What began more than 40 years ago as a New Year’s Day hike in Eno River State Park has become an annual tradition throughout the state park system.
This year, 46 guided hikes are planned at state parks and recreation areas on Friday, ranging from short walks to six-mile treks. Cary, too, is organizing a New Year’s Day hike on the Annie Jones Greenway, off Southwest Cary Parkway.
The state park hikes take different forms. The William B. Umstead hike will emphasize photography, while Falls Lake State Recreation Area is planning four scavenger hunts for kids and adults. A full list of the hikes at state parks and recreation areas can be found at www.ncparks.gov/
Here’s some information about the Triangle area hikes:
▪ Cary First Walk will begin at Annie Jones Park, 1414 Tarbert Drive, at 10 a.m. and last one hour on a 1.2-mile asphalt trail that meanders along streams and through woods.
▪ The Eno River Association will sponsor two hikes at Eno River State Park, one about 2 miles, the other about 4. Both hikes begin at 2 p.m. at the Few’s Ford parking loop at the end of Cole Mill Road.
▪ The Falls Lake Recreation Area will hold four .75-mile scavenger hunt hikes at the Rolling View Recreation Area, 4201 Baptist Road, at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Reservations are required. Call 919-676-1027 to sign up.
▪ The planned afternoon hike of the Pond Trail at Seaforth Recreation Area at Jordan Lake has been canceled because of high water, but the 2.7-mile morning hike at the New Hope Overlook is still on. This is a challenging trail with several steep hills that offer sweeping views of the lake. The hike begins at 10 a.m. at the blue loop trailhead near the boat ramps on W.H. Jones Road, off Pea Ridge Road near New Hill.
▪ Raven Rock State Park near Lillington will hold a 2.5-mile hike at 1 p.m. starting at the picnic shelter.
▪ The Umstead State Park photography hike begins at 8 a.m. at the Loblolly Trailhead on the Reedy Creek side of the park, off Harrison Avenue. Call 919-571-4170 to make a reservation.
The rain is expected to stop by New Year’s morning, but the trails will likely be muddy in spots, so hikers are advised to dress accordingly.