Maryland State Park First Day Hikes 1/1/2016

 

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​Assateague State Park First Day Hike
Ilia Fehrer / Judy Johnson Memorial Beach Walk

Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Assateague State Park concession building
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families of all ages. The guided hike will take place on the beach toward the north end of the island.
Length of Trail: One mile round trip
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Hot chocolate will be served on the concession deck following the walk.
Additional Information:Join Volunteer Interpreter Chris Seymour and Ranger Bill Yates as we celebrate the beauty of Assateague Island. While the ocean provides one of the largest habitats around the island, there are many other on the interior of the island you may not realize exist. You'll explore the island from its sandy beach to its salty marshes exploring each habitat as its own mini island and taking a moment to realize that they offer unique experiences for humans that sit there a spell and absorb the sights and sounds of that particular zone.
The first Assateague Beach Walk was held on January 1, 1970. The newly formed Committee to Preserve Assateague Island hosted the inaugural event to draw attention to Assateague’s wild beauty. The committee was created by Ilia Fehrer, Judy Johnson and a few friends who had organized to rally against early plans for development of Assateague Island, which included a 25-mile highway and a number of commercial enterprises, and the Ocean Beach resort, much like Ocean City. A series of 1962 nor-easters interrupted construction, and eventually National and State Parks were established. The committee became the organization, Assateague Coastal Trust, who along with Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague State Park sponsor the New Year’s Day walk each year. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

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Cedarville State Forest First Day Hike
A Winter Hike in the Forest

Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the park's headquarters office parking lot on Bee Oak Road.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families.
Minimum Age for Children: Age 5, all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Length of Trail: Three miles on the Orange Trail. Hike will last approximately 1.5 hours. 
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Dogs on a leash are welcome.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Cedarville State Forest at 301-888-1410 to register
Additional Information: Join the Friends of Cedarville State Forest on a steady winter hike in the forest and make a fresh start in the new year. Hot chocolate and refreshments will be provided in the headquarters office after the hike.

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Cunningham Falls State Park First Day Hike
Lower Falls Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: Call the park at 301-271-7574 to register and for details on the meeting location.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families.
Minimum Age for Children: None. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Length of Trail: 1 mile round trip 
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Cunningham Falls State Park at 301-271-7574 to register
Additional Information: Follow a stone dust path, smooth enough for jogging-style strollers, all the way to Maryland's longest cascading waterfall. Allow 20 minutes at the falls for photos, rest and relaxation.

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Dan's Mountain State Park First Day Hike
Morning on the Mountain

Time of Event: 11 a.m. 
Meeting Location: Meet at the Hill Run Pavilion on Water Station Run Road
Degree of Difficulty: A moderate hike along farm roads and singletrack trail. This trail contains natural features that become more challenging when ice and snow are present.
Length of Trail: Approximately 1 mile.
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the outdoors, and water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Dan's Mountain State Park at 301-895-5453 to register
Additional Information: Begin your New Year's day with an exhilarating hike along the Dye School Trail. A ranger will lead the group and remark on the natural and cultural history of the park. Light refreshments and a warm fire await hikers immediately following the trek. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

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Deep Creek Lake State Park First Day Hike
Hike the Discovery Center

Time of Event: 11 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Discovery Center
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families of all ages. The guided hike will take place in and around the Discovery Center mainly dictated by the weather of the day.
Minimum age for kids: Age 5
Length of Trail: 3 miles round trip.
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the outdoors should the weather permit, and can bring camera and binoculars.Hot chocolate will be served at the Discovery Center following the walk.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Deep Creek Lake State Park at 301-387-7067 to register
Additional Information: Hike will lead participants through 3 miles of the park's trails. In case of inclement weather, join park naturalists as you "Hike the Discovery Center." Tour our displays, discover fossils in our building, tracks in our walls, tour the indoor mine, meet animals up close, venture outside to our aviary. If the weather permits, we will walk to the beach and back discovering the uniqueness of nature in winter.

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Elk Neck State Park First Day Hike 
Under the Frost!

Time of Event: 1 to 3 p.m.
Meeting Location: Park store in the campground
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike for families
Length of Trail: Approximately 2 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Elk Neck State Park at 410-287-5333 to register
Additional Information: Join a park ranger on an invigorating two mile trek on the Pond Loop, learning more about the winter behaviors of the park's critters. 

