First Day of New Year offers fun outdoor adventure
Posted on 01/06/2022
Some of the folks that showed up at Maybury State Park to kick off the New Year.Where were you at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day 2022? Approximately 100 people – young, old, families, people with dogs – converged on Maybury State Park to take part in the annual First Day hike. The program sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is designed to get people exercising and exploring at state parks nationwide to ring in the new year.

On this 10-year anniversary, Friends of Maybury hosted a free, mini reception for the hikers near the trailhead. Chuck and Andrea Murdock served hot cocoa and treats to guests while Park Supervisor Traci Sincock took a group of hikers along the paved trail on an hour-long hike. A second group, led by a Friends guide, explored the wooded trails near the trailhead.

“Several of my hike participants were new to the park and I took the opportunity to educate them about the park and the special features,” noted Sincock.

“It was a pleasant morning. It was cloudy and misting but not too cold,” Chuck Murdock said. “There was a good mix of people – a lot of dogs and baby strollers. I was really pleased with the number of families.”

In 2021, Sincock said 969,252 people visited the park (Fiscal Year 21, from Oct. 20 – Sept. 21). Chuck said an estimated 1.3 million visits were made in 2020. That was the first year that COVID-19 upended our lives and people took to the outdoors in droves because it was safer than being indoors with others. The attendance is up substantially from previous yearly averages of 500,000 visits.

If you plan to get a healthy dose of nature this winter, head over to Maybury, which has four distinct trails (hiking, mountain biking, equestrian, and paved). If you are walking your dog, please keep your pet on a six-foot leash as required by state law. Cross-country skiers will find a groomed trail on half the asphalt path when there is sufficient snowfall. Trail conditions are reported on the Nordic Ski Racer website. Walkers should keep to the plowed side so they don’t disturb the tracks.