Step into the New Year at West Virginia State Parks and Forests

Take part in a First Day Hike on Jan. 1, 2022

Start the New Year on the right foot with a First Day Hike at a West Virginia state park. First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. These free guided hikes are designed to showcase the area’s natural beauty while also providing an educational element on subjects such as park history and wildlife.

Winter Hiking Tips

Hiking is a four-season activity—just remember to dress for the weather! Bring a jacket or coat, gloves and hat. (Even on warmer winter days it’s best to pack some cold weather gear just in case.) Wear boots or suitable winter hiking shoes. Most guided hikes are suitable for all ages and cover distances of 1 to 3 miles. Trekking poles or a walking stick are helpful but not required.

First Day Hikes – January 1, 2022

First Day hikers should arrive 10-15 prior to the hike and bring water and a snack. Participants will receive a West Virginia State Park First Day Hike patch.·  

Blackwater Falls State Park

Hike to scenic overlooks, then head over to the sled run for a fun day on the longest sled run on the East Coast. (Tickets often sell out. Order yours online in advance.) Gather at the Nature Center at 10:30 a.m. to get started.

Cacapon Resort State Park

Choose from three different guided hikes. All hikes will start at the Nature Center at 10 a.m. Plan some extra time to stay and enjoy Cacapon’s new lodge and other recent improvements.

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Join the park superintendent for a stroll along the Greenbrier River Trail at Cass. The rail trail has a slight grade but is mostly flat and easy terrain. Meet the superintendent at the Cass Company Store at 1 p.m.

Chief Logan State Park

Spend New Year’s Eve at Chief Logan and enjoy closing night of the park’s drive-thru Christmas in the Park lights display. Then join a guided hike the next morning. This hike meets at Chief Logan State Park’s museum at 10 a.m.

North Bend State Park

Adjacent to the 72-mile-long North Bend Rail Trail, North Bend offers 26 miles of hiking trails of its own. Explore a couple miles of those trails with a park naturalist. The hike begins at Shelter #3 at 10 a.m.

Pipestem Resort State Park

Join the park naturalist for an easy stroll along the cart path at Pipestem’s championship golf course. Meet the naturalist at 1 p.m. at the Golf Pro Shop. Enjoy cocoa and cookies at the Pro Shop afterwards.

Twin Falls Resort State Park

The park naturalist will lead a hike featuring two prominent vistas at Twin Falls. Meet up at the campground store at 1 p.m. before heading to Cliffside Trail.

Tygart Lake State Park

Join the park naturalist for a guided hike and experience the beauty of Tygart Lake in winter. The hike will kick off from the campground at 10 a.m.

Find events and reserve lodging

Complete details for each hike, start time and location are posted at West Virginia State Parks. Click on “Events” and then “Calendar” and scroll down to view upcoming events.

Ring in the New Year at a West Virginia state park or forest. Book your Almost Heaven getaway today!

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