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Fair Hill NRMA First Day Hike

Time of Event: 11 a.m. Hike may cover some rocky and steep terrain
Meeting Location: Gallaher Road Parking Lot, 483 Gallaher Road, Elkton MD
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families of all ages
Length of Trail: 4 miles round trip
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Fair Hill NRMA at 410-398-1246 to register
Additional Information: Set to reconnect with the natural world as we journey on wooded blazed and unmarked trails within the Yellow Trail quadrant. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

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Fort Frederick State Park First Day Hike 
Birding Big Year Kick Off Hike

Time of Event: 11 a.m. Hike will last approximately 2 hours
Meeting Location: Fort Frederick State Park Visitor Center
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families
Length of Trail: Approximately 2 to 4 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Also bring binoculars, cameras, and bird identification books 
RSVP: Famiies are encouraged to call Fort Frederick State Park at 301-842-2155 to register
Additional Information: Join a park ranger to kick off the park's Birding Big Year. During 2016 Fort Frederick State Park will enlist all birders to compile a record of bird species found wtihin the park boundaries. The hike will travel past woods, fields, wetlands, ponds and the Potomac River.

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Gambrill State Park First Day Hike
Green and Black Locust Trails

Time of Event: 4 p.m. Hike is not stroller accessible and not appropriate for adults carrying children in backpacks.
Meeting Location: Call Gambrill State Park at 301-271-7574 to RSVP and for meeting location.
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike.
Length of Trail: 1/2 mile round trip
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking, and a camera.
RSVP: Reservations are recommended. Call Gambrill State Park at 301-271-7574
Additional Information: Join a Park Ranger on the Green and Black Locust Trails in the High Knob area, which follow the contour of the mountain to three beautiful overlooks. Take advantage of the rare chance to view these spots at sunset. Make sure to bring your camera.

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Greenbrier State Park First Day Hike
Winter Wonderland Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m. Hike around the lake will last approximately 1.5 hours
Meeting Location: Meet at the Greenbrier Visitor Center
Degree of Difficulty: We are offering two hikes this year - an easy hike around the lake for all ages and a moderate-to-strenuous, hilly hike for more experienced hikers
Length of Trail: The lakeside hike is about 1.5 miles, which will take about 1.5 hours and the more strenuous hike is about 3 miles and will last 2-3 hours
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking, and a camera (optional).
RSVP: Reservations are recommended. Call Greenbrier State Park at 301-791-4767
Additional Information: Join Park Rangers on New Year’s Day at Greenbrier State Park for a “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” hike around the lake. Two hikes will be offered this year. Take the easy lakeside trail hike and learn about the lake, trees and wildlife, including bald eagles, white-tailed deer, squirrels, chipmunks and red-tailed hawks that make their habitat in and around the state park. More experienced hikers can take the 2-3 hour, 3-mile hike on Greenbrier trails and enjoy a steady hike through the woods in the winter. Pets on a leash are welcome.

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Greenwell State Park/Greenwell Foundation First Day Hike

Time of Event:9 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Greenwell Foundation Office
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families with children of all ages
Length of Trail: Approximately 1.5 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Reservations are recommended. Call Greenwell State Park at 301-373-9775
Additional Information: Join park staff and Greenwell Foundation staff on a 1.5 mile level loop hike that includes the park's new sensory trail, including open fields, wooded trails and a view of a tidal pond.

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Gunpowder Falls State Park First Day Hike
Hike at Jerusalem Mill

Time of Event: 1 to 3 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Blacksmith Shop in Jerusalem Village
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families. This trail contains natural features that become more challenging when ice and snow are present.
Length of Trail: Approximately 1.75 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Gunpowder Falls State Park at 410-592-2897 to register
Additional Information: The Friends of Jerusalem Mill will lead hikers along the Little Gunpowder Falls. The hike will cover some wet or uneven terrain. Meet at the Blacksmith Shop in Jerusalem for refreshments before the hike. Please call to register.

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Herrington Manor State Park First Day Hike
Start the New year in Western Maryland

Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Herrington Manor Ranger Station. 
Degree of Difficulty: An easy to moderate hike for families. Recommended for ages 7 and above.
Length of Trail: 1 mile
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Depending on snow accumulation, snow shoes may be beneficial.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Herrington Manor State Park at 301-334-9180 to register
Additional Information: Hike with a park ranger on a mile-long loop trail that lets hikers anjoy the sights and sounds of Western Maryland forests in winter. The hike wil follow the newly revamped interpretive trail. Hot drinks and snacks will be available in the park office following the hike. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

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Janes Island State Park First Day Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at camper check-in lot near the park store and nature center
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families.
Length of Trail: 2 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Janes Island State Park at 410-968-1565 to register
Additional Information: Join park rangers for a leisurely hike through the park grounds in search of deer, turkeys and bald eagles. The hike includes views of some of the park's 30 miles of water trails, a reclaimed agricultural field and a portion of the campground.

