Marylanders kick off 2022 with First Day Hikes

Hikers at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County head into the woods Jan. 1.

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that about 3,000 visitors took part in First Day Hikes in state parks during the three-day period of Dec. 31, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022.

More than 350 people self-reported that they hiked 1,223 miles in state parks, in addition to 487 people who took part in ranger-led hikes and 2,135 hikers who enjoyed self-guided options.

Maryland DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio joined staff and visitors for a hike at Tuckahoe State Park.

Rainy conditions may have dampened some attendance this year, but generally warmer temperatures through most of Maryland provided plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun on the state’s public lands.

Last year, DNR estimated that 16,237 visitors took part in First Day Hikes from Jan. 1-3, 2021.

Estimates the past two years include self-guided hikers reporting their attendance and mileage hiked using an online form on the DNR website, an innovation developed during the height of the pandemic.

Dozens of hikers also left comments about their experience.

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