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First Day Hikes


Join Delaware State Parks on January 1, 2020, and start the New Year outdoors! Parks statewide will host a First Day Hike program to celebrate the national movement sponsored by America’s State Parks to have all 50 states offer First Day Hikes. Join us in celebrating America’s state parks and your Delaware State Parks!

Alapocas Run State Park

10 a.m. on Northern Delaware Greenway Trail & Other Trails. Meet at Blue Ball Barn, 1914 W. Park Drive, Wilmington, DE

Leashed well behaved dogs welcome

  • Hike Difficulty: Mixed, will divide into groups for easy and moderate
  • Minimum age: None
  • Restrictions: Moderate hike: unpaved pathways and some hills
  • Length of hike: Easy: Less than 2 miles, moderate: 3 miles miles
  • What to bring with you: Drinking water and appropriate layers
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: (302) 577-1164

Auburn Valley State Park

1 p.m. on Oversee Farm Trail . Meet at 1516 Snuff Mill Road Trail lot

Come explore one of our most beautiful hidden trails and get to see a beautiful 19th century stone farmhouse and barn with lovely views of the woods and creek.

  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age: None
  • Restrictions: None
  • Length of hike: 1.1 miles
  • What to bring with you: Water, good hiking shoes and a love of the outdoors!
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: (302) 239-5687

Auburn Valley State Park

3:30 p.m. on Yorklyn Bridge Trail . Meet at Paper Mill Parking Lot on Benge Road

The Yorklyn Bridge Trail provides wonderful views of the old Marshall Bros. Paper Mill, Red Clay Creek and Garrett snuff mill. This is a perfect tour for visitors who love both nature and history! Come to look, learn and fall in love with Yorklyn.

  • Hike Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: None
  • Restrictions: None
  • Length of hike: 1 miles
  • What to bring with you: Water, good hiking and love and of the outdoors!
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: 302) 239-5687

Bellevue State Park

1 p.m. on Delaware Greenway Trail. Meet at Bellevue Arts Center

We’ll pick a trail based on the group’s size and interest and walk for about an hour visiting many special places throughout the park. This hike is for all ages and is stroller friendly. Meet at the Arts Center.

  • Hike Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: None (stroller friendly)
  • Restrictions: None
  • Length of hike: 1.5-3 miles depending on group miles
  • What to bring with you: Water, dress for weather
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: Check Bellevue’s Facebook page

Brandywine Creek State Park

1 p.m. on Hidden Pond. Meet at Nature Center

You will see birds, meadows, nature preserve, Brandywine River/Creek, etc.

  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age: N/A; Must be accompanied by an adult
  • Restrictions: Pets must be on a leash
  • Length of hike: Approximately 2 - 2.5 miles
  • What to bring with you: Dress for the weather (layers of clothing, winter shoes, hats and gloves) and bring drinking water and snacks.
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: (302) 655-5740

Brandywine Zoo

12:30 p.m. on Brandywine Zoo. Meet at In front of the gift shop

The “hike” will be a guided tour through our zoo with one of our knowledgeable educators.

  • Hike Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: None
  • Restrictions:
  • Length of hike: 1/4 mile miles
  • What to bring with you: Yourself!
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: Brandywine Zoo Facebook page

Cape Henlopen State Park

11 a.m. on The Point. Meet at The Point parking lot—extra parking at Point Comfort Station parking lot

Hike will be on the beach around the Point, experiencing both the ocean and bay sides. Please park in the Point Comfort Station Parking lot (just south) and walk north to the Point parking lot. Parking may be limited.

  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate (loose sand, may be windy and cold)
  • Minimum age: 7 years old with an adult
  • Restrictions: No dogs
  • Length of hike: 1.5 miles
  • What to bring with you: Dress in layers, comfortable shoes, and sunglasses/hat
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: Call the Nature Center after 9 a.m. at 302-645-6852 for a pre-recorded message if cancelled.

First State Heritage Park

1 p.m. on Stories of The Green Walking Tour. Meet at John Bell House, 43 The Green, Dover

Celebrate the first day of the year with a Stories of The Green Walking Tour. Parks statewide will host participate in the national movement sponsored by America’s State Parks.