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Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary First Day Hike
Puppies on the Patuxent Hike

Time of Event: 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Frank Oslislo Visitor Center
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to  moderate hike for families of all ages.
Length of Trail: 1.5 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Bring binoculars for wildlife viewing..
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary at 301-888-1377 to register
Additional Information: Bring your pup and join park staff for a hike along the scenic Patuxent River. This hike is on a flat gravel surface, suitable for strollers, and offers excellent views of the middle Patuxent River. Stops will be made at the boardwalk area and Catfish Pond where hikers will be able to view wildlife riverside and pond side. Finish your hike at the visitor center to see displays, animals and enjoy light refreshments. Pets on a leash are welcome.

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New Germany State Park First Day Hike
Hemlock Ramble

Time of Event: 3 p.m.
Meeting Location: New Germany Lake House 
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike on rocky, singletrack trail
Length of Trail: 1.5 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call New Germany State Park at 301-895-5453 to register 
Additional Information:Start 2016 with a ranger-led brisk afternoon hike through the hemlock forests in New Germany. Participants will enjoy the beautiful mountain Maryland natural landscape on a streamside winter hike. Afterward enjoy a warm fire and refreshments at the lake house. Pets on a leash are welcome.

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North Point State Park First Day Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: "A" parking lot immediately beyond the fee booth 
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families of all ages
Length of Trail: 3 miles round trip
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call North Point State Park at 443-602-2634 to register 
Additional Information: Join park rangers for a hike along the Black Marsh Trail through the park's protected wilderness area. Hikers will visit all three major ecosystems in the park: marsh, coastal forest, and the open Chesapeake Bay estuary. You will also do some amateur industrial archaeology as we explore the ruins of the coal-fired power plant which once powered Bay Shore Park and its trolley cars.

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Patapsco Valley State Park 
Orange Grove History and Cascade Falls Trail Hike

Time of Event: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Meeting Location: Orange Grove parking lot - accessed through the Avalon entrance at 5120 South Street, Halethorpe MD 21227 
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to dfficult hike
Length of Trail: Approximately 1.8 mile loops
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Patapsco Valley State Park at 410-461-5005 to register 
Additional Information: Join the Maryland Conservation Corps as they lead you on a hike on the Cascade Falls Trail at the Orange Grove/Avalon Area of the park. Hikers will enjoy the alluring cascading waterfalls, the dazzling winter hills and valleys and learn many nature fun facs. Celebrate afterwards with hot coffee and cider at Shelter 106.

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Patapsco Valley State Park 
The Scenic Patapsco River

Time of Event: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: McKeldin Area of the park - first parking lot after you pass the contact station
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult hike for families
Length of Trail: 4 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Patapsco Valley State Park at 410-461-5005 to register 
Additional Information: Join a naturalist as she leads you on a vigorous hike on the Switchback Trail at the McKeldin Area of Patapsco Valley State Park. Hikers will enjoy this beautiful riverside trail as well as the scenic view at the Liberty Dam Overlook located at the end of the trail. Pets on a leash are welcome.

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Patapsco Valley State Park 
River Rapids Nature Walk

Time of Event: 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Meeting Location: McKeldin Area of the park - first parking lot after you pass the contact station
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike for families
Length of Trail: 3 miles
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Patapsco Valley State Park at 410-461-5005 to register 
Additional Information: Join a volunteer ranger and an author/naturalist on a walk along the beautiful middle section of the Patapsco. See three Maryland counties from a single spot. Vist the beautiful McKeldin Rapids and see the confluence of the North and South branches of the Patapsco. The hike will have short sections of moderate difficulty such as rock scrambling and slippery footing.

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Pocomoke River State Park First Day Hike

Time of event: 10 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Milburn Landing area, 3036 Nassawango Road, Pocomoke City MD
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for all ages
Length of Trail: 3 miles round trip
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and sturdy hiking shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Pocomoke River State Park at 410-632-2566 to register
Additional Information:Get bundled up and ready to explore the woods in the winter. This year's hike will be on the Milburn Landing Trail. You may encounter an overwintering Bald Eagle or catch a glimpse of a wild turkey.

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Rocks State Park First Day Hike
Winter Waterfall

Time of Event: 9:30 a.m.
Meeting Location: Falling branch Parking aea on Falls Branch Road in Pylesville, MD
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families and children age 5 and older
Length of Trail: 1 mile
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and encouraged to bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Rocks State Park at 410-557-7994 to register
Additional Information: Hike to the gorgeous Kilgore Falls in winter - possibly the best time to visit. Pets on a leash are welcome.

