TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — Leave the holiday stress behind by kicking off the New Year with a guided hike at Taughannock Falls State Park or one of the many state parks, historic sites and wildlife areas that are part of the annual First Day Hikes.

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said in a statement that First Day Hikes are the “perfect elixir to a hectic holiday season.”

For the 8th year, the New Year State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation are inviting New Yorkers to explore the outdoors at one of 80 “first hikes” planned across the state. The guided hikes are being held as part of the annual First Day Hikes program taking place throughout the nation Jan. 1, 2019.

View: Interactive Map of First Day Hike location in New York

Related: Take part in a century-old citizen science tradition: the Christmas Bird Count

There are several first hikes planned in the Finger Lakes and Central New York, including at Taughannock Falls State Park. The hike begins at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1.

Staff from state parks and the DEC, along with volunteers at the different sites will lead the family-friendly walks and hikes.

If the weather permits, some First Day Hikes may include snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Many host sites will be offering refreshments and giveaways. For details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain, pre-registration requirements, and additional information, visit and

Below is a full list of the hikes in the Finger Lakes and Central New York region, along with contact information.

  • Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park, Schenevus; 10 a.m.; 607.638.5421
  • Bowman Lake State Park/McDonough State Forest, Oxford; 11 a.m.; 607.334.2718
  • Camillus Forest Unique Area, Camillus; 10 a.m.; 315.376.3521
  • Catharine Valley Trail, Watkins Glen; 10 a.m.; 607.535.4511
  • Chenango Valley State Park, Chenango Forks; 1 p.m.; (2 hikes) 607.648.5251
  • Clark Reservation State Park, Jamesville; 11 a.m.; 315.415.8377
  • Delta Lake State Park, Rome; 10 a.m.; 315.337.4670
  • Finger Lakes Trail, Corning; 9:30 a.m.;
  • Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego; 10 a.m.; 315.343.4711
  • Gilbert Lake State Park, Laurens; 10 a.m.; 607.432.2114
  • Green Lakes State Park, Fayetteville; 11 a.m.; 315.637.6111
  • Hemlock-Canadice State Forest, Canadice; 10 a.m.; 585.374.8366
  • Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, Savannah; 10 a.m.; 315.365.3588
  • Rogers Environmental Education Center, Sherburne; 10 a.m.; 607.674.4733
  • Seneca Lake State Park, Geneva; 10 a.m.; 315.789.2331
  • Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg; 1 p.m.; 607.387.7041 ext. 131
  • Two Rivers State Park, Waverly; 10 a.m.; 607.732.6287

Featured image: File photo of Taughannock Falls. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice)

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.