The public is being invited to start the new year with a hike in a Vermont state park.

 On January 1, 2018, everyone is invited to join a free, guided, family-friendly hike taking place at many state parks and forests across Vermont. Hikes will be led by professional guides and outdoor educators eager to share their knowledge and love of Vermont’s outdoors. State park entry is free on New Year’s Day (and all winter long).

This year, a First Day BIKE option is available at Seyon Lodge State Park. Bring your fat bike and helmet for this guided ride. If you’ve never tried fat biking, demo bikes will also be available (but please still bring your helmet). See below for more details.

Please dress for the weather and bring snowshoes if the snow is deep. Please also bring beverages and snacks. Dogs are welcome on leash unless otherwise noted. You don’t need to pre-register, just show up. To check the status of the hikes, call the First Day Hikes Hotline at 802-249-1230. Updated messages will be posted to the hotline on December 31st and January 1st.

For more information, visit and the Vermont State Parks Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Here is a list of state parks currently offering guided first day events:

Bomoseen State Park:

Guide: Caitlin Gates (Vermont State Park Interpreter)

Meet: 1 pm at park entrance station

Hike: 1+ hour, easy terrain


Button Bay State Park:

Guide: Ron Payne (Otter Creek Audubon Society)

Meet: 9 am at park entrance

Hike: 3 hours, easy terrain


Camp Plymouth State Park:

Guide: Scott Davison (The Woodstock Naturalist)

Meet: 10 am at the plowed parking area just south of park entrance

Hike: 2 hours, easy to moderate terrain


Groton Nature Center, Big Deer State Park:

Guide: Dave Spencer (local expert)

Meet: 1:00 pm at Groton State Forest Nature Center parking area on Boulder Beach Road, 1.6 miles from Route 232

Hike: 1+ hour loop, easy terrain.


Little River State Park:

Guides: Jes Halterman (Park Manager) and Lorne Currier (Green Mountain Club)

Meet: 10 am at CCC Trailhead (park at the bottom of the hill below the dam—please don’t block the gate). Follow signs/guide to trailhead.

Hikes:  Two options: 1 hour, easy or 2-3 hours, moderate

Lake Willoughby South Shore Trail Loop: 

Guide: Jean Haigh (Green Mountain Club)

Meet: 10 am at the South End Beach parking area off Route 5a

Hike: 2 hours, 3 miles, easy to moderate terrain


Seyon Lodge Fat Bike/Hike:

Guides: Sarah Galbraith (Riders in Plainfield-Marshfield), Darren Ohl (Vermont Bicycle Shop), and Greg Western (Cross Vermont Trail)

NOTE: Parking is limited at this location: please carpool!

FIRST DAY BIKEHelmets are Required! Bring your own fat bike for the guided ride.

Meet: 10am – Fat bike demos for all abilities, short and easy loop; ride sign-ups

11am – Guided rides depart, beginner 45 minutes and intermediate 90 minutes, easy to moderate terrain

Hike: 11am, 1-hour, easy hike around the pond

Snacks: 12/12:30 – Hot cocoa and waffles


Taconic Mountain Ramble StatePark:

Guide: Alyssa Bennett (Taconic Mountains Ramble State Park Manger)

Meet: Noon at the Hubbardton Battlefield parking lot on Monument Hill Rd

Hike: 2-3 hours, easy to moderate terrain, followed by fresh baked cookies!