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Rocky Gap State Park First Day Hike
Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Time of Event: 2 p.m.
Meeting Location: Rocky Gap State Park Nature Center parking lot
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families
Length of Trail: 1 mile
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and encouraged to bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Rocky Gap State Park at 301-722-1480 to register
Additional Information: Rocky Gap State Park and the American Cancer Society invite you to join us for our annual First Day Hike. This partnership promotes healthy lifestyles and the importance of daily physical activity. Donations are $5 per person with children 12 and under free. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Allegany County, which helps raise funds for cancer research and patient programs. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

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Sandy Point State Park First Day Hike

Time of Event: 10 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the park's maintenance complex
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate
Length of Trail: 3.25 to 4 miles
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Sandy Point State Park at 410-974-2149 to register
Additional Information: Join a ranger on a hike through the Corcoran Woods Environmental Study Area at Sandy Point State Park to see some of Anne Arundel County's champion trees. Along the way learn about the history of Corcoran Woods and experience the beauty of an environment that has been left untouched for over 100 years. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

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Seneca Creek State Park First Day Hike

Time of Event: 10 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Blue Jay and Nuthatch Pavilion area (follow the signs)
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate for all ages
Length of Trail: 2.8 miles round trip
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Seneca Creek State Park at 301-924-2127 to register
Additional Information: Join the rangers for a hike traversing several areas of the park. The hike will follow a portion of the Long Draught Trail, the Mink Hollow Trail and the Lake Shore Loop Trail for fantastic photo opportunities. Learn about one of nature's best builders when you walk by an active beaver lodge. Pets on a leash are welcome. Warm up with hot cocoa and smores around a fire at the Nuthatch Pavilion after the hike.

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St. Mary's River State Park First Day Hike
A New Year for Nature

Time of Event: 10 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the parking lot of St. Mary's River State Park
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike along the shoreline of St. Mary's Lake
Length of Trail: 3 to 4 miles
Things to Bring: Participants should come prepared to be outside for an extended period of time in possibly very cold and windy weather conditions. Please bring water for drinking and wear sturdy shoes. Bring a camera to remember the beautiful scenery.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call St. Mary's River State Park at 301-872-5688 to register 
Additional Information: Start the year off right and reconnect with nature as you journey along the lakeside with a park ranger. The forested area around the lake provides an excellent opportunity to catch a look at the local wildlife. The guided portion of the hike will be about 3 miles of the 7.5 mile loop; you can return with the ranger or continue the trail at your own pace and leisure. Dogs on a leash are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

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Susquehanna State Park First Day Hike
Explore the Greenway

Time of Event: 11 a.m.
Meeting Location: Fisherman's Park below the Conowingo Dam at the end of Shures Landing Road
Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike for families with children age 5 or older
Length of Trail: 2 miles with an option up to 4 miles
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and encouraged to bring water for drinking.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Susquehanna State Park at 410-557-7994 to register
Additional Information: See fantastics view of the Susquehanna River in winter. Pets on a leash are welcome.

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Tawes Garden First Day Hike
A Winter Walk Through "Maryland in Miniature"

Time of Event: 1 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Garden's weekend entrance on Herbert M. Sachs Drive between the Courts of Appeals building and the Maryland Judicial Center.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families with children of any age. Trail is a combination of paving, boardwalk and pavers. This hike is stroller friendly and well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome.
Length of Trail: Approximately 1/2 half mile round trip. 
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow, cold). Bring along drinking water and binoculars for bird spotting. Hot cocoa will be served after the walk.
RSVP: Reservations are recommended. Call Tawes Garden at 410-260-8189 
Additional Information: Get your New Year off to a refreshing start in this urban green space in downtown Annapolis. Join the park ranger and a naturalist for a leisurely walk through the Maryland Park Service's only public garden and arboretum. You'll hear how this once inhospitable lot was transformed to the 5-acre oasis it is today. We'll scout for winter songbirds and other wildlife among areas that demonstrate Maryland's native mountain west, central piedmont and coastal plain regions.

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Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail First Day Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Freeland Parking Lot on the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail
Degree of Difficulty: Easy. The trail contains natural features that become more challenging when snow or ice are present
Length of Trail: 3 miles 
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow, cold), and bring drinking water.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Gunpowder Falls State Park at 410-592-2897 to register 
Additional Information: Join a ranger and hike to the Mason-Dixon Line. Newly inducted into the Rail Trail Hall of Fame, hike this converted railroad trail from the Freeland Station to the Mason-Dixon Line.

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Tuckahoe State Park First Day Hike
Holiday Wake Up with Morning Sunshine Hike

Time of Event: 10 a.m.
Meeting Location: Meet at the Lake Pavilion
Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families with children of any age.
Length of Trail: Approximately 2 miles 
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow, cold), and bring drinking water. Hot cocoa will be served after the walk.
RSVP: Families are encouraged to call Tuckahoe State Park at 410-820-1668 to register 
Additional Information: The hike will begin along the lake's edge with great view of wildlife (maybe a bald eagle or two) before heading into the woods with views of flooded woodlans and mature forests. Hike will last approximately 1.5 hours.

 
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