New Jersey’s state parks ring in new year with guided hikes

    If you’re not planning on being hung over on New Year’s Day, New Jersey has something in store for state park enthusiasts. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection will sponsor eight free guided hikes and a horseback ride in N.J. state parks and trails on New Year’s Day. 

    Each “First Day” hike, ranging from one or two miles to 15 miles in length, will be led by DEP park staff and volunteers. It’s part of an initiative called America’s State Parks First Day Hikes happening in all 50 states.

    Whether you want to get some fresh air, stretch your legs, or start that workout regimen you’ve been promising yourself you’ll be starting any day now it could be a fun way to start 2012. And you might see something you haven’t seen before.

    New Year’s Day guided hikes will take place at the following locations:

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    Belleplain State Forest, 10 a.m., (609) 861-2404
    Double Trouble State Park, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (732) 341-4098
    Kittatinny State Park to Swartswood State Park, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., (908) 343-8374
    Paulinskill Valley Trail (at Footbridge Park), 10 a.m., (908) 684-4820
    Paulinskill Valley Trail at Halsey Farm, 11 a.m., (973) 948-3814 (Horseback Ride)
    Ringwood State Park, 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m., (973) 962-7031
    Round Valley Recreation Area, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., (908) 236-6355
    Washington Crossing State Park, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., (609) 737-0609

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