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Monday, January 1, 2018

First Day Sun Salutations @ The Barnacle Historic State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 7:00am to 9:00am EST

$20.00 per person

More Information:
Ranger Station (305) 442-6866

Located in the Southeast region at:
The Barnacle Historic State Park
3485 Main Highway
Miami, FL 33133

Welcome the first day of new year with sun salutations and crystal bowl meditation on the seaside lawn as the sun rises over Biscayne Bay. Bring a yoga mat and plan to arrive a few minutes early to park nearby. Stroll over to The Barnacle’s front gate for entry beginning at 6:30 AM. Last entry is at 7:00 AM for the start of the event just before sunrise. Please call the Ranger Station to pre-register.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

The Barnacle Historic State Park is closed on New Year's Day except for this First Day Hikes special event. 

First Day Hike - New Year's Day is for the Birds @ Tomoka State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 7:45am to 10:00am EST

Park entry fee waived for participants.

More Information:
386-676-4050 for reservations or for any special accommodations

Located in the Central region at:
Tomoka State Park
2099 North Beach Street
Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Start off the New Year right and get that “First Bird” with us. Join Meret, our long-time Tomoka birding expert (Federal Master Bird Bander) for a guided bird/nature walk (approximately one and a half hours) in a birder’s paradise. All experience levels are welcome, although children must be supervised at all times. Bring sunscreen, bug spray, water, dress for weather conditions and don't forget your binoculars and camera. Park at the Tomoka recreation hall building then walk across to the Tomoka Outpost campstore . Our bird search will start there at Tomoka Basin then travel to various types of terrain (minimal-difficulty level) over primarily paved and packed earth surfaces. Reservations are required, so please call 386-676-4050 to reserve one of the 20 available spaces. 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Sebastian Inlet State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 8:00am to 10:00am EST

Park admission waived for participants.

More Information:
Terry OToole 772-388-2750

Located in the Central region at:
Sebastian Inlet State Park
9700 South Highway A.1.A.
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951

First Day Hike

Start the New Year off with a "First Day Hike" at Sebastian Inlet State Park. We will meet at the T-Dock on the south side of Sebastian Inlet, at 8 AM. The ranger led moderate paced inlet walk and beach walk is two miles in length. Please no pets and no smoking. Bring a water bottle, comfortable walking shoes, bug spray, hat and sun protection.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike: Guided Beach Walk @ Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 8:00am to 8:30am EST

FREE

More Information:
Ranger Station 239-597-6196

Located in the Southwest region at:
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
11135 Gulfshore Drive
Naples, FL 34108

Join a Ranger on the beach for a ½ mile guided walk. Learn about the different wildlife and habitats you can see along our beach.

Meet at Parking Lot 4, this hike is "moderate" degree of difficutly. 

 

 

Additional Information:

Comfortable clothes, water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, and bug spray are all recommended.

Pets are not premitted 

First Day Hike: Guided Beach Walk Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 8:00am to 10:00am EST

$5 donation to the Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

More Information:
Emily.may@dep.state.fl.us 

Located in the Southwest region at:
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
6131 Commercial Way
Weeki Wachee, FL 34606

Kick off the New Year with a guided nature walk at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
Start 2018 with Park Services Specialist Emily May for a moderate two-and-a-half-mile hike. Learn about the parks Hydric hammock and Scrub plant communities along with the plants and animals that call it home. Please bring a refillable water bottle, comfortable shoes, hat, sun protection and bug spray. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera!
Additional information:
Donation of $5.00 benefits our Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
We will meet at the Boating in Florida parking lot at 8:00am 
No pets or smoking 
Due to limited spots please, RSVP with Emily May at Emily.may@dep.state.fl.us 

Essential Eligibility Criteria
 
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park Nature Walk

 
In order to participate in this program, 
Must have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual instructions independently or with the assistance of a companion. 
Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors and insects for 90-120 minutes
Must have clothing appropriate to the outdoors and outdoor conditions.
Must have the ability to traverse uneven and unstable terrain with a group for up to two and a half miles independently or with the assistance of a companion. 

2018 First Day Animal Tracks Hike - Museum Area @ Silver Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 8:00am EST

Park entry fees will be waived for participants.

More Information:
Call the ranger station at 352-236-7148 ext. 4

Located in the Central region at:
Silver Springs State Park
1425 NE 58th Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470

Start the new year off early with a ranger guided tour of the river trail and its animals. Who was out on the trail in the wee hours of New Year's eve? The ranger will attempt to answer that by identifying the animal tracks on the trail. You may even learn how to identify tracks yourself.

Additional Information:

Enter the park through the camping & museum entrance, 1425 NE 58th Avenue, (also known as State Road 35 or Baseline Rd.) to access the Museum area and the River Trail.

Participation requirements.

First Day Hike 2018 @ Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 8:30am to 10:30am EST

No fees for this program.

More Information:
Preserve Office (863) 462-5360

Located in the Central region at:
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
33104 NW 192nd Ave.
Okeechobee, FL 34972

Meet us at the Preserve Office at 8:30am for a leisurely guided hike through the Hammock Trail. Bring your comfortable shoes and "kick in" the new year while experiencing the unique ecosystems and history of florida prairie. The expected length of the hike will be 0.66 miles to 1.5 miles, with the hike lasting an estimated 1-2 hours. Expected trail conditions are unpaved dirt surfaces, exposure to sun, and the potential for a few ankle deep wet crossings. Items to bring are sunscreen, bug spray, water, snacks, and your sense of adventure! Bring binoculars and your camera as the location and time of year bring opportunities for viewing winter migratory birds and winter butterflies.

First Day Hikes @ Highlands Hammock State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 8:30am to 12:00pm EST

Park entry fees of $6.00 per vehicle (up to 8 persons), $4.00 per single occupant vehicle, and $2.00 for bicyclists and visitors walking on foot apply.  There are no additional fees for the hikes. 

More Information:
Call the Ranger Station at 863-386-6094.

Located in the Southwest region at:
Highlands Hammock State Park
5931 Hammock Road
Sebring , FL 33872

Start off the New Year on the right foot at Highlands Hammock!  "First Day Hikes" are an annual tradition at parks all across the country and visitors may participate in as many as three different walks with Ranger Laura McMulllen and Park Services Specialist Carla Sherwin on January 1, 2018.  Visitors may park at the Orange Grove on the Loop Road, walk back to the trailhead of the Alexander Blair Big Oak Trail and meet with Ranger Laura at 8:30 am.  This trail sustained substantial damage resulting from Hurricane Irma and some trail sections had to be reconfigured.  Visitors may learn about the ecology of hydric hammocks and observe the impacts of the storm on an old growth hammock.  The hike will continue via a narrow catwalk connecting the Big Oak Trail to the Hickory Trail, which is also known for the number of very large oaks and pignut hickories.  Visitors may return to their vehicles through the historic Orange Grove at a point where the Hickory Trail intersects with a path leading to the Orange Grove.  The walk will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour and is approximately three quarters of a mile total.  The level of difficulty is rated easy to moderate.  Following a short ten minute break, Ranger Laura will lead hikers on a trek to the historic dam.  Visitors may take a leisurely stroll through forested wetlands along the park's bike path to reach a historic dam with a scenic overview of cypress swamp.  Hikers will explore the ecology of hammocks and swamps and learn about their associated flora and fauna.  Visitors may chance seeing an alligator or an otter at the swamp and observe air plants, birds and other wildlife along the way.  Visitors will meet at 9:40 am at the Mammal Kiosk located between the Young Hammock Trail and Cypress Swamp on the Loop Road.  The hike will cover 1.5 miles round trip and take between an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.  The degree of difficulty of this field trip ranges from easy to moderate.  Following another short break, Park Services Specialist Carla Sherwin will lead an "off the beaten path" hike from Cypress Swamp Trail down Cottage Road to pine flatwoods through restricted areas.  Visitors will learn about the importance of fire and water in these natural communities, the assemblage of flora and fauna, and the ecotone connecting these two very different habitats.  Visitors may chance seeing an alligator, a red-shouldered hawk, deer and the gopher tortoise on this walk. The hike is approximately 1 mile round trip and will take approximately one hour.  The level of difficulty is rated easy to moderate.  Registration for these field trips is required.  Sign up by calling the Ranger Station at 863-386-6094 or via email to laura.mcmullen@dep.state.fl.us. See Additional Information for participation requirements.  

Additional Information:

Hikers are advised to use the restrooms in the picnic area prior to convening at the trailheads before the going on the walks as there are no restroom facilities on the Loop Road.  Hikers are advised to dress for the weather and wear hiking boots, long pants and protective clothing.  A hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, water, and snacks are also advised.  Walking sticks, binoculars, cameras and field guides are useful.  Please review EEC FIRST DAY HIKE ADVENTURE TREK for participation requirements. 

First Day Hike - Walk into History on the Channel 2 Bridge @ Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 8:30am to 10:00am EST

Free

More Information:
Becky Collins at (305) 853-3571 to register for this hike.

Located in the Southeast region at:
Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail
Admin Offices: 3 La Croix Court
Key Largo, FL 33037

Start the year off right with a 1-mile hike on one of the Historic Flagler Railroad bridges. Meet Park Service Specialist Becky Collins at the Channel 2 Bridge to exercise your way into the New Year. The group will meet at the north parking lot and start their walk across the bridge and back. While walking, the history of the trail and the Flagler Railroad will be discussed. On the bridge we will keep an eye out for birds flying overhead and fish swimming below. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars and refillable water bottles (water will be provided). Sunscreen, a sun hat, and comfortable walking shoes are also recommended.

Additional Information:

Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars and refillable water bottles (water will be provided). Sunscreen, a sun hat, and comfortable walking shoes are also recommended. This hike is suitable for all ages. A bridge scavenger hunt will be provided for young hikers.  Well behaved, leashed pets are welcome to hike too. 

First Day Hikes 2018 @ Collier-Seminole State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 8:30am to 10:30am EST
More Information:
(239) 394-3397

Located in the Southwest region at:
Collier-Seminole State Park
20200 Tamiami Trail E.
Naples, FL 34114

Join the Rangers at Collier- Seminole State Park on New Years Date for First Day Hikes. The Hike is 2 miles long and is moderate in difficutly.

Participants should meet at the Ranger Station (located at 20200 Tamiami Trail E.)

Pets are welcome but must be on a 6ft leash, children are welcome, minimum age is 10 years old.

Items to bring for the hike include: water, bug spray, suncreen, sunglasses, hiking stick and sunhat.

Additional Information:

During this 2-mile hike you may see bear, panther & bobcat tracks, birds and snakes. You will also see and this resilient coastal ecosystem recovering the effects of hurricane Irma.

First Day Hike @ Blue Spring State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 8:30am to 9:00am EST

Park entry fees waived for participants.

More Information:
Blue Spring State Park: (386) 775-3663

Located in the Central region at:
Blue Spring State Park
2100 W. French Avenue
Orange City, FL 32763

Join a Blue Spring State Park Ranger and kick off your New Year with a guided walk down the Blue Spring run.  The path will follow our accessible boardwalk and give fantastic views of the park's wildlife including our famous population of manatees.  The walk will begin at 8:30am in the lower parking lot and will end at the upper viewing dock.  Visitors can continue up the spring run to the boil or return down the boardwalk. 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Cast Iron Rangers - Primitive Camp Cooking @ Honeymoon Island State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 8:30am to 10:00am EST

Free with Park Admission

More Information:
diana.daniels@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Southwest region at:
Honeymoon Island State Park
#1 Causeway Blvd.
Dunedin, FL 34698

We are pleased to announce our new Cast Iron Rangers camp cooking interpretive program as part of our First Day 2018 Event. Please join us to learn about primitive cooking techniques used by island homesteaders and enjoy some delicious samples!

Additional Information:

Please RSVP

Eligibility Criteria

First Day Hike through Palmetto Hiking Trail @ Fanning Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
Ranger Station (352) 463-3420

Located in the Northeast region at:
Fanning Springs State Park
18020 N.W. HWY 19
Fanning Springs, FL 32693

Join a Park Ranger for a guided hike along the park's 3/4 mile trail. Hikers will have a chance to see and learn about some of the plants and animals as well as the history of Fanning Springs State Park. The hike is considered moderate in difficulty so wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Meet in the day-use picnic area and be sure to grab your camera and bug spray!

