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First Day Hikes Set New Record

January 5th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Photo of hikers led by Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford

Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford joins a First Day Hike at Patuxent River State Park, Jan. 1, 2020. Photo by Joe Andrucyk

About 5,000 hikers took advantage of sunny and mild weather New Year’s Day, joining the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in the state’s annual First Day Hikes initiative. Hikers logged more than 10,000 miles on trails in parks and public lands all across Maryland.

Park rangers, staff, and volunteers guided hikers of all experience levels ringing in the new year on the trail. With 43 hikes at more than 30 locations, the Maryland Park Service registered 3,834 hikers participating in guided hikes, while 1,152 people hiked 1,516 miles on their own — a grand total of 4,986 hikers, not counting many who didn’t check in with a ranger. Even more people hiked in Maryland’s state forests, wildlife management areas, and other public lands. 

Among those hiking was Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, who trekked with Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio and about 250 fellow hikers at Patuxent River State Park in Howard and Montgomery counties.

“First Day Hikes are a great way to spend New Year’s Day,” Lt. Governor Rutherford said. “Special thanks go to the rangers, volunteers and all the folks who joined us — I’m already looking forward to next year.” 

This year’s attendance broke the record set New Year’s Day 2019, when more than 3,700 people hiked 8,500 miles on 36 different First Day Hikes throughout Maryland — triple the previous year’s numbers.

Maryland First Day Hikes 2020
State Park Participants Total Miles 
Assateague 253 253
Calvert Cliffs 200 720
Cedarville 52 78
Chapman 111 277.5
Cunningham Falls 51 153
Dans Mountain 18 18
Elk Neck 37 74
Fair Hill 100 500
Fort Frederick 96 192
Gambrill 275 550
Gathland 40 40
Greenwell 39 78
Gunpowder – Jerusalem Mill 500 1,250
Gunpowder – Torrey C. Brown (bike) 4 20
Harriet Tubman 158 237
Herrington Manor 38 38
Janes Island 30 90
Martinak 59 59
Merkle 116 406
New Germany 85 170
North Point 67 134
Patapsco – Cascade 12 6
Patapsco – McKeldin 97 388
Patuxent River 350 700
Pocomoke 52 78
Rocks 130 130
Rocky Gap 112 240.8
Sandy Point 232 696
Sang Run 6 12
Seneca 120 240
Susquehanna 289 578
Swallow Falls 5 6.25
Tuckahoe 43 86
Wye Island 57 85.5
Guided Hikes TOTAL 3,834 8,584.05
Gathland – Self-Guided 132 132
Greenbrier – Self-Guided 101 101
Patapsco-Union Dam – Self-Guided 264 396
Patapsco-Soldiers Delight – Self-Guided 155 387.5
Cunningham Falls – Self-Guided 500 500
Self-Guided Hikes TOTAL 1,152 1,516.5
 All Hikes TOTAL 4,986 10,100.55

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