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New Jersey State Parks Celebrate First Day Hikes January 1, 2015

Image Courtesy of New Jersey State Parks

Image Courtesy of New Jersey State Parks

As part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative, New Jersey State Parks are offering 20 hikes, walks and interpretive tours; two bike rides; and a horseback ride to choose from. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature, learn some local history, and welcome the New Year with friends and family.

BASS RIVER STATE FOREST Bass River Twp

Bass River State Forest Sampler
Bass River State Forest
10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Start 2015 with the Bass River State Forest SAMPLER – a short hike that will highlight what’s available whenever you visit NJ’s first State Forest. The route will take you by a State natural area, Atlantic white cedar swamp, Pine Barrens lake, pitch pine/oak forest, historic picnic pavilions, swimming beach, campsites and lean-tos.

Hike info
2.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Children with responsible adult, welcome. Dogs on a leash are welcome
Cancelled if there’s heavy snow or rain. To check, call BRSF office on Dec 31, 2014 at (609) 296-1114, or call hike leader at (609) 272-1142 until 9 a.m. on Jan 1, 2015
Dress for the weather. Wear comfortable & appropriate footwear. Bring water and a snack.
Meeting Location: Bass River State Forest Office, 762 Stage Road Tuckerton, NJ 08087

Registration
No fee. Pre-registration is NOT required. For more information, call (609) 296-1114 (BRSF office)

BELLEPLAIN STATE FOREST
1st Day East Creek Trail Hike
Belleplain State Forest
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Join THEM for a 3.5 mile hike on the East Creek Trail. The hike will cover half the distance of the trail. Please dress for the weather and bring water. Dogs are welcome!

Hike info
3.5 miles.
Difficulty: Moderate.
No age restrictions. Bring water. Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes. Dogs on a leash are welcome.
Cancelled if extremely bad weather. Call (609) 374-0094 on 1/1 for info.
Meeting Location: Belleplain Forest Office

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration is NOT required. For more information: Call (609)861-2404

BELLEPLAIN STATE FOREST Woodbine

1st Day Mountain Bike Ride
Belleplain State Forest,