Additional Information:

For more information, view the Participant Requirements.

First Day Hike: A Walk around Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' Farm @ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am EST

Park entry fees will be waived for participants!

More Information:
Valerie Rivers (352) 466-9273 or Valerie.Rivers@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northeast region at:
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
18700 S. CR 325
Cross Creek, FL 32640

A guided walk around Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' farm, including the duck and chicken pens, gardens, outhouse, porches, barn and citrus grove. Each of these areas will evoke stories about or by Rawlings which will be shared as we walk around the compound. Her humor and her love of nature will be highlighted. Also, how did she end up having ducks? Why did she have a garden? What did she think of the citrus grove and what is that house in the back of it? That and many other questions about Rawlings' farm and writers' life in the 1930's will be answered. And, hopefully, enough of Rawlings experience and writing can provide inspiration for the coming year. At the end of the program you are welcome to explore the two short trails going east and west from the farm into the woods. 

 

Additional Information:

Meet at the barn, located on the right as you enter the park. Dogs on a hand-held leash are welcome (as long as they behave well around other dogs, chickens and ducks). The tour will last about an hour is considered easy in difficulty. For more information, view the Participant Requirements.

First Day Hike at Paynes Prairie @ Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am EST

Park entrance fees will be waived for participants!

More Information:
RSVP on www.prairiefriends.org

Located in the Northeast region at:
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
100 Savannah Blvd
Micanopy, FL 32667

Start the new year off with a hike at Paynes Prairie. Join a Park Ranger on a guided walk on La Chua Trail, an excellent trail for viewing wildlife and learning about the state park. Meet in the La Chua Trail parking lot, located in Gainesville at the north entrance of the park by 9:00 a.m. The ranger will be waiting at the trailhead by the kiosk. The hike is an out-and-back route totaling approximately 1.5 miles round trip. We will hike at an easy pace and allow time for wildlife viewing. You are advised to check current weather conditions and dress appropriately for hiking in an open environment on a nature trail with little to no shade. Be sure to bring you binoculars, sunglasses and plenty of water!

Additional Information:

For more information, view the Participant Requirements.

First Day Hike 2018 @ Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:30pm EST

Free for participants of the walk.

More Information:
954-923-2833

Located in the Southeast region at:
Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park
6503 North Ocean Drive
Dania Beach, FL 33004

Join a Park Ranger at Dr. Von D. Mizell- Eula Johnson State Park on January 1st 2018, starting at 9 AM. Meet at Parking Lot 1 (Mini Lot), as we will walk along the Costal and Hammock Walk Trails. The hike has a degree difficutly level of easy and will be approximately 1 to 1.5 miles long. Ages of 8 and above are welcome. Please bring water, insect replellant, and good footwear for the hike.

No Pets allowed and no drones.

Additional Information:

Walk starts in parking lot 1, south side and proceeds across the boardwalk to the beach; walk will continue

North about 1/3 of a mile where it will turn west and cross the northern boardwalk and proceed to the nature trail entrance; the walk will continue through the nature trail and end up back at the northern end of parking lot 1.

First Day Hike 2018 @ Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(386) 454-1369

Located in the Northeast region at:
Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park
7450 NE 60th St
High Springs, FL 32643

Bring family and friends on the first of the year to explore Florida's 175th state park. This will be a guided First Day Hike which will include information on the various springs found at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park and its many unique karst features. This two mile hike will begin at 9:00 a.m. Please meet at the concession building. Leashed pets are welcome on this walk but are not permitted in close proximity to the springhead. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes, your camera, binoculars and ID guides, if you have them! 

Additional Information:

For more information, please view the participant requirements

First Day Hike - O'Leno River Walk @ O'Leno State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(386) 454-0723

Located in the Northeast region at:
O'Leno State Park
410 SE O'Leno Park Road
High Springs, FL 32643

Start the new year off with a river walk at O'Leno State Park. A Park Ranger will lead the group along a 1.5 mile hike around the river as you learn about the geology of the park as well as the many critters that call it home. Be sure to grab your binoculars, plenty of water and bug spray! Meet at the entrance of the suspension bridge and the hike will begin at 9 a.m.

Additional Information:

This walk is considered moderate in difficulty. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water. For more information, view the Participant Requirements.

First Day Hike @ Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am EST

Participant entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
Ranger Station, 904-251-2320

Located in the Northeast region at:
Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park
13802 Pumpkin Hill Road
Jacksonville, FL, FL 32226

Bring the family and enjoy a ranger-led hike along the Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve Hiking trail, one of Florida’s premier nature trails. The trail meanders for two miles through sandhill pine forest and past cypress domes and salt marsh creeks. Discover the upland woods of coastal Florida and keep your eyes out for the nesting bald eagles. Pets on a hand-held leash are welcome to join you. 

Meet at the main parking area of Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park at 9:00 a.m.

Additional Information:

This hike is two miles long and considered moderate in difficulty. Please prepare accordingly; we recommend plenty of water, insect repellent, layered clothing and a camera if you have one. For more information, please view the participant requirements.

First Day Hike @ Stump Pass Beach State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:00am EST
More Information:


Located in the Southwest region at:
Stump Pass Beach State Park
South end of Manasota Key 900 Gulf Blvd
Englewood, FL 34233

Stump Pass State Park is excited to participate in the National First Day Hike held January 1st, 2018 at 9 A.M. Meet at the picnic pavilion at the trail head near the restrooms. Program includes topics related to the park’s natural resources. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, sunscreen and drinking water are recommended. The beach walk is approximately 2 miles long and will last approximately 2 hours.

First Day Hike @

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:00am EST
More Information:


Located in the region at:
, FL

Don Pedro Island State Park is excited to participate in the National First Day Hike held January 1st, 2018 at 9 am. Meet at the picnic pavilion at the Don Pedro Island Land base. Program includes topics related to the park’s natural resources. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, sunscreen and drinking water are recommended. The beach walk is approximately 1 mile long and will last approximately 1 hour.

First Day Hike @

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:00am EST

Free!

More Information:
(772) 398-2779

Located in the region at:
, FL

 

Start off the New Year the right way with a hike and some fresh air! Join Ranger Paul of the Savannas Preserve State Park on an easy 1.5-mile hike on the first morning of 2018. You will explore the recently opened Evans Creek property off U.S.1 in Port St. Lucie. The route will consist of both paved surfaces and sandy trails. The park entrance fee is waived for hikers! Space is limited so please call the Education Center to make reservations at (772) 398-2779. Participants should meet at the entrance gate to Evans Creek at 9 am on January 1, 2018. Evans Creek is located on the west side of U.S.1, between Walton Road and Village Green Drive. The program will last approximately 2 hours. We look forward to having you!!

First Day Hike @ Little Manatee River State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am EST

Park Entrance fees will be waived for First Day Hike participants.

More Information:
Ranger Station 813-671-5005

Located in the Southwest region at:
Little Manatee River State Park
215 Lightfoot Rd.
Wimauma, FL 33598

Start the new year off on the right foot with a 3 mile hike on the Florida Trail.  The wilderness trail offers scenic overlooks of the river as it rises along steep river bluffs, and loops through several unique natural communities.  The moderately strenuous 3 mile hike will take approximately 2.5-3 hrs.  The hike is appropriate for all walking ages.  Hikers can expect rustic trail conditions, including exposed roots, possibly overhanging vegetation, and a natural trail surface that includes short stretches of soft sand and possibly mud. 

Additional Information:

Meet at the North trailhead entrance, directly off of US 301 S, across from Saffold Rd.  Please use bathroom facilities in park proper, prior to meeting for hike.  Facilities are accessible from main park entrance at 215 Lightfoot Rd. 

Wear comfortable hiking shoes and weather appropriate clothing.  Bring drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen and/or hat, and snacks if desired. 

The hiking trail is a natural surface with exposed roots, and is not recommended for baby-strollers, walkers, or other wheeled devices.  For more details on accessibility and requirements for participation, please see the Essential Eligibility Criteria "EEC-Hiking".  

First Day Hike / Morning Nature Walk @ Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:30am EST

Free with regular park admission.

More Information:
Park Services Specialist Jeff Hugo, 850-561-7286

Located in the Northwest region at:
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
465 Wakulla Park Drive
Wakulla Springs, FL 32327

Welcome the New Year in with a ranger-led early morning trek through its varying forest communities.  Habitats alter with slight changes in elevation. Enjoy the cooler season in the woods. For those early rising guests in the magnificent Wakulla Springs Lodge, those wishing to burn a few calories after or in preparation for breakfast in the dining room, or for those who are simply curious; this walk through the winter woods has a beauty all its own.

Additional Information:

Please call (850) 561-7286 to make your reservation.

Meet in the lobby of the lodge.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Lake Kissimmee State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:00am EST

Park Entry fees waived for Participants only

More Information:
Ranger Station 863-696-1112

Located in the Central region at:
Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Rd.
Lake Wales , FL 33898

Start the New Year off on the right foot and take a hike! Join a park ranger for a 2 mile hike on the North Loop trail at Lake Kissimmee State Park. The hike is moderate level and is recommended for children 6 and up.  If you have any questions please contact The Ranger Station at 863-696-1112

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike – Step Into the New Year @ Estero Bay Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:00am EST

Park admission waived for registered participants

More Information:
Ranger Station: 239-992-0311

Located in the Southwest region at:
Estero Bay Preserve State Park
C/O Koreshan State Park, 3800 Corkscrew Road
Estero, FL 33928

Step into the New Year with us on a guided hike of Estero Bay Preserve State Park! Join JoAnn Luce, a member of the Alligator Amblers Chapter of the Florida Trail Association, as you observe mangroves, saw palmettos, sugar sand, gopher tortoises, and fiddler crabs. Please wear old shoes as there may be a muddy, wet section of trail. Bring water, hat, sun protection, and snacks. The hike will last approximately two hours. There are limited parking spaces in the gravel parking lot, therefore pre-registration REQUIRED at 239-495-7644.

 

Additional Information:

Directions: From US41/Tamiami Trail, head west on Broadway W until you see the Estero Bay Preserve State Park sign on the right-hand side.

First Day Hike at Lake Louisa @ Lake Louisa State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:30am EST

Park entry fees will be waived for participants

More Information:
Ranger Station (352) 394-3969

Located in the Central region at:
Lake Louisa State Park
7305 U.S. Highway 27
Clermont, FL 34714

Bring in the New Year with a commitment to a healthier lifestyle by taking a morning Hike. A Park Ranger and Park Volunteer will guide you along a 2 mile section of the parks 20 mile trail system. Along the way you will have the opportunity to learn about the park's cultural and natural history. The surface of the trail is primarily mowed grass and sandy surface with some elevation changes so be sure to dress appropriately and bring drinking water and insect repellant along. Feel free to bring a snack or even a picnic lunch to enjoy afterwards. Leashed dogs are welcome on the parks trails but NOT during this guided hike. Service animals are always welcome. To RSVP and or to get additional information please call the Ranger Station at (352) 394-3969.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

A Trip Back in Time - First Day Hike @ Hillsborough River State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:30am EST

Regular park entry fees apply:  $6 per vehicle, multiple occupants (up to 8 persons); $4 per vehicle, single occupant.

Tram to starting location and guided walk, FREE.

More Information:
Ranger Station: (813) 987-6771

Located in the Southwest region at:
Hillsborough River State Park
15402 US 301 N.
Thonotosassa, FL 33592

Come join us as we celebrate our unique Florida history as a ranger will guide visitors back in time. Hillsborough River State Park is "where history and nature come together"! This is a great opportunity to start off the New Year with a healthy mind, body and spirit.
Total walking distance is approximately 1 mile, and may take anywhere from 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on group interaction and trail conditions. Please bring appropriate clothing for a cool walk along trails and boardwalks. We recommend bringing closed footwear, water, and bug spray to use if needed. Meet at Parking Lot #3 where we will meet and begin our journey.
 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:00am EST

Event is free with paid park admission of $2 per person. Children under six years of age are free. Enter through the main park entrance on Maclay Road. The walk will start from the Lake Overstreet Trailhead inside the park. Please bring correct change – fees will be collected at the trailhead.

