State Parks website. Once there, click on “Events” and then “Calendar” and scroll down to view upcoming events.