Community DevelopmentCurrent ProjectsNews

Looking forward to a fresh start in 2024? Why not plan for something fun on New Year’s Day!

Celebrate the New Year outside with a First Day Hike at one of the many events being held across the state and nation.

The 13th annual event includes a variety of staff and volunteer led hikes, ranging from mountain climbs, cross-country skis, leisurely strolls along birding trails and so much more! Hikes are planned at DEC State lands, state parks and historic sites, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails, canal trails and towpaths, and environmental education centers. All DEC walks and hikes are free, and most are family-friendly, typically ranging from one to five miles, depending on the location and conditions.

Many New Yorkers thrive in winter and are eager for falling temperatures and consistent snowfalls. To these hardy adventurers, a few extra layers of gear combined with the snowy terrain of parklands is a winning recipe for fitness, togetherness, and outdoor fun. If you’ve never been on a First Day Hike, save the date and get out there! 

Western New York (Region 9) – Chautauqua County Mount Pleasant State Forest

Meet Up Location: Titus Rd Trailhead parking area, on the corner of Titus Rd & Mount Pleasant Rd

Date and Time: January 1, 11:00am

Description: This 2-mile moderate hike starts at the Titus Road Trailhead off the West Side Overland Trail, and travels north to the lean-to site and back. Please bring a light lunch, snacks, and drinks, as we will eat at the lean-tos before the return trip back. There will be a few historical and educational stops along the way that will be presented by the State Forester. Come hike and learn about Mount Pleasant State Forest! This hike will be led by DEC State Forester Theresa Draves.

Special Instructions: Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy footwear (boots recommended) and bring snacks or light lunch. If bad weather is predicted, the event may be canceled. This is a pack-in and pack-out facility. Snowshoes are suggested if there is enough snowpack. All ages are welcome. Well-behaved pets are allowed on leash.

Registration Required: Please contact Theresa Draves at theresa.draves@dec.ny.gov or (716) 363-2052 by December 27th. Provide your name and phone number.

Western New York (Region 9) – Forestville Hiking Trail

Meet Up Location: Walnut St, Forestville – approximately 1/4 from Route 39

Date and Time: January 1, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Description: This 1-mile self guided hike starts at the Forestville Hiking Trailhead. Members from Imagine Forestville and the Trail team will be there to answer any questions. They will also be managing a small fire pit, handling out hot cocoa and s’mores. All guest will be asked to sign-in upon arrival.

Special Instructions: Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy footwear (boots recommended). If bad weather is predicted, the event may be canceled. This is a pack-in and pack-out facility. Snowshoes are suggested if there is enough snowpack. All ages are welcome. Well-behaved pets are allowed on leash with clean up required.

Registration Required: No registration required. Please contact Aimee Rogers at aimeerogers@imagineforestville.org or (716)870-5087 with any questions.