Sunday, February 25, 2024

Virginia State Parks to host New Year’s Day hikes with free parking, contests

Start your resolution planning early by committing to a Virginia State Parks’ First Day Hike at one of 37 state parks on New Year’s Day.

With over 500 miles of trails, the Virginia State Parks offer something for every outdoor enthusiast. Join other hikers, bikers, and horseback riders for a day of self-guided or rare hikes, and enter photo and New Year’s Challenge contests throughout Virginia. Free parking is available for New Year’s Day hikes.

At Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, you can enjoy a bonfire with a sparkling cider toast at the end of the hike. This hike begins on New Year’s Eve at 11 p.m. and ends in time to ring in the New Year.

Horseback Riding at a Virginia State Park (Courtesy of Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation)

Other specialty hikes include the chance to see wild ponies at Grayson Highlands State Park or hikers can catch a ride along the beach on a Terragator before hiking to the North Carolina border at False Cape State Park.

Many parks welcome bikers, horseback riders, and leashed dogs. For rules and details about the different parks and hikes visit, click here.

Interested in reserving a cabin or campsite? Call the Virginia State Parks Customer Care Center at 800-933-7275 or visit

To enter the contests, sign up for the New Year’s Day First Day Hike Challenge by clicking here.

Winners are selected at random. Prizes include gift certificates for overnight stays, picnic shelter rentals, or annual passes and Virginia State Parks Loyalty Points.

This story was published in partnership with our sister publication, Southside Daily.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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