More Information:
For more information, contact the Ranger Station at (850) 487-4556

Located in the Northwest region at:
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
3540 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32309

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, in partnership with MOVE Tallahassee, invites you to help us celebrate the new year with a First Day Hike! Begin your New Year with an interpretive walk around beautiful Lake Overstreet. Learn about the plants and wildlife as you stroll down the trail. Participants will meet at the Lake Overstreet Trailhead at 9:00 a.m. The Lake Overstreet trail is a three-mile loop through beautiful upland hardwood forest. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunch and enjoy a picnic in the park after the hike! Be sure to wear closed-toed shoes and long pants. Bug spray, sunscreen, water and a hat are recommended.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

 

1st Day New Year Hike @ Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 2:30pm EST

* Park entry fees will be waived for participants!!

More Information:
Jenni.Leve@dep.state.fl.us or (954) 468-2791

Located in the Southeast region at:
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
3109 East Sunrise Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Join a Ranger Guided Walk and Live Animal Presentation

9:00 am-10:00am  Walk - 1 and 12:00pm -1:00pm Walk - 2
Must be able to walk or have a mobility device for a 45min.-1hr Ranger Guided Tour to learn about the natural resources and cultural history of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.

10:30am-11:30am Live Animal Presentation - 1 and 1:30pm-2:30pm Live Animal Presentaion - 2
Meet our in-house reptiles up close and personal with their Animal Care Expert-Ranger Marc. He will introduce you to a whole new experience with his love and knowledge of these animals.

 

 

First Day Hike and Scavenger Hunt @ Oscar Scherer State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 2:00pm EST

Park entry fees will be waived for participants

More Information:
Ranger Station 941-483-5956

Located in the Southwest region at:
Oscar Scherer State Park
1843 South Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229

Get out and hike on the First Day of the year!! To add a fun treasure hunt to your day of exploration, hidden among six of our trails are signs for you to find. Hike the trails, find the signs, take a photo with all of them and get a prize from the Nature Center! Information available the morning of the event from both the Nature Center and the Ranger Station as to which trails the signs are hidden. All ages are welcome to participate. Comfortable hiking shoes, a camera or a phone with a camera, and water are recommended.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike 2018 @ Nature Coast State Trail

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am EST

No fee required. 

More Information:
(352) 535-5181

Located in the Northeast region at:
Nature Coast State Trail
17441 N.W. Old Fanning Road
Fanning Springs, FL 32693

Join a Park Ranger for a guided hike along the Nature Coast State Trail. Hikers will have a chance to see and learn about some of the plants and animals as well as the historical Suwannee River Trestle. The hike is considered moderate in difficulty so wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Meet at the Old Town trailhead and be sure to grab your camera, sunscreen and bug spray!

Additional Information:

The Old Town trailhead is located at 71 NE 84th Avenue, Old Town, FL 32680. For more information, please view the Participant Requirements

Lake Griffin First Day Hike @ Lake Griffin State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:00am EST

There is no fee for this event.

More Information:


Located in the Central region at:
Lake Griffin State Park
3089 U.S. Highway 441-27
Fruitland Park, FL 34731

Start 2018 off right with a guided hike at Lake Griffin State Park. This year you have two hikes to choose from; a leisurely stroll down the park's main nature trail or a more adventurous swamp walk.

The first of our two hikes leaves the picnic pavilion at 9am. This is a moderately difficult 1.5 mile hike that will go through both uplands and swamp. Please wear shoes you don't mind getting wet/muddy. Along the way you'll see a host of great swamp plants, animals and invertebrates. The minimum age for this hike is 12 and due to the extremely narrow and sometimes wet trail we ask that you leave your pets at home. This hike will end at the state's second largest Live Oak tree.

The second hike leaves from the picnic pavilion at 10am. It's open to all ages and is appropriate for people of all abilities. This hike leads you along the park's original nature trail. The trail is wide and hard packed so it's good for scooters and most wheelchairs. This hike is approximately .5 miles in length and takes you through the park's upland habitat, ending at the state's second largest Oak Tree.

Both tours have a limited number of openings available so please call the Ranger Station at 352-360-6760 to sign up.

Additional Information:

9am - Swamp Tromp Participation Requirements

10am - Cinnamon Fern Walk Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 1:00pm EST

FREE

More Information:
Bre Ximenes 352*427*4483

Located in the Central region at:
Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway
8282 SE Highway 314
Ocala, FL 33470

Let the new year be an entirely fresh start towards achieving all our goals. Let’s kick start an era of excellence by hiking the Santos Florida trail for whatever length your legs will take you. We will have a secret guest to greet you and send you on your merry way… Stop and snap a picture to keep it in your memory bank or place it on the “FIRST DAY” page of your blank book for 2018. Let’s get this party started and achieve some goals and set others. For more information please contact our office at 352-236-7143 and ask to speak to Bre Ximenes or Todd Wilmoth. We will be at the large pavilion at the Santos Trailhead! Come sign up so we know you participated and how many miles you plan on hiking!

Meeting Location: Santos Trailhead in Ocala, FL

Degree of Difficulty: A nice foot path through the woods.

Minimum age for Children: As long as an adult is present no restrictions

Dogs must be on a leash.

Length of hike: 0-100 miles, it’s your choice

Things to bring: bug spray, water, snacks, walking stick

Cancelation: rain or shine

Additional Information:

Please wear closed toe shoes, bug spray and bring water! 

Participation Requirements

Ichetucknee Springs First Day Hike @ Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 12:00pm EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(386) 497-4690 or William.Register@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northeast region at:
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
12087 SW U.S. Highway 27
Fort White, FL 32038

Join a Park Ranger for an easy hike to start the new year exploring our natural communities and the history of the park along our Pine Ridge Trail. Pets are welcome and we encourage families to come together and enjoy this 2.5 mile hike. Junior Ranger activities are available for children as well. Please call ahead or email how many children will attend in your group so that we can prepare the materials. Meet at the North Head Spring parking area.  

Additional Information:

This hike is considered easy in difficulty and all ages are welcome. Please be sure children are accompanied by an adult. For more information, please view the Participant Requirements.

First Day Hike @ St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 2:30pm EST

Free entry park - no fees associated with this program.

More Information:
Vicitor's center 321-953-5004, Office 321-953-5005, After hours number 772-202-8944

Located in the Central region at:
St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park
1000 Buffer Preserve Dr.
Fellsmere, FL 32948

Start off the New Year with a Hike!

We will be venturing out at 9 am onto the Green Trail / Turkey Link.  This is a ranger led, moderate 3-5 mile hike (length depending on time and participant requests).  Items to bring: hat, sunscreen, insect repellant, binoculars, hiking shoes, water, snack/lunch.  If you plan to join us, please meet at the Visitor's Center promply at 9 am.

Additional Information:

St Sebastian River Preserve has experienced many rainy days since Hurricane Irma. These rainfall events have made our beloved trail system extremely wet with sloppy mud to standing water on the trails over the past few weeks. Be prepared to get shoes wet if we don't see drier weather in the coming weeks.

Free entry park. No fees associated with the program.

Participation Requirements

Must be 6 years or older to participate.

First Day Hike - Hike into History @ Crystal River Archaeological State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:30am EST

Park entry fees waved for all participants!

More Information:
(352) 228-6024 or Marla.L.Chancey@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northeast region at:
Crystal River Archaeological State Park
3400 N. Museum Point
Crystal River, FL 34428

Start the New Year off on the right foot. Get outside, get healthy and get acquainted with one of Florida's first Archaeological State Parks. Take a walk back in time to discover how the Crystal River Archaeological State Park came to be. This ranger led tour includes a one-mile walk and a climb of fifty-five stairs to the top of Temple Mound A, overlooking the Crystal River. Meet at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park Museum at 9:00 a.m. 

Additional Information:

The park is located at 3400 North Museum Pointe; northwest of the Crystal River Mall. Advanced registration is appreciated (352) 228-6024. For more information, please view the participant requirements and event flyer

First Day Hike 2018 @ Colt Creek State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 12:00pm EST

Park entry fee waived for participants

More Information:
Ranger Station (863) 815-6761

Located in the Central region at:
Colt Creek State Park
16000 SR 471
Lakeland, FL 33809

We invite you to ring in the New Year by getting close to nature. Take a guided interpretive hike with a Park Ranger or bring your camera and capture the beauty Colt Creek State Park has to offer on a guided photography hike.

We encourage bringing bug spray, sun protection, and closed-toed shoes.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike - Mill Spring Trail @ Lafayette Blue Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(386) 294-3667

Located in the Northeast region at:
Lafayette Blue Springs State Park
799 NW Blue Spring Road
Mayo, FL 32066

Join us for a hike along Mill Spring Trail on January 1st, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. Every year First Day Hike events are held at state parks across the country. Start your year off by getting outdoors. This is a leisurely half mile hike that is wheelchair and stroller accessbile. Meet at the Ranger Station at the North Entrance to begin. The hike will include a history of the park and a discussion of the park service's dedication to preserving and protecting natural and cultural resources. We will also identify flora and fauna along the trail so please feel free to bring your binoculars and ID guides, if you have them! Though this hike is considered easy in difficulty, you should still come prepared with plenty of water, bug spray and close-toed shoes. 

Additional Information:

For more information, please view our participant requirements

First Day Bike Ride 2018 @ Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 1:00pm EST

Free

More Information:
352-236-7143

Located in the Central region at:
Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway
8282 SE Highway 314
Ocala, FL 33470

Let the new year be an entirely fresh start towards achieving all our goals. Lets kick start an era of excellence by riding the Santos mountain bike trails for what ever length your legs will take you. We will have a secret guest to greet you and send you on your merry way… Stop and snap a picture to keep it in your memory bank or place it on the “FIRST DAY” page of your blank book for 2018. Lets get this party rolling and achieve some goals and set others. We have many options for you to have an easy, moderate or strenuous ride while out on the trails and if your significant other or kids aren’t into riding the trails they can stay at the trailhead and enjoy our pump track. For more information please contact our office at 352-236-7143 and ask to speak to Bre Ximenes or Todd Wilmoth.Name of Trail: Santos

Meeting Location: Santos Trailhead :3080 SE 80th St, Ocala, fL 34491

Degree of Difficulty: Your choice ,we have levels of trail options.

Minimum age for Children: As long as an adult is present no restrictions.

Dogs must be on a leash.

Length of Bike: 0-100 miles, it’s your choice.

Things to bring: Bike, bike helmet, bug spray, water, snack

Cancelation: rain or shine

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike 2018 @ Troy Spring State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:00am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants! 

More Information:
(386) 688-3488 or Tina.Miller@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northeast region at:
Troy Spring State Park
674 NE Troy Springs Road
Branford, FL 32008

Start the New Year off right with a ranger guided walk along the nature trail. Hikers will have a chance to see and learn about some of the plants and animals in the park. The hike will end at the park's first magnitude spring that flows directly into the Suwannee River. You are welcome to take a plunge in the spring at the end of the hike! This is a pet-friendly event so feel free to bring your furry friends with you. Be sure to bring plenty of water for you and your pet, along with baggies to pick up after your pet. Preregistration is required for this event (386) 688-3488. Meet at the park at 8:45 a.m. to allow enough time to sign in with the park ranger. 

Additional Information:

Preregistration is required for this event. All pets must be kept on a 6-foot handheld leash. For more information, please view our participant requirements and event flyer

First Day Hike - Wildlife Walk @ Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:30am EST

Park entrance fees will be waived for participants!

More Information:
(352) 628-5343

Located in the Northeast region at:
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 S. Suncoast Blvd. (US 19)
Homosassa, FL 34446

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park invites residents and visitors to start the New Year off on the right foot by taking part in a Ranger-led First Day Hike through the park's Wildlife Walk. Meet at the park's West Entrance located on Fishbowl Drive at 9 a.m. and the walk will start at 9:30 a.m. You will learn about Red wolves, foxes, Florida panthers, bobcats, Black Bears, River otters, birds of prey, shorebirds and more. 

