New Year’s Hikes and Winter Hiking
A New Year’s resolution is a yearly tradition, in which a person resolves to continue good practices, change an undesired one, accomplish a personal goal, or improve something at the beginning of a calendar year.
After indulging during the holidays, I’m especially grateful for the extra push out the door I get from First Day Hikes. These hikes make it easy to start your year on the right foot by getting the family outdoors and moving!
First Day Hikes started 31 years ago in Massachusetts at the Blue Hills Reservation State Park and became a nations wide tradition under the America’s State Parks Alliance. People of all ages are encouraged to participate.
Sterling Nature Center is offering two hikes this year, A Year’s End Hike on New Year’s Eve at 1pm and a First Day Hike on New Year’s Day at 1pm. Programs are free and open to the public, pre-register by e-mailing email@example.com.
Even if you can’t make it to any of the specific First Day Hikes offered, you can always just step outside and get moving. It’s a great way to start the year!
Emerson Park, Fillmore Glen, Sterling Nature Center, Owasco Flats,Cato-Fair Haven Trail, Cayuga County’s Parks and Trails system offers a variety of spectacular outdoor sites and recreational opportunities for families and individuals of all ages. Check out our outdoors page for more information and discover your new favorite place to take a walk or hike!
A Few Tips for Winter Hiking
Here are a few tips for winter hiking directly from the American Hiking Society. Find more details at their site.
- Dress in layers.
Dress in several layers you can peel off or put on when you stop and go on the trail. Your base layer should be a wicking fabric that will pull your sweat away from the skin. Overheating is a dangerous threat since excessive moisture that isn’t allowed to escape can freeze and cause hypothermia. If you ever wondered why some of your jackets have zippers under the armpits, it’s to keep air circulating and prevent your clothes from getting wet.
- Wear a hat!
Our heads are filled with oxygen-carrying capillaries which fuel our brains and consume one third of the body’s energy. During the colder months it is important to keep your head covered to maintain function and not lose precious body heat. You may want to bring a warmer/heavier hat for rest periods.
- Keep your water bottle warm.
Whether you are at the campsite or on the trail, a foam sleeve like a koozie will help prevent the water from freezing in a bottle. Nothing warms your body or your spirits like warm liquid by a campfire. Boil water to take with you as you hike. Also, to keep water from freezing, keep your water bottle on the inside of your jacket – properly sealed, of course.
- Don’t toss the sunscreen.
While this is most important if you are hiking in a snowy region, winter hikers often forget about the sun’s glare reflecting off the bright white snow.
- Be prepared for shorter days.
As early as October, dusk settles earlier and more quickly than in the summer. Have a good idea of the usable daylight hours before going hiking. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.