Visit any of our 37 Virginia State Parks on January 1 and participate in one of our guided hikes and programs or create your own adventure. All of our parks are free to enter that day as a way to encourage everyone to start the New Year right. The hardest part may be deciding which park to visit and some of our past First Day Hike participants have visited more than one.
Oh, and we use the term “Hikes” but also count strolling, biking, horseback riding, rambling, wildlife viewing …
For a complete list of scheduled hikes and programs for Jan. 1, 2018, click here.
First Day Hike at York River State Park
11:00 – 3:00pm
We will kick off the New Year with a trek to a distant, hidden gem in the park. The Pamunkey Overlook is at the bottom of a steep bluff along the York River. The observation platform gives guests a commanding view over the cord grass and across the river to Wererocommico, where Chief Powhatan once ruled Tidewater Virginia.
We will cover a little over 4 miles. Bring water and a lunch/snack and be prepared to pack in/pack out. Much of the terrain is flat. But, the hill leading to the overlook is steep.
We will also have a shorter hike around Woodstock Pond. This hike will go through the quiet Beaver Trail. It is narrow with one steep ravine and surrounded by a mix of pines and hardwoods. This trek ends with a gorgeous view of the river and pond leading back up to the Visitor Center.
Dogs on leashes are welcome. We will begin the day with a welcome to the New Year for all the hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. Can’t make the guided hike? Create your own First Day Hike experience in the park.
No parking fee. Participate in the New Year Challenge and First Day Hikes Photo Contest. Details here: http://bit.ly/vspfdh2018
First Day Hike at Chippokes Plantation State Park
Activities – James River Walk & Jones-Stewart Mansion Tours
First Day Hike is a nationwide event featuring tons of hiking programs aimed at kicking off 2018 in the serenity of nature. Chippokes has some programs to jumpstart your new year’s resolutions:
10 to 11 a.m.- Waterfowl Prowl – this 1 mile hike will take visitors on a journey to our shores in search of our visiting feathered friends. The hike will start at the visitor center and follow our paved “College Run” trail down to the beach where we will search for the birds. There is one hill that can be a challenge, but as the trail is paved, strollers and wheelchairs will have access.
1 to 2:30 p.m. – James River Walk – The hike will be about 3 miles round trip long grassy, sandy, and hilly terrain. Meet at the Jones-Stewart Mansion Parking Lot. Due to the terrain, the hike is not accessible to strollers and wheelchairs.
Noon to 4 p.m. – Jones-Stewart Mansion Tours – Warm up inside the mansion and take a tour before, during, or after the James River Walk. The last tour begins at 3:15 p.m. The tour will include a short walk through the first floor, then up the staircase and through the second floor. Meet on the back porch of the mansion.
No parking fee. Participate in the New Year Challenge and First Day Hikes Photo Contest. Details here: http://bit.ly/vspfdh2018 .
Kids welcome. No fee for event.
Chippokes Plantation State Park
695 Chippokes Park Rd., Surry, VA 23883
Phone: 757-294-3728 Email Address: Chippokes@dcr.virginia.gov
Web Site: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/chippokes-plantation