Additional Information:

This walk is considered easy in difficulty and will cover a little over one mile. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Pets are not permitted. Please register in advance by calling (352) 628-5343. For more information, view the Participant Requirements.

First Day Hike @ Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:30am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(386) 776-2194 or Alex.Creager@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northeast region at:
Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park
18532 180th Street
Live Oak, FL 32060

Join us for the fifth annual First Day Hike at Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park! Every year First Day HIkes happen in state parks all over the United States. It's an excellent way to start the New Year. People of all ages and hiking ability are welcome to join us for a leisurely walk on the 1.2 mile interpretive hiking trail. Meet the ranger at the first parking lot before proceeding down to the trailhead near the main spring. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times and are not permitted in the water. The hike promises beautiful views of crystal clear springs and information about the most beloved underwater cave system in the United States. We hope to see you there!

Additional Information:

For more information, please view our participant requirements.

First Day Hikes @ Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:30am to 12:00pm EST

Participation is free with park entrance fee; $2.50 per person, free if under 6 years of age. (Bring correct change.)

More Information:
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Ranger Station at (305) 451-1202

Located in the Southeast region at:
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
County Road 905, Mile Marker 106
Key Largo, FL 33037

Celebrate the New Year with friends and family with a healthy start for 2018 by visiting the Real Florida in North Key Largo. Two nature walks will be offered at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park on January 1, 2018. Native Plant Nursery Volunteers will lead two walks: one at 9:30 a.m. and another at 11 a.m. Meet at the park entrance to learn more about the special plants and animals, as well as a bit of cultural history, of this park. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring insect repellant and water. The walks are limited to the first 15 people.

Additional Information:

For more information, including accessibility needs, contact the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Ranger Station at (305) 451-1202.

First Day Swamp Walk with Park Biologist Mike Owen @ Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:30am to 2:30pm EST

This First Day swamp walk is free but space is limited.  Please call the park office at (239) 695-4593 to make reservations.  If no one answers please leave a message with a contact number.

More Information:
(239) 695-4593

Located in the Southwest region at:
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
137 Coastline Drive
Copeland , FL 34137

Please join Fakahatchee Strand's Park Biologist Mike Owen for a First Day Swamp Walk.  Participants wade in cool water up to their waists for half a day observing the native wildlife and plants of the Fakahatchee Strand. This is truly the best way to experience the largest and most diverse state park in Florida. 

Be aware that while you may only hike 2 - 3 miles, this can be a long, strenuous walk in waist deep water.  Swamp walkers should wear long pants and lace-up boots or sneakers (no waders or open-top boots). A hat and long-sleeved shirt are also recommended. Bring water, snacks, or lunch. Bring bug repellent if you are sensitive. Put anything you do not want to get wet in zip-lock plastic bags. You can change into your dry clothes in the park's restroom for your return home.

Swamp walkers should meet Mike Owen at the Ranger Station off Janes’ Scenic Drive no later than 9:30 a.m. and can expect to be back by 2.30 p.m.

Please note that the park's ranger station is located at 137 Coast Line Drive, Copeland, FL off of Janes Scenic drive.  Janes Scenic drive is only acessible via SR 29 ( between I-75 and US 41) DO NOT rely on incorrect GPS information providing other routes to access Jane Scenic drive in Copeland.

Additional Information:

Sorry, no children under 12 or pets.

First Day Hike - Moonshine Creek Trail @ San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:30am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(352) 262-2974 or Doug.Pearsall@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northeast region at:
San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
12720 NW 109 Lane
Alachua, FL 32615

Join Park Ranger Doug on a 2.5 mile through the Moonshine Creek and Creek Sink trails. Learn some of the interesting history of the Moonshine Creek area and San Felasco Hammock. Meet at the hiking trailhead located on Millhopper Road. 

Additional Information:

Please wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water and bug spray. The hike is considered easy in difficulty. For more information, please view the Participant Requirements.

2018 First Day Paddle - Main Entrance @ Silver Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:30am to 11:30am EST

Admission fees will be waived for this event. However, for those renting a canoe or kayak, rental fees will apply.

More Information:
Contact the ranger station at 352-236-7148 ext. 4

Located in the Central region at:
Silver Springs State Park
1425 NE 58th Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470

Start the new year with a paddle trip on the Silver River. Bring your own canoe or kayak or rent one and take a tour of the Fort King Paddling Trail. Wildlife such as Anhinga, herons, egrets, turtles, and fish will definitely be seen. Even though it might be cold, the spring-fed river is a constant temperature of 70 (F) year-round.

Spaces will be limited to the first 15 participants. Call the ranger station to reserve your place.

Additional Information:

Enter the park through the main entrance located at 5656 East Silver Springs Boulevard (State Road 40).

Participation requirements.

First Day Hike Among the Bulow Ruins! @ Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

No fee for this event.

More Information:
386-517-2084

Located in the Central region at:
Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park
3501 Old Kings Road
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Join us for a New Year's Day guided historic walk around remains of the once thriving Bulow Plantation sugar mill. An Interpretive Center relates the story of the plantations’ history and this turbulent era. We will meet at the Screened Pavilion and walk to the ruins (1/4 mile one way). For more adventure and exercise, hike the 6.8 mile (one-way) Bulow Woods Trail that connects you to Bulow Creek State Park or bring a canoe/kayak and paddle Bulow Creek.  Don't forget your binoculars and a camera, you never know what you might see! Bring a lunch or picnic and stay the day reconnecting with nature.

 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Fort Pierce Inlet State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

Free to all who participate.

More Information:


Located in the Southeast region at:
Fort Pierce Inlet State Park
905 Shorewinds Drive
Fort Pierce, FL 34949

FORT PIERCE INLET STATE PARK RANGER GUIDED TOUR

Ranger- guided First Day Hike to highlight the Indian River Lagoon

 

FORT PIERCE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Fort Pierce Inlet State Park will offer a very special ranger-guided ‘First Day Hike’ on Monday, January 1st, 2018.

 

 This two-mile hike will take place along the beautiful Indian River Lagoon. Fort Pierce Inlet State Park’s ‘First Day Hike’ will include areas of the park not normally open to the general public. Participants will learn about the native plants and animals that make the barrier island so special. Take a close look at the mangroves and learn why they are so vital to the health of the Indian River.  

 

This leisurely hike with a Fort Pierce Inlet State Park Ranger will include rest stops and is scheduled to take about two hours to complete.  Enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family. Space on this walk is limited so reservations are recommended. For additional information or to reserve your place contact the park office at (772) 468-3985.

 

The event will take place:

 

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Monday January 1st, 2018

Fort Pierce InletState Park

905 Shorewinds Dr
.

Fort Pierce, Florida

Fort Trails Less Traveled @ Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Regular park admission applies

More Information:
Kevin Bowes (305) 292-6850 Kevin.Bowes@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Southeast region at:
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
601 Howard England Way
Key West, FL 33040

Come celebrate the new year by doing something different and new.  Join a Ranger as we explore "Fort Trails Less Traveled".  Take a walk around historic Fort Taylor and learn of its construction while viewing the Fort from the outer walls.  Learn new facts about your favorite Civil War Fortress while walking along paths filled with native vegetation.  Learn about local plants and how they support the bird migrations in the Florida Keys. 

The hike is easy to moderate so please wear comfortable shoes and bring a water if you would like.  Beach wheelchairs are available to use for free, just please let us know in advance if possible.  We will meet by the large cannon in the Fort parking lot and the tour will leave at 10:00 a.m.  It will end in time for the regular fort tour at 11:00 a.m., so you can see the fort from both sides.  Do something new this New Years...see you at the Fort.  Hike is less than one mile and pets on leashes are permitted.

First Day Hike: Strut your Mutt @ Withlacoochee State Trail

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am EST

No fee required. 

More Information:
Dianne Drye (352) 726-0315 or (352) 302-0051

Located in the Northeast region at:
Withlacoochee State Trail
3100 S. Old Floral City Rd.
Inverness, FL 34450

Start the new year off right by getting outdoors and bring your furr-friends with you! This 1.4 mile walk will begin at 10 a.m. at the Inverness trailhead located at 315 N. Apopka Ave. There will be a contest for cutest pet (two categories: in costume and no costume). 

Additional Information:

This walk is considered easy in difficulty but still come prepared with comfortable shoes and plenty of water for you and your pup, and bags to pick up after your pet. All pets must be on a six foot leash and must have current rabies vaccination. For more information, view the Participant Requirements.

First Day Hikes @ Gasparilla Island State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST
More Information:


Located in the Southwest region at:
Gasparilla Island State Park
880 Belcher Rd
Boca Grande, FL 33921

Meet at the Picnic Pavilion next door to the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse for the first beach walk of the year. Program includes topics related to the park’s natural and cultural resources. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, sunscreen and drinking water are recommended. The beach walk is approximately 1/3-mile long and will last approximately 1 hour.

First Day Hike @ Cayo Costa State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST
More Information:


Located in the Southwest region at:
Cayo Costa State Park
4 Nautical Miles West of Pine Island (26.685789, -82.245381)
Cayo Costa, FL 33922

Cayo Costa State Park is excited to participate in the National First Day Hike held January 1st, 2018 at 10 A.M. Meet at the Main Dock on the Island of Cayo Costa. Program includes topics related to the park’s natural and cultural resources. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, sunscreen and drinking water are recommended. The walk is approximately 1 mile long and will last approximately 1.5 hours.

First Day Hike @ T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

Park entry fees apply.

More Information:
Dennis Whitley 850-227-1327

Located in the Northwest region at:
T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
8899 Cape San Blas Road
Port St. Joe, FL 32456

Celebrate the New Year by Joining T.H. Stone Memorial St Joseph Peninsula State Park for our annual First Day Hike. This year we will feature a hike to an active American Bald Eagle nest in the Park's Wilderness Preserve. The hike is approximatley 1.5 miles and moderate in difficulty.

Additional Information:

Bring binoculars if you have them. Meet at the Wilderness Preserve parking at the end of Cabin Road. Parking will be limited.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Dade Battlefield Historic State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

$3/vehicle or Annual Florida Park Pass

More Information:
kristin.n.wood@dep.state.fl.us; 352-793-4781

Located in the Southwest region at:
Dade Battlefield Historic State Park
7200 CR 603
Bushnell, FL 33513

Natural and cultural history hike led by a park ranger to start the year off at Dade Battlefield. 

First Day Hike and Tram Ride @ Wekiwa Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

There is no fee for this event.

More Information:
Ranger Station 407-884-2009

Located in the Central region at:
Wekiwa Springs State Park
1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, FL 32712

Ring in the New Year at Wekiwa Springs!

Join us for an informative tram ride as we explore the sinkholes of the park.  Our journeys will take us to several sinkholes of various depths and ages and we will explore the science behind sinkholes in a hands on demonstration. Participants will need to take a short walk to some sinkhole sites, but have the option to stay on the tram and enjoy the natural surroundings. All ages are welcome to join! Feel free to explore more of the park after the program by hiking one of Wekiwa's many trails.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Lovers Key First Day Hike @ Lovers Key State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Fees Waved for participants

More Information:
(239) 463-4588

Located in the Southwest region at:
Lovers Key State Park
8700 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Join a Park Ranger for a beautiful hike along the Black Island Trail. The hike will be casual, and good for all ages. A great way to start the New Year.

First Day Hike & Coastal Clean Up @ Anastasia State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

Park entry is free for participating volunteers.

More Information:
Ranger Station: 904-461-2033

Located in the Central region at:
Anastasia State Park
300 Anastasia Park Road
St. Augustine, FL 32080

Join us for our Annual FIRST DAY HIKE & BEACH CLEAN UP. We have over four miles of beach that are home to a wide variety of wildlife. We have recently had more trash than normal on our beach due to Hurricane Irma and other strong storms in the area and need all the help we can get to clean it up. Meet at the beach parking lot near Island Beach Grill where you will sign-in to participate in the program. 

There will be transportation down the beach to reach the more remote areas as well as rangers on patrol to collect trash bags and supply water. It can be windy so dress for the weather and bring sunscreen, bug spray, and any other items that will make your hike more enjoyable. After the hike you can enjoy a lunch at Island Beach Grill or relax on the beach and admire your hard work.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike 2018 @ Camp Helen State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:30am CST

Program is free with regular park admission.

