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First Day Hikes 2016

By Nancy HeltmanPosted November 15, 2015


First Day Hikes logo


Join the National Movement 
5th Annual First Day Hikes
January 1, 2016

All 36 Virginia State Parks will offer guided hikes for the 5th Annual First Day Hikes sponsored by America's State Parks. Last year more than 11,000 visitors came out to our Virginia State Parks to participate in this program held across all 50 states. 2016 marks Virginia State Parks' 80th anniversary so this event will be a great kickoff to our special year.

Find Your Park and Pick Your Hike

Click here for a list of the planned hikes. In addition to the scheduled guided hikes, feel free to create your own First Day Hike experience on any of our trails. In addition to the general maps on our website, more detailed maps are available on our Virginia State Parks app and can be cached in advance so you can use them even when you don't have a cell signal. 

Special Promotions

The first 50 participants at each park will receive a specially designed commemorative pin in honor of our 80th anniversary.

We will be sponsoring our annual First Day Hike photo contest this year as well. Entries must be taken in one of our Virginia State Parks on Jan. 1 and uploaded to the contest site prior to 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 1. A full list of rules can be found on the contest site. Our marketing team will judge the entries and select the winners. Until Jan. 1, you won't see the entry tab. We have lined up some great prizes:

Grand Prize: $500 Virginia State Parks Overnight Stay Gift Certificate
1st Place: Lifetime Parking Pass
2nd Place: $150 Virginia State Parks Overnight Stay Gift Certificate
Multiple 3rd Place Prizes (at least 3): 2,000 Customer Loyalty Points for our brand new Customer Loyalty Program that begins January 1 that can be saved and used for free or discounted camping and cabin stays.

We will feature our First Day Hike Team Competition this year too. Sign your team up here. The competition is designed for families and friends to join together to visit one of our Virginia State Parks on Jan. 1 and hike together. Research shows that healthy lifestyle behaviors are easier if you have supoort. Teams must have at least 2 members. You can sign up in advance or even on Jan. 1. After you complete the hike, you must confirm you participated no later than 11:59 p.m. on Jan 1 in order to be entered in the contest. Winners will be selected randomly for the following prizes:

Grand Prize: $500 Virginia State Parks Overnight Stay Gift Certificate (team members will decide how to allocate the prize).
1st Place: Virginia State Parks Annual Passes for all team members in separate households.
2nd Place: First Day Hike ball caps for all team members.
Multiple 3rd Place Prizes (at least 3): Virginia State Park hiking medallions for all team members.


Grand Prize Winning Photo from the 2015 First Day Hikes
Grand Prize Winning photo from 2015 - by Donald Bowers

While hiking is available rain or shine, in case of extreme weather, please check the park's individual web page or call the park phone number to verify if the hike is still available. We don't have a lot of our own snow removal equipment so most parks have to wait for VDOT snow removal and we are, rightly so, not on the top of their priority list. 

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binchappa (April 15, 2016 08:56:27 AM): Chembur

Agen Judi Online Terpercaya (March 11, 2016 02:14:51 PM):

Thanks for sharing .it very useful information for blog commenting lists

Virginia State Parks (January 04, 2016 08:18:21 PM): The results are posted here:

Lisa (January 04, 2016 06:59:55 PM): Who won the photo contest for the first day hike? I can't find the results anywhere. Thanks

Virginia State Parks (January 01, 2016 09:39:52 AM): We are working on the problem. Please email me your details - name, team name, park, number of team members, zip code and I will enter you.

Michael (January 01, 2016 08:18:07 AM): It's Jan. 1 and it won't let me sign up a team for the First Day Hike. Previous emails have said you can still sign up on Jan. 1.

Bruce Julian (December 15, 2015 05:19:34 AM): Bette, Drive to False Cape State Park and hike with us in Virginia Beach, first we ride the TerraGator to the south end of the park at North Carolina and then hike over to the Monument placed on the state line in the 1800's ( 2 miles round trip) Call 426 - 7128 to sign-up, TerraGator only has room for 36 people.

Virginia State Parks (December 10, 2015 07:27:58 PM): We have a park in Chesterfield or Powhatan but not technically Richmond. Hikes are available there and York River SP in Williamsburg. All are different offerings so pick from the list linked in the article.

Bette (December 10, 2015 08:50:40 AM): First day hike, Richmond or Williamsburg VA.

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