Skip to Content


Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan,, 804-786-2292.

Date: December 19, 2013
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442,

Virginia State Parks celebrate the New Year with state-wide First Day Hikes and photo contest Jan. 1, 2014

(RICHMOND) – Begin 2014 on the right foot with a New Year’s Day hike in a Virginia State Park as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes. First Day Hikes is a national initiative to get people outdoors and into parks.

“There’s no better place to begin the year than in one of our 36 state parks,” said Virginia State Parks Director Joe Elton. “This is our third year participating in the First Day Hikes program, and it’s proven to be a popular and fun way for visitors to enjoy our parks with friends and family and to begin healthy habits of physical activity that we hope they will continue in the days to come.”

Self-led and ranger-led hikes and activities vary by park. For example, Douthat State Park in Millboro will host a hike led by the Alleghany Highlands Master Naturalists, and Mason Neck State Park in Lorton will hold three ranger-led hikes of varying difficulty to the park’s bird observation blinds.

A complete list of First Day Hikes and details can be found at   

In conjunction with First Day Hikes, Virginia State Parks will hold a special photo contest. Prizes include stays in a lodge and a cabin as well as annual passes. For contest information, visit 

Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. For more information about Virginia State Parks activities and amenities or to make a reservation for one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-7275 or

Represented by regional board members of the National Association of State Park Directors, America’s State Parks is an alliance of state park systems in all 50 states, representing more than 6,000 state parks across the nation.

# # #

Share this news release:  An Image An Image