More Information:
Camp Helen State Park, (850) 233-5059

Located in the Northwest region at:
Camp Helen State Park
23937 Panama City Beach Parkway
Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Start the New Year by joining Camp Helen State Park for a First Day Hike on January 1, 2018 from 9:00a.m. - 10:30a.m.  Come and enjoy the park on a Ranger guided tour to learn about the park and its wildlife. Participants will take a 1.5 mile round trip hike along the parks Oak Canopy Trail and arrive at the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.  The trail is moderate level but relatively flat with roots, rock, dirt and beach dunes. To make sure your experience is even more enjoyable wear weather appropriate attire and closed toed shoes. Bring water, sunscreen and hat. Please check in at the Ranger Station for starting location.
 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Grayton Beach State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 10:30am CST

Entrance fees are waived for participants.

More Information:
Slade Ward, Park Services Specialist, 850-267-8300

Located in the Northwest region at:
Grayton Beach State Park
357 Main Park Road
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Join Park Ranger Slade as he leads the First Hike of the Year! This year's First Day Hike is 2.5 Miles and moderate in difficulty. Speed of the Hike will be slow to moderate. Group will be encouraged to stay together. Parking will be located on the North side of 30A, across from Grayton Beach State Park Entrance at the New Flatwoods Trail Parking. 

 

Additional Information:

Pets are welcome.  Pet sanitary bags are required. Bring water for your pet as well as yourself. Pet must be on a leash at all times and under owners control.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Oleta River State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

No fees associated with the hike.

More Information:
(305) 919-1846

Located in the Southeast region at:
Oleta River State Park
3400 NE 163rd Street
North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Bring in the New Year with a one-hour ranger led hike through the beautiful nature trail in Oleta River State Park. We will learn about the beautiful Flora and Fauna that make South Florida great!  Hikers will meet at parking lot 9 at 10am to begin the hike.

Additional Information:

Please wear close toed shoes and bring sunscreen and bug spray for the hike.  Leashed pets are welcome.

First Day Hike on Joe Kenner Nature Trail @ Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:30pm EST

Park entry fee waived for participants.

More Information:
386-517-2086

Located in the Central region at:
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach
3100 S. Oceanshore Blvd
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Start the new year off with a guided nature walk on the beautiful Joe Kenner Nature Trail. What better way to begin 2017 than hiking the 3/4 mile nature trail as it meanders through the park's gorgeous maritime hammock and scrub plant communities? The hike will last an hour and a half. All ages welcome. You can register for this program on Eventbrite.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike to Horn Springs @ Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 4:00pm EST

Entrance fee waived for participants.

More Information:
Administration Office 850-487-7989

Located in the Northwest region at:
Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park
7502 Natural Bridge Rd.
Tallahassee, FL 32305

Meet us at the Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park parking lot at 10:00 a.m. for a leisurely guided hike through our newly acquired Horn Springs parcel. Bring your comfortable shoes and "kick in" the new year while experiencing the unique ecosystems and history of a few of Florida’s hidden springs. The expected length of the hike will be approximately 6 miles, with the hike lasting an estimated 4 hours. Expected trail conditions are unpaved dirt surfaces, exposure to sun, and the potential for a few ankle deep wet crossings. Items to bring are sunscreen, bug spray, water, snacks, and your sense of adventure.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

A New Year for New Beginnings @ Suwannee River State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(386) 362-2746

Located in the Northeast region at:
Suwannee River State Park
3631 201st Path
Live Oak, FL 32060

As the new year arrives it's the perfect time to start new, healthy traditions. Join us at Suwannee River State Park for a scenic hike through a sandhill ecosystem showcasing the diversity in the landscape. Meet at pavilion #2 to start this leisurely 0.8 mile walk.  Be sure to bring bottled water, bug spray, sun screen, closed toe shoes and binoculars for wildlife viewing! 

Additional Information:

For more information, please view the participant requirements. 

St. Andrews State Park First Day Hike @ St. Andrews State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:00am CST

Park entry fees waived for hike participants.

More Information:
David Morris, (850)708-6100

Located in the Northwest region at:
St. Andrews State Park
4607 State Park Lane
Panama City Beach, FL 32408

Start your New Year off by getting outside and enjoying a leisurely hike along the Heron Pond Trail. This Ranger guided hike will take participants through various plant communities along Grand Lagoon and will provide hikers with the opportunity to view various wildlife that call North Florida home. All of our trails are pet friendly, so bring your dog out to enjoy this outdoor adventure!

We will meet at Turpentine Still at 9:00am and begin the .6 mile hike from there.

Additional Information:

Please wear weather and activity appropriate clothing, bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray.

Participation Requirements

Guided Nature Walk @ John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

Free with park admission.

More Information:
(561) 624-6952

Located in the Southeast region at:
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive
North Palm Beach, FL 33408

Join us for a guided exploration of MacArthur Beach State Park daily at 10:00 a.m.  Meet in front of the Park's Nature Center. 

Additional Information:

Bring a water bottle, sunscreen and insect repellant.

First Day Hike 2018 Living History @ Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am EST
More Information:
Park Phone Number (305) 664-2540

Located in the Southeast region at:
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
84900 Overseas Highway
Islamorada, FL 33036

Join us on January 1st, 2018, for a stroll through the history of Windley Key. Be part of a guided Ranger tour to experience the natural and cultural resources that the park has to offer. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit historical quarries, meander through tropical hardwood hammock, as well as learn the history of Windley Key through interpretive displays and videos. Tours will focus on the significant role played by Windley Key in the building of Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad, and the importance of resource preservation. The hike is 0.5 miles for all ages. Please bring water, bug spray, closed toe shoes, sunscreen, long pants and long sleeves.

0.5 miles

Bring water, bug spray, closed toe shoes, sunscreen, long pants and long sleeves.

First Day Hike 2018 @ Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am EST
More Information:
Park Phone Number (305) 664-2540

Located in the Southeast region at:
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
84900 Overseas Highway
Islamorada, FL 33036

Join us on January 1st, 2018, for a stroll through the history of Windley Key. Be part of a guided Ranger tour to experience the natural and cultural resources that the park has to offer. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit historical quarries, meander through tropical hardwood hammock, as well as learn the history of Windley Key through interpretive displays and videos. Tours will focus on the significant role played by Windley Key in the building of Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad, and the importance of resource preservation. The hike is 0.5 miles for all ages. Please bring water, bug spray, closed toe shoes, sunscreen, long pants and long sleeves.

 

First Day Hike @ Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

Program is free with your paid entrance into the park.

More Information:
Ranger Station (850) 927-2111

Located in the Northwest region at:
Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park
1900 E. Gulf Beach Drive
St. George Island, FL 32328

Join us on January 1st for a First Day Hike.  We will start at the middle pavilion at the East Slough Beach Use Area and will move across the island to the East Slough Overlook Platform.  Along the way we will talk about the Gulf of Mexico, the beach and sand dunes, sea turtles and nesting shorebirds, and the shallow estuary.  Additional topics will include astronomy, park history, and ecosystems and plant identification.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike - Blackwater Heritage State Trail @ Blackwater Heritage State Trail

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:00am CST

Program is free for participants.

More Information:
850-607-5363

Located in the Northwest region at:
Blackwater Heritage State Trail
5533 Alabama Street
Milton, FL 32570

Blackwater Heritage State Trail will be hosting a ranger-led nature hike to start the New Year out on a healthy path. Come out and join us as we step into nature and explore the flora and fauna along the trail. This 1.5-mile hike is accessible to all and has an “easy” degree of difficulty. You are welcome to walk with the ranger or hike at your own pace. Be sure to bring a camera or binoculars, we may not be the only ones out for a stroll. You are likely to see deer, squirrel, rabbit and a wide variety of bird life. Junior Rangers are encouraged to attend. Core 17/Recreation/On The Trail handouts will be supplied for the hike.

 

Additional Information:

The walk will begin at the Equestrian parking lot located at 5969 Munson Highway, Milton, FL 32570. Be sure to dress for the weather and bring along water, sunscreen, and insect repellant.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:30am CST

Program is free with regular park admission. 

More Information:
850-267-8330

Located in the Northwest region at:
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for a First Day Hike on January 1, 2018 from 9:00a.m. - 11:30a.m or 2:00p.m. – 3:30p.m. Enjoy the first day of the New Year leisurely exploring the park with a Ranger to learn about the park and its wildlife.  Participants attending at 9:00a.m. will enjoy a longer four mile round trip hike. Those coming at 2:00p.m. will enjoy an easier mile and a half walk. Both trails are relatively flat with roots, rock and dirt. To enjoy the First Day Hike to the fullest, wear weather appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. Bring water bottle, hat and sunscreen. Please check in at the Ranger Station for starting location. Program is free with regular park admission.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

 Free with Park admission.

More Information:
Art.Yerian@dep.state.fl.us or call (305) 361-8779

Located in the Southeast region at:
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
1200 South Crandon Boulevard
Key Biscayne, FL 33149

Participants will begin the New Year by journeying with rangers through one of Florida’s breathtaking ecosystems while searching for animal evidence and learning interesting facts about our parks Beach Dune and Lighthouse. The hike starts at 10:00AM and will last approximately an hour and a half, is 1 mile long and begins at Beach Access number four (4) and ends at the Cape Florida Lighthouse. The lighthouse climb portion of the hike is limited to eighteen (18) people in the tower at a time.

All ages are welcome and minors must be accompanied by an adult. Sturdy shoes, sunscreen, insect repellant and drinking water are recommended. The trail will consist of soft sand and pavement. Once at the lighthouse there are one hundred and nine (109) steps to climb and visitors will be at an elevation of ninety-five (95) feet. Degree of difficulty is Easy to Moderate. Special accommodations are available upon request prior to the event

First Day Hike @ Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Free!

More Information:
Call the Kimbell Center for details at (561) 745-5551

Located in the Southeast region at:
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
16450 S.E. Federal Highway
Hobe Sound, FL 33455

Get a fresh start by joining us for the first hike of 2018 on the beautiful Kitching Creek Trail. This 1.25-mile trail loop meanders through pine flatwoods forest leading to the Kitching Creek overlook which boasts beautiful views of the creek and scenery that will take you back to the days of old Florida. The trail is a sandy path, and hikers are encouraged to come prepared with closed toed shoes, sunscreen and a water bottle. Those who are interested in birding or wildflowers may also want to bring along binoculars or a camera. Participants will meet in the picnic area parking lot at 10:00 am on Monday January 1, 2018. The park entry fee will be waived for those who attend! Space is limited, and reservations are encouraged. For more information and registration, please contact the Elsa Kimbell Environmental Education Center at (561) 745-5551. We look forward to seeing you!

First Day Hike @ Honeymoon Island State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 1:00pm EST

All guided walks are free with paid park admission of $8.00 per carload (two to eight people), $4.00 for one person in a car and $2.00 per person for each pedestrian or cyclist. 

More Information:
thomas.e.reynolds@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Southwest region at:
Honeymoon Island State Park
#1 Causeway Blvd.
Dunedin, FL 34698

Date: Monday, January 1. 2018.

Time: Tours will depart at 10:00 AM and again at 12:00 PM.

Where: Meet at the Osprey Trailhead (Located at north end of picnic area parking lot).

Length: 45 minutes, 3/4 mile, moderate difficulty, with optional extended tour.

Program Description: Guided walk in the pine flatwoods, conducted by Park Rangers and Volunteer Florida Master Naturalists and National Association of Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guides.

About Honeymoon Island State Park: The park is located on a barrier island, which can be driven to via a 2 mile causeway. It is home to a variety of wildlife, providing visitors with an excellent opportunity to see many species of birds of prey including Ospreys, Great Horned Owls and Bald Eagles. Gopher tortoises, armadillos and raccoons, snakes and a variety of song birds, shorebirds and butterflies can be seen on the wooded trails and at the beaches. All play a significant role in the various ecosystems found on the island. Join a ranger or volunteer to learn more about the natural communities that host a wide variety of wildlife and plants that reside on one of the few remaining natural barrier islands in Florida. Guides will also share information on the role of the Florida Park Service in protecting and preserving the Real Florida. Be sure to visit the Rotary Centennial Nature Center to complete your visit. The center offers spectacular views, a gift shop, and world class exhibits and activities.