  • Hike Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: None
  • Restrictions: None
  • Length of hike: 1/4 mile miles
  • What to bring with you: Walking shoes, camera, and dress for the weather
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: (302) 545-2027

Fort Dupont State Park

10 a.m. on Riverview Trail. Meet at Parking lot close to the river, at the end of Wilmington Avenue/Old Battery Lane

We will be walking the Riverside Trail at historic Fort DuPont. Along the way we will comment on any natural phenomena we might see, as well as talk about the early 1900s era concrete artillery batteries that still exist on the site.

  • Hike Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: None
  • Restrictions: None
  • Length of hike: Approximately 1.1 miles miles
  • What to bring with you: Warm clothing and waterproof boots
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: Check our Facebook page the day of the event for cancellation notices, but this is generally a rain or shine (or snow or extreme cold) event.

Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area

12:30 p.m. on Fort Miles Pinelands Trail Hike. Meet at Fort Miles Parking Lot

Hike the Pinelands area below Fort Miles and uncover some of Cape Henlopen’s history. Be prepared for walking in loose sand.

  • Hike Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 7 years old with an adult
  • Restrictions: None
  • Length of hike: 1.7 miles
  • What to bring with you: Winter clothing
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: Inclement weather forces cancellation; check our Facebook page for information

Holts Landing State Park

1 p.m. on Sea Hawk Trail. Meet at Holts Landing Picnic Pavilion

Join park naturalists at Holts Landing State Park to hike this 1.7 mile trail. Along the way, learn about the history of this unique parks and its diversity of habitats. Look for birds and search for wildlife in the meadow, forest, and fresh water ponds.

  • Hike Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: None
  • Restrictions: None
  • Length of hike: 1.7 miles
  • What to bring with you: Dress for the weather
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: Check the Delaware Seashore State Park Facebook page

Killens Pond State Park

1 p.m. on Pondside Nature Trail. Meet at Nature Center

We will hold multiple hikes of various lengths from the Nature Center – one variation will be stroller friendly. Dress for the weather and wear shoes for walking. Dogs on leash welcome!

  • Hike Difficulty: Varies, multiple hikes
  • Minimum age: None
  • Restrictions: None
  • Length of hike: 1 to 3 miles miles
  • What to bring with you: Water, wear layered clothing, dogs on leashes, walking sticks, smiles!
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: Check Facebook

Lums Pond State Park

1 p.m. on Swamp Forest Trail. Meet at Area 1 Pavilion

Guided hike along the pond on a part of the Swamp Forest Trail. Pets are permitted but must be on a 6 foot leash.

  • Hike Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
  • Minimum age: N/A – Parts of the trail may not be suitable for strollers
  • Restrictions: Parts of the trail may not be suitable for strollers
  • Length of hike: approximately 2.5 miles miles
  • What to bring with you: Water bottle, snacks, comfortable hiking shoes
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: (302) 368-6989

Trap Pond State Park

10 a.m. on American Holly and Bob Trail. Meet at Baldcypress Nature Center

  • Hike Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: None
  • Restrictions: None
  • Length of hike: 2 miles miles
  • What to bring with you: Dress for the weather and bring comfortable shoes and a bottle of water.
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: Cancellation/Delay information will be posted on the Trap Pond Facebook Page

White Clay Creek State Park

1 p.m. on Millstone Pond Trail. Meet at Carpenter Recreation Area

Enjoy yourselves on this trek through the woods down to our Millstone Pond where you will see the pond surrounding rocks that make this area so fun!

  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age: Backpack or walking, no stroller access
  • Restrictions: Foot trail only
  • Length of hike: 1.3 miles miles
  • What to bring with you: Water, good walking shoes, dress for the weather
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: (302) 368-6560

White Clay Creek State Park

1 p.m. on Arc Corner Monument Loop. Meet at Nature Center

This trail takes you to the DE/PA boundary and the granite monument that marks the spot. Cool photo opportunity.

  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
  • Minimum age: Backpack or walking, no stroller access
  • Restrictions: Mostly single track trail only
  • Length of hike: Approximately 2 miles miles
  • What to bring with you: Water, good walking shoes, dress for the weather
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: (302) 368-6560

White Clay Creek State Park

1 p.m. on PennDel/Pomeroy Trail. Meet at Nature Center

Flat trail that makes a loop through the stream valley then heads back to the Chambers House Nature Center.

  • Hike Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age: Backpack, walking, stroller
  • Restrictions: Trail is combination of hard packed, stone, and paved surface
  • Length of hike: Approximately 2 miles miles
  • What to bring with you: Water, good walking shoes, dress for the weather
  • Contact info for possible cancellations: (302) 368-6560