First Day Hikes 2023

Couple Hiking at Tomoka State Park

We’re excited to welcome the new year, and what better way to celebrate than with a walk in the woods?

First Day Hikes is a national event where tens of thousands of people get outdoors on New Year's Day. It’s a celebration of the new year and a way to start it right with a relaxing walk outdoors.

Whether you’re a seasoned park veteran or just finding us for the first time, there’s no better way to kick off a new year than with a First Day Hike! 

Organized in state parks across the country, thousands of people participate in First Day Hikes every January 1. Varying from short strolls to longer treks, these hikes offer a variety of ways for people to get outdoors and start the new year on the right foot.

Some Florida State Parks offer self-guided or ranger-led First Day Hikes. Of course, you don’t need a guide to explore our state parks! Anyone can participate in their own First Day Hike, whether on your own or with family and friends. There are 175 state parks across Florida, each with their own stories to tell. Sometimes the best way to see a park is simply to print out a map or get one from the ranger station.

Family Hiking at Florida State Parks

If you haven’t heard about First Day Hikes before and want to try one, don’t worry – it’s simple! All hikes aim to create a fun experience for the whole family. If you have guests from out of town, First Day Hikes are a great way to show off your area and have a memorable experience with the chance to spot birds, deer and other Florida wildlife. Remember to share your experience with the #FirstDayHikes hashtag.

So, begin 2023 with a focus on your physical and mental well-being with a First Day Hike in one of Florida's state parks.

Hiking at rocky bayou

Hiking Safety

Hiking is fun and a healthy way to exercise. Here are few tips:

  • Stay on the trail. Wandering off the trail can cause erosion and you could be injured or become lost.
  • Be courteous and observe trail etiquette. Communicate with others as you pass.
  • Bring supplies. You’ll need drinking water, insect repellent, sunscreen and a hat.
  • Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes to help prevent injury.
  • Never feed or touch wildlife. If you encounter wildlife on the trail, keep your distance and back away slowly.

We hope to see you in a Florida State Park this new year. There’s no better way to experience… the Real Florida ℠.