Assistance: If you need assistance to enable your full participation, please contact Honeymoon Island State Park at (727) 469-5942 as soon as possible.

Park Address: 1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin, FL 34698

Park Location: The park is located approximately 6 miles west of US 19, 35 minutes west of Tampa on SR 586 (Curlew Road).

What to Bring: Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and may want to bring a hat, sunglasses, bug spray, sunscreen, water, a pair of binoculars and a field guide. Closed toe shoes/boots are recommended.

First Day Guided Hike @ Dunns Creek State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 1:00pm EST

Park entry fee waived for participants.

More Information:
Park Office, 386-329-3721

Located in the Central region at:
Dunns Creek State Park
320 Sisco Road
Pomona Park, FL 32181

Start the new year off in nature! Take a hike with a ranger at Dunns Creek State Park. This intermediate hike will start just off of main park drive (located at 320 Sisco Road) and will include a 2.5 mile round trip hike through soft sand and sun. Hikers will be treated to views of the park's most recent prescribed burn and the scrub pond area.

The hike is family friendly; however, the trail is not stroller friendly and includes soft sand and uneven surfaces. Participants should be prepared to hike 2.5 miles over soft, uneven surfaces.

Please wear sturdy shoes; long pants, insect repellant and sunscreen are recommended. A lot of water and a small snack is recommended.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Enter through the main gate at 320 Sisco Road and drive down the main park drive. Restrooms are located near the end of the drive.

First Day Hike - Blackwater River State Park @ Blackwater River State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:00am to 12:30pm CST

Park entry fees will be waived for participants.

More Information:
Blackwater River State Park, 850-983-5363

Located in the Northwest region at:
Blackwater River State Park
7720 Deaton Bridge Rd
Milton, FL 32564

On New Years Day, Blackwater River State Park will be hosting a guided hike in conjunction with the Western Gate Chapter of the Florida Trail Association.  Join a Park Ranger and the Florida Trail Association for an informative nearly 4 mile hike on the beautiful park trails alongside the cool waters of the Blackwater River.  Meet at the day area parking near the pavilions and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after the hike.  Participants will walk the first half on the Florida Trail, cross Deaton Bridge and continue hiking on the Chain of Lakes Trail.  Then participants will walk the mile back to Pavilion #23 for lunch.

Participants should bring water and wear close toed shoes. 

Additional Information:

This is a pet friendly event. Pets are welcome at Blackwater River State Park as long as they are kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and are well behaved and under the owner's control at all times.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Faver-Dykes State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Park entry fees waived for participants.

More Information:
904-794-0997

Located in the Central region at:
Faver-Dykes State Park
1000 Faver-Dykes Road
St. Augustine, FL 32086

Start the year off on the right foot with a Nature Hike! Join a ranger at Faver-Dykes State Park to explore one of our trails and see the beauty this park has to offer.  Visitors will meet at the Ranger Station at 10am.

Participants are encouraged to bring bug spray, sun protection, long pants and closed-toed shoes.

Additional Information:

Participation requirements

First Day Garden Walk @ Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Park entry fees waived for participants

More Information:
386-446-6783

Located in the Central region at:
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
6400 N. Oceanshore Blvd.
Palm Coast, FL, FL 32137

Start the new year with a guided walk through our formal gardens.  Hear stories of the history of Washington Oaks, while taking in the beautiful, peaceful surroundings.  The walk is approximately one hour. Visitors will meet at 10am in our Garden parking lot. 

Additional Information:

Participation requirements

First Day Hike @ Bahia Honda State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Free entry to participants.

More Information:


Located in the Southeast region at:
Bahia Honda State Park
36850 Overseas Highway
Big Pine Key, FL 33043

Join Bahia Honda State Park staff on New Year's Day for our annual First Day Hike. State parks across the country will embark upon the tradition of bringing in the New Year with a rejuvenating hike. Last year nearly 28,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking over 66,000 miles throughout the country.

Bahia Honda's ranger led hike will explore the history of the island while walking up the Old Bahia Honda bridge trail. The trail begins where Florida's East Coast Railway once traveled and continues on the remnant path of the old US1 highway. When you reach the top of the trail there is an amazing panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and picturesque Bahia Honda Key. Join us for this leisurely paced walk and start the new year with friends, family, interesting stories and tropical island breezes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Information:

Essential Eligibility Criteria

First Day Hike

In order to participate in this program, one:

  • Must have the ability to follow verbal and/or visual instructions independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Must have the ability to traverse uneven terrain with a group for up to 1 mile independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors and insects for up to 1 hour.
  • NOTE: Participants are recommended to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, closed-toed shoes and water.

First Day Hike 2018 @ Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

Park entry fees will be waived for participants!

More Information:
Jim Ellis (386) 758-0400

Located in the Northeast region at:
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park
5815 Battlefield Trail Road
Olustee, FL 32087

Join a park ranger on a guided hike to explore the history of Florida's first state park. The hike will begin and end at the Olustee Battlefield museum and cover approximately one mile. All ages are welcome to join in on the fun! This hike is considered moderate in difficulty. Meet at the Olustee Battlefield Museum. Please bring plenty of water, bug spray, and comfortable shoes. 

Additional Information:

For more information, please view our Participant Requirements.

First Day Hike 2018 @ Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 1:00pm EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
Ranger Station (386) 397-4331

Located in the Northeast region at:
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
11016 Lillian Saunders Drive/ US HWY 41 or Mailing address: P.O. Drawer G
White Springs, FL 32096

Join park rangers on an educational hike on the Foster's Hammock Trail. Enjoy exploring the environment around you and help us keep our parks clean. The hike is two miles and considered moderate in difficulty. Everyone is invited to join us on this kick-start to the new year!  Be sure to bring plenty of water, bug spray and wear comfortable shoes. Meet at the multi-use trailhead parking lot. 

Additional Information:

For more information, please view our Participant Requirements or the event flyer.

First Day Swim @ Madison Blue Spring State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(850) 971-5003

Located in the Northeast region at:
Madison Blue Spring State Park
8300 NE State Road 6
Lee, FL 32059

Join us for a fun plunge into Madison Blue Spring to start your New Year off right! All ages are welcome to come out and swim in the #1 swimming hole in the country, voted by USA Today in 2015! Madison Blue Spring is a family favorite destination and a fantastic place to spend the day. Meet at the spring and be sure to bring a towel, change of clothes, and floats if desired. 

Additional Information:

Parent supervision is required for children under 16. No pets are permitted at this event. For more information, please view our participant requirements.

First Day Hike @ John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

Entry fee to the park will be waived for participants.

More Information:
(561) 776-7449, ext. 108

Located in the Southeast region at:
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive
North Palm Beach, FL 33408

Take a walk through the park’s diverse habitats on a family- friendly trek at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in North Palm Beach. Join us for a free, ranger -led hike at 10:00 am on New Year’s Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative.

Offered in all 50 states, First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year connecting with the outdoors. At MacArthur Beach, the First Day Hike will explore the human effects on the park’s ecosystems and how to be a better environmental steward in the coming year.

The hike will be approximately 1.5 miles long walking on wooden board walks, dirt trails and the beach. Degree of difficulty is moderate. Trails are ADA accessible, please call in advance if a beach wheel chair is needed (561-624-6950). Participants will meet at the Nature Center. Please wear walking shoes and bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray.  Pets are not permitted.

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, Palm Beach County’s only state park, is situated on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Lake Worth Lagoon. The Park is made up of 438 acres of pristine coastal land and contains four different communities or habitats including seven species of plants and twenty-two species of animals on the endangered or threatened list. MacArthur Beach is truly an “Island in Time.”

Hontoon Island First Day Hike @ Hontoon Island State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:30pm EST

There is no fee for this event.

More Information:
(386)736-5309

Located in the Central region at:
Hontoon Island State Park
2309 River Ridge Rd
DeLand, FL 32720

Start off the New Year at Hontoon Island! Join staff for a 3-mile guided hike to a shell midden on New Year's Day! Explore and learn about the natural and cultural resources found on the Island. Please meet in front of the Ranger Station at 10:30 am. For your comfort please wear closed toed shoes, bug spray and a water bottle is recommended.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Ochlockonee River State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:30am to 11:30am EST

The hike is free with paid park admission of $4/vehicle.

More Information:
Ranger Station 850-962-2771

Located in the Northwest region at:
Ochlockonee River State Park
429 State Park Road
Sopchoppy, FL 32358

Join a park ranger for this family-friendly hike along the banks of the Ochlockonee River!  Meet at the picnic area for a liesurely, 2 mile hike along the River Trail and Scenic Loop. 

Additional Information:

Please wear comfortable shoes, dress weather appropriate, bring drinking water and insect repellant.  Pets are welcome, but must be leashed, cleaned up after, and well-behaved.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike - The Washbasin Walk @ Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:00pm EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(352) 473-4701

Located in the Northeast region at:
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
6239 State Road 21
Keystone Heights, FL 32656

Join us for Gold Heads's ranger-led First Day Hike! We will be doing a two-mile hike through four different community types. Along the hike we will be on the lookout for birds, mammals and reptiles so be sure to bring your binoculars and ID guides if you have them. This hike is considered moderate in difficulty so please be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water and bug spray. 

Additional Information:

For more information, please view our participant requirements.

First Day Hike! @ Fort Clinch State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:30am EST

Park entry fees will be waived for participants! 

More Information:
(904) 277-7274

Located in the Northeast region at:
Fort Clinch State Park
2601 Atlantic Ave
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Join us to celebrate the New Year by participating in a First Day Hike - Guided Nature Walk at Fort Clinch State Park. Take an interpretive stroll through coastal hardwood hammock to freshwater ponds at Willow Pond Nature Trail and discuss the local flora and fauna.

Meet at the Willow Pond Nature Trail parking area and be sure to bring plenty of water and insect repellent. We ask that you do not bring pets to this program.

Additional Information:

The hike will be about 1.5 miles and is considered moderate in difficulty.  The minimum age for participants is six years old. For more information, view the Participant Requirements.

First Day Bike @ Fort Clinch State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:00am EST

Park entry fees will be waived for participants!

More Information:
(904) 277-7274

Located in the Northeast region at:
Fort Clinch State Park
2601 Atlantic Ave
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Join a Park Ranger for a leisurely ride through historic Fort Clinch State Park. Meet at the Visitor parking lot and be sure to bring your own bicylce, helmet and plenty of water. Space is limited so please call (904) 277-7274 to reserve your spot. 

Additional Information:

The bike ride will be up to six miles and is considered moderate in difficulty. Please RSVP by calling the park. The minimum age for participants is 10 years old. For more information, view the Participant Requirements

First Day Hike @ Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am CST

Park entrance fees are waived for participants.

More Information:
Kit Snyder (850) 833-9144

Located in the Northwest region at:
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
4281 S.R.20
Niceville, FL, FL 32578

Start the new year off on the right foot- join park staff for a guided First Day Hike.  Venture along the Red Cedar Nature Trail discovering plants and critters with a Park Ranger. 

 

Additional Information:

Please wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, bug spray, and bring drinking water.

Participation Requirements

First Day Stroll- Florida Caverns @ Florida Caverns State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00am CST

Entrance fees are waived for participants. 

More Information:
(850) 482-1228

Located in the Northwest region at:
Florida Caverns State Park
3345 Caverns Road
Marianna, FL 32446

With over 7 miles of trail, Florida Caverns State Park is a wonderful place to start the New Year.  On January 1, 2018 there will be several opportunities for park visitors to start the New Year in nature. 

Join a Park Ranger for the First Day Stroll at 10:00 am CST for a leisurely stroll through an upland hardwood forest and enjoy the local flora and fauna.  This easy stroll covers 1/4 mile of paved side walk and gravel trail is perfect for families with small children or anyone utilizing mobility devices.  Participants should sign-up in the Park Musuem and meet at the ADA parking area at the Visitor Center at 10:00 am CST where the hike will begin.

In addition to Ranger led nature tours, a museum guide will be offering interpretive exhibits in the Park Museum from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm for this event. 

Additional Information:

Well behaved and leashed pets are welcome.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Little Talbot Island State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:00am EST

Park entry fees are waived for all participants!

More Information:
Ranger Station, (904) 251-2320

Located in the Northeast region at:
Little Talbot Island State Park
12157 Heckscher Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32226

Bring the family and enjoy a ranger-led hike along the Dune Ridge Trail, one of Florida's premier nature trails at Little Talbot Island State Park. The trail meanders for two miles atop an ancient dune ridge under a canopy of live oaks, cedars and sable palms in a lush maritime hammock and concludes with a two mile walk along Little Talbot Island's picturesque beach. 

Meet at Pavilion Six on Little Talbto Island State Park at 11:00 a.m. 

Additional Information:

This hike is considered moderate in difficulty. Water, snacks, insect repellent, layered clothing and a camera are recommended. Leashed pets are welcome on the two mile wooded section of the trail but are not permitted on the shoreline. Pets and their owners would need to return following the same route back through the woods to the parking area. For more information, view our participant requirements.

First Day Hike @ De Leon Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:00am to 1:30pm EST

Park entry fee is waived for participants.

More Information:
386-985-4212

Located in the Central region at:
De Leon Springs State Park
601 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
De Leon Springs, FL 32130

Come celebrate New Year’s Day at DeLeon Springs State Park, 601 Ponce DeLeon Boulevard, De Leon Springs, FL 32130 with two First Day activities!

Guided History Walk (11:00 am to 12:00 pm); this is a one-hour tour through the history of DeLeon Springs from Paleo-Indian times to the present. Learn how the spring has made its way through 6,000 years as a gathering place for human activity. This is an easy walk on mostly paved and level surfaces around the spring area.

Guided Nature Trail Walk (12:30 pm to 1:30 pm); this will be a 1.5 mile hike with a ranger on both paved and unpaved surfaces.  See and hear about what activities of the past have done to alter natural communities and how the Florida Park Service goes about restoring them. Experience some of what De Leon Springs has to offer off the beaten path, and visit “Old Methuselah”, a towering bald cypress tree that is more than 500 year old!

Meet at the Visitor Center by the spring for both hikes. Water bottles, bug spray, sun protection, and closed toed shoes are recommended.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike - North Trail System @ Manatee Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:00am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(352) 493-6736

Located in the Northeast region at:
Manatee Springs State Park
11650 NW 115 Street
Chiefland, FL 32626

Start 2018 on the right foot, join us on January 1st at 11 a.m. for our First Day Hike! The hike will be a 2.2 mile ranger-led walk through the north trail system. Be sure to wear comforatble shoes, dress for the weather and bring plenty of water. Meet at the north trailhead. 

Additional Information:

Participant Requirements

First Day Hike 2018 @ Long Key State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:00am to 1:00pm EST

Park entry fees will be waived for participants.

More Information:
(305) 664-4815

Located in the Southeast region at:
Long Key State Park
67400 Overseas Hwy
Long Key, FL 33001

Join us on January 1st, 2018 for a First Day Hike. A ranger-led hike on two miles of our Golden Orb Nature Trail. This walk will take you through three different plant communities and a stroll along the natural shoreline of Long Key State Park. Please bring insect repellent as bugs can be present year round. Also bring sunscreen, water, and water appropriate shoes as a portion of the trail can flood on high tide.

First Day Hike @ Three Rivers State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00am to 11:00pm CST

Regular entry fees of $3.00 per vehicle with up to 8 persons.

More Information:
Park Services Specialist, Ricky Sandusky @ 850-482-9006

Located in the Northwest region at:
Three Rivers State Park
7908 Three Rivers Park Road
Sneads, FL 32460

Come join a Ranger for a leisurely 1/2 mile stroll along Lakeview trail at Three Rivers State Park. Learn about the flora and fauna of the Lake Seminole area as well as the history of the lake from a Park Ranger.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hikes @ John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:00am to 2:00pm EST

Participation is free with park entrance fee; $8.00 per car, plus 50 cents per person, up to 8 people per car; $4.50 for single occupant; $2.50 per bicyclist or pedestrian; free if under 6 years of age.

More Information:
Ranger Station at (305) 451-1202

Located in the Southeast region at:
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Mile Marker 102.5 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037-0487

Start the New Year with friends and family by visiting the Real Florida at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Two activities will be offered to acquaint participants with features of this park. At 11 a.m., a ranger will lead a walk for children age 7 and under, with an accompanying adult. At 1 p.m., there will be a ranger-led nature walk for adults. Both walks will meet at the front of the Visitor Center and Aquarium building. Each is limited to the first 15 people who call the Ranger Station to reserve a place, at (305) 451-1202.

Additional Information:

For more information, including accessibility needs, contact the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Ranger Station at (305) 451-1202.

First Day Bike, Paddle and Camp Sponsered by the Friends of Dunns Creek @ Dunns Creek State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:00am to 3:00pm EST

Hike and Bike are free for participants. Paddle is free for those with their own kayak.

More Information:
Sam Carr, 386-937-3901, fodcspcso@gmail.com

Located in the Central region at:
Dunns Creek State Park
320 Sisco Road
Pomona Park, FL 32181

Announcing our FIRST DAY HIKE, BIKE, PADDLE AND CAMP at Dunns Creek State Park presented by the Friends of Dunns Creek State Park. Plan on beginning the year by moving. Dunns Creek State Park will continue its annual FIRST DAY HIKE and add a FIRST DAY BIKE RIDE, and FIRST DAY PADDLE on Monday January 1st, 2018. Most events begin and end at Piney Bluff Landing (located at 320 Sisco Road) except for the 10am hike (see separate hiking event for information on the hike). Hats, water and insect repellent are recommended as well as proper footwear for all activities.

Hike - begins at 10:00am, see the separate event posting for details. Entry fees are waived for participants.

Bike - begins at 11:00am, meet at the Pine Bluff Landing with your bike. Entry fees are waived for participants.

Paddle - begins at 1:00pm, meet at the Pine Bluff Landing.

The paddle is free for those who bring their own kayak. For those who are interested and need to rent a kayak, rentals are available for $20.00. Please secure your rental at Eventbrite.

Camping - Camping starting on 12/31/2017 will be available to members of the Friends of Dunns Creek State Park CSO and Putnam Blueways and Trails CSO for $10. Reservations are required. To join the Friends of Dunns Creek, please visit: www.friendsofdunnscreek.org. For more information please call Sam Carr at 386-937-3901.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements for Paddle

Participation Requirements for Bike Ride

First Day Hike - Scavenger Hunt @ Fort Cooper State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:00am to 3:00pm EST

Park entry fees are waived for particpants!

More Information:
Kimberly Leedy (352) 726-0315

Located in the Northeast region at:
Fort Cooper State Park
3100 S. Old Floral City Rd.
Inverness, FL 34450

Join us at Fort Cooper State Park as we celebrate the first of the year with a scavenger hunt! Particpants will scour around the picnic/playground area in search of clues that will lead them to a treasure. The event starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.  The scavenger hunt will include taking pictures, writing and collecting so please bring a camera, pen or pencil and a bag to carry your treasures in. We also recommend comfortable shoes, plenty of water, bug spray, hat and sunscreen. 

Additional Information:

Please RSVP by calling (352) 726-0315. If you bring a stroller please be aware that some areas of the park are very sandy. For more information, view the Participant Requirements.

First Day Paddle @ Cedar Key Museum State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:00am EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(352) 543-5567 or Tommy.Pavao@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northeast region at:
Cedar Key Museum State Park
12231 S.W. 166 Court
Cedar Key, FL 32625

Come join us for a ranger-led First Day Paddle! We'll be taking off from Cedar Key Museum State Park at 11:00 a.m. and will venture down towards Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve and back again. The trip will last one hour. Be sure to bring your own kayak or canoe, paddles, life jackets, plenty of water and snacks, bug spray and sunscreen. There is room for 10 boats so please call in advance to reserve your spot (352)-543-5567.

Additional Information:

This paddle is considered moderate to strenuous in difficulty. Children ages 7-16 must be in a boat with an adult and 17 and up are eligible to solo paddle. No pets are permitted at this event. For more information, please view our participant requirements.

First Day Hike @ Caladesi Island State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:30am EST

Guided Tours are Free with Admission

Admission Fee:

$6.00 per boat for up to 8 people, $2.00 for each additional person.

$2.00 per kayaker.

Ferry Service:

Catch the Caladesi Connection ferry at Honeymoon Island State Park for entrance onto Caladesi Island. Entrance fees at Honeymoon Island State Park are:

$8.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.

$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle.

$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.

The Caladesi Connection ferry travels to Caladesi Island for a four-hour stay. Ferry fees are:

$14.00 per adult.

$7.00 for children ages 6 - 12.

Children 5 and younger ride free.

Sorry, no pets are allowed on the ferry.

More Information:
email jason.dorrier@dep.state.fl.us or call (727) 469-5918

Located in the Southwest region at:
Caladesi Island State Park
Offshore Island
Dunedin, FL 34698

Date: Monday, January 1 2018

Time: Departs at 11:30 AM

Where: Meet at the Ranger Station across from the Ferry Dock.

Length: Approximately 1 mile/1 hour

Difficulty: Moderate

Program Description: Come explore our award-winning beach on a guided tour with an expert Ranger Naturalist.

Assistance: If you need assistance to enable your full participation, please contact the CISP office at (727) 469-5918 as soon as possible.

Location: The Park is located offshore from Dunedin, Florida and is accessible by ferry or private vessel (see below for details).

What to Bring: Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and may want to bring a hat, sunglasses, insect repellant, sunscreen, water, binoculars, and a field guide. Close-toe shoes are highly recommended.

 

Additional Information:

Beach Hike Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Falling Waters State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:30am to 11:30am CST

Program is free with regular park entrance fee.

More Information:
Falling Waters State Park (850)-638-6130

Located in the Northwest region at:
Falling Waters State Park
1130 State Park Road
Chipley, FL 32428

Start the year off right with a one-mile guided hike on the Waterfall Trail to the tallest waterfall in Florida.  Enjoy a cascading waterfall, breath taking sinkholes, and beautiful vistas while learning about the park from a Park Ranger.  Hike is considered moderate in difficulty since hikers will climb down the wooden stairway to view the waterfall. 

Additional Information:

Participants should meet in the parking area near the waterfall boardwalk.

Participation Requirements

Polar Bear Plunge @ Henderson Beach State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 11:00am to 2:00pm CST

Event free with paid park admission, event t-shirt available for $25 donation.

More Information:
RSVP via Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/109275709865491/?ti=icl or contact the ranger station for information at 850-650-5928.

Located in the Northwest region at:
Henderson Beach State Park
17000 Emerald Coast Parkway
Destin, FL 32541

Join us at Henderson Beach State Park for a fun way to jump into 2018! Plunge into the chilly gulf with friends and family for a good cause. With a $25 donation to the Friends of Emerald Coast State Parks, the first 100 participants will receive a long sleeve Polar Bear Plunge t-shirt sponsored by the Henderson Resort. Enjoy hot cocoa and coffee afterward to warm up!

Additional Information:

RSVP via Facebook event or contact the ranger station for information at 850-650-5928.

Please bring your own towel and weather appropriate clothing to warm up after your plunge.

Participation Requirements

In Observation Of Our Feathered Friends’ First Day Hike And Marsh Walk @ Fort Mose Historic State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm EST

Participation in the event is free. Museum admission fee is $2 per person and children under 6 are free.

More Information:
Carl P. Marchand (904) 823-2232

Located in the Central region at:
Fort Mose Historic State Park
15 Fort Mose Trail
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Bring in the New Year at Fort Mose Historic State Park! Join Birding Expert Susan Killeen on a hike and birding exploration of our Salt Marsh and the Secondary Fort Site Island (established 1752). Visitors are asked to meet at the Visitor Center for a brief historical video at 1:00 p.m. Marsh walk will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. and conclude by 3:00 p.m.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements 

Bring your rubber boots, binoculars, cameras, water, and any other pertinent items, to make your travel through the estuary more enjoyable. We look forward to hosting you for this event.

carl.marchand@dep.state.fl.us

First Day Hike @ Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm CST

Park entry fees of $3.00 per vehicle apply.

More Information:
Emily Price (850) 492-1595

Located in the Northwest region at:
Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park
2401 Bauer Road
Pensacola, FL 32507

Join a staff member New Year’s Day for an easy leisurely walk down the ADA accessible Tarkiln Bayou Trail. The trail is approximately one mile round trip. Along the way, staff will share their knowledge of native plants found in the park. Please dress for the weather. Suggested items to bring with you include: drinking water, a camera, binoculars, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent.  The walk is both wheelchair and stroller accessible. Meet in the parking lot for Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park at 2401 Bauer Road.

Additional Information:

Participation requirements

 

First Day Guided Hike @ Ravine Gardens State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm EST

Park entry fee waived for participants.

More Information:
Park Office, 386-329-3721

Located in the Central region at:
Ravine Gardens State Park
1600 Twigg Street
Palatka, FL 32177

Start the new year off in nature! Take a hike with a ranger on the Ravine Gardens State Park trail system and view the beautiful ponds, plants and critters at the park.

The hike is family friendly; however, the trail is not stroller friendly and includes steep inclines and uneven surfaces. Participants should be prepared to hike 1.5 miles over steep, uneven inclines, around rocks, stumps and roots, over uneven stairs and through low branches.

Please wear sturdy shoes; long pants, insect repellant and sunscreen are recommended. Please bring plenty of water and a small snack if preferred.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Bald Point State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm EST

Hike is free with paid park admission of $4/vehicle.

More Information:
Bald Point office 850-349-9146 or Ochlockonee River Ranger Station 850-962-2771

Located in the Northwest region at:
Bald Point State Park
146 Box Cut Road
Alligator Point, FL 32346

Start out the New Year on the right foot-- with a hike through the park!  Join a Ranger at the Sundew Loop trailhead lot for a leisurely 1.7 mile hike through coastal scrub and pine flatwoods.

Additional Information:

Please dress weather appropriate, bring drinking water and bug spray.  Dogs are welcome but must be leashed, cleaned up after and well behaved.

Sundew Loop trailhead is located at the far end of the Sunrise Beach parking area, 480 Bald Point Rd, Alligator Point FL 32346.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike- Florida Caverns @ Florida Caverns State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm CST

Entrance fees are waived for participants.

More Information:
(850) 482-1228

Located in the Northwest region at:
Florida Caverns State Park
3345 Caverns Road
Marianna, FL 32446

With over 7 miles of trail, Florida Caverns State Park is a wonderful place to start the New Year.  On January 1, 2018 there will be several opportunities for park visitors to start the New Year in nature. 

Join a Park Ranger for the First Day Hike at 2:00 pm CST for a moderate hike through an upland hardwood forest and enjoy the local flora and fauna.  Participants should sign-up in the Park Musuem and meet at the ADA parking area at the Visitor Center at 10:00 am CST where the hike will begin.

In addition to Ranger led nature tours, a museum guide will be offering interpretive exhibits in the Park Museum from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm for this event. 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm CST

Program is free with regular park admission. 

More Information:
850-267-8330

Located in the Northwest region at:
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for a First Day Hike on January 1, 2018 from 9:00a.m. - 11:30a.m or 2:00p.m. – 3:30p.m. Enjoy the first day of the New Year leisurely exploring the park with a Ranger to learn about the park and its wildlife.  Participants attending at 9:00a.m. will enjoy a longer four mile round trip hike. Those coming at 2:00p.m. will enjoy an easier mile and a half walk. Both trails are relatively flat with roots, rock and dirt. To enjoy the First Day Hike to the fullest, wear weather appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. Bring water bottle, hat and sunscreen. Please check in at the Ranger Station for starting location. Program is free with regular park admission.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Moon Lit Tram Tour @ Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 4:30pm to 7:30pm EST

Tickets are $35.00 per person and reservations can be made here.  

More Information:
(239) 695-1023 (A volunteer will return your call)

Located in the Southwest region at:
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
137 Coastline Drive
Copeland , FL 34137

Thanks to the Moon Lit Fakahatchee Tram Tours, you can now view the magnificent Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park under the illumination of a full moon. The “Ghost Rider” tram, named in honor of the famous Ghost Orchid found in the park, lets you tour the park without concentrating on the road. The Fakahatchee is home to more orchid species than any other place on the North American continent. The Preserve is also a haven for diverse wildlife and migratory birds.

All tours start as the sun is setting, prime time for photography and spotting some of the mammal residents of the Strand as well as birds settling in for the evening.

The 24-passenger tram is high and dry and will provide an excellent platform for viewing park features illuminated by moonlight. City-dwellers will be amazed at how their vision changes as their eyes adapt to the light the moon provides.

An experienced naturalist lead each tram tour and will demonstrate communication with denizens of the night, including fireflies, bats and owls. The tram is wheelchair accessible and some seats face backwards. Participants will be required to sign a standard release of liability form. Any cancellations must be made 48 hours in advance to receive refund.

The tram leaves from the ranger station at 137 Coastline Drive, Copeland, off Janes Scenic Drive. Janes Scenic drive is ONLY acessible via SR 29 ( between I-75 and US 41) DO NOT rely on incorrect GPS information providing other routes to access Jane Scenic dirve in Copeland.

ARRIVE EARLY, this tour departs in time for the sunset and moonrise.

NOTE: PLEASE CHECK WEATHER REPORTS AND DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THIS ADVENTURE. EVENINGS CAN BE COOL WHEN THIS TOUR IS OFFERED.

First Day Hike-Exploring Florida Dry Prairie at Sunset @ Myakka River State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 4:30pm to 8:00pm EST

The hike is free however Park Entrance Fees will apply:

$6 for vehicles with 2-8 people

$4 for vehicle with 1 person

$2 for motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians.

More Information:
Ranger Station 941-361-6511

Located in the Southwest region at:
Myakka River State Park
13208 State Road 72
Sarasota, FL 34241

 

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Myakka River State Park will be hosting a First Day Hike.  Join a Park Ranger for about 4 mile moderate hike through Myakka’s Florida Dry Prairie to experience sunset and moon rise on the prarie. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.  Participants should bring water, insect repelant and a flashlight/headlamp.  Meet at the Visitor Center Parking Lot at 4:30 pm on New Year’s Day. The hike will last approximately 3 hours.

 

Participants are limited to 20 people so please call the Myakka River State Park Ranger Station at 941-361-6511 to make reservations for this event. Participants for this hike must be at least 8 years of age. Bicycles and pets are not permitted. If for any reason you will not be able to make it, please call the Ranger Station to cancel in order to make room for other participants.

 

Park does have one All-Terrain Mobility Device available for participant. This device is available on a first come basis by reservation.

 

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate (uneven terrain, low light)

 

Length of Hike: 3.5 to 4 miles

 

Must be able to walk 4 miles in low light over uneven terrain.

 

Name of trail the hike will take place on: Lower Lake Ct. (however you will initially meet at the Visitor Center Parking Lot)

 

Additional Information:

Name of Trail: The hike will be on Lower Lake Ct. (however you will initially meet at the Visitor Center Parking Lot).

 

Marsh by Moonlight - Guided Kayaking @

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm EST

$15 per person, plus state park admission.

More Information:
772-398-2779

Located in the region at:
, FL

Enjoy the serenity of the Savannas Basin Marsh by moonlight during these limited-edition tours. Cost is $15 per person donation to the Friends of Savannas, plus the state park admission fee ($2 a person, or $3 for a vehicle with up to 8 people). All equipment is included with your donation. Participants should dress for the weather and bring drinking water. Time of arrival will be different for each tour. Reservations required by calling the Savannas Preserve State Park Education Center at 772-398-2779. The Savannas is located at 2541 SE Walton Road, Port St Lucie.

Moonrise at the Beach @ Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 5:00pm to 5:30pm EST

This program is free with park admission.

More Information:
Ranger Station 386-517-2086

Located in the Central region at:
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach
3100 S. Oceanshore Blvd
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Join us for a moonrise at the beach! You will learn fun and interesting facts about the moon and our coastal ecosystem. Enjoy the spectacular view! Bring binoculars and a camera for beautiful photo opportunities!

All ages are welcome, minors must be accompanied by an adult. This event is subject to cancellation due to weather conditions. We will be meeting at the beachside pavilion on the east side of the park.

You can register for this program at Evenbrite.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Moon-Lit Paddle by Paddling Adventures @ Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 5:30pm EST

Park entry fee will be waived for participants! There is a registration fee required by Paddling Adventures. 

More Information:
Paddling Adventures (386) 497-1113

Located in the Northeast region at:
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
12087 SW U.S. Highway 27
Fort White, FL 32038

Enjoy a ranger-guided canoe paddle down the Ichetucknee River to start your new year as the sun sets and the full moon begins to illuminate the river. Listen to the sounds of a day's end and night's awakening as the first day of the year comes to a close.

This event is held by Paddling Adventures and requires registration along with a registration fee. Contact (386) 497-1113 for pricing and reservations.

Additional Information:

For more information, please view the Participant Requirements

Annual Ghost Walks, January 26, 27 and February 2, 3, 6:45 - 9:45pm @ Koreshan State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 6:45pm to 9:45pm EST

Limited tickets available at Ranger Station on a first come, first serve basis at www.FriendsofKoreshan.org ; cost $25. Tours begin at 6:45, 7, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45 and 8 pm. FREE park admission.

More Information:
Ranger Station (239) 992-0311

Located in the Southwest region at:
Koreshan State Park
3800 Corkscrew Road
Estero, FL 33928

The history of the Koreshan Settlement comes to life as historical interpreters in period costumes portray its founding 100 years ago. Enjoy a nighttime ghost walk in an atmosphere of moonlight and candlelit pathways. As you walk past and view old historic buildings, you will experience Koreshans telling their own story. Learn the before, during and after story of the Koreshan Settlement and enjoy treats made from Koreshan recipes at the restored Bakery. See the park’s Fairbanks Morse engine demonstrated at a stop on your walk. Limited tickets available at www.FriendsofKoreshan.org on a first come, first serve basis; cost $25. Tours begin at 6:45, 7, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45 and 8 pm. FREE park admission.

Torreya First Day Hike @ Torreya State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 9:30pm to 11:00pm EST

Fees are waived for this event.

More Information:
1-850-643-2674

Located in the Northwest region at:
Torreya State Park
2576 NW Torreya Park Rd.
Bristol, FL 32321

Kick off the New Year with a guided hike at Torreya State Park.  Join the park guide for a one mile hike on the Torreya Loop Trail to witness some of the most scenic vistas along the steep head ravines and view rare Torreya trees which are scattered along the trail.

 

Additional Information:

 The guide will give participants an opportunity to continue the hike further than the 1 mile advertised. The will be several trail spurs that will carry you back to the departure point.  The Torreya Loop Trail offers hikes from 1  to 16 miles in moderate terrain, with several opportunities to return to the beginning.  Wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Participants should meet at the parking area in the picnic area and bring water and snacks.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike - Back in Time @ Rainbow Springs State Park

Monday, January 1, 2018 - 10:00pm EST

Park entry fees are waived for participants!

More Information:
(352) 465-8555

Located in the Northeast region at:
Rainbow Springs State Park
19158 SW 81st Place Road
Dunnellon, FL 34432

Join a Park Ranger for an exploratory journey back in time. This talk will take participants back to the beginnings of Rainbow Springs, starting at the heyday of the amusement park, travelling back to the pre-Columbian era, and finally concluding with an optional behind the scenes hike to view "where the magic happens" in present day Rainbow Springs State Park. Everyone is welcome to attend but we ask that all children be accompanied by an adult. This program will be offered twice, once at 10:00 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m.  Meet at the entrance walkway near the parking lot. Please be sure to bring plenty of water and comfortable walking shoes.

Additional Information:

The first portion of this program will be a talk and optional hike is a little over one mile and is considered moderate in difficulty. Pets are not permitted at this event. For more information, please view the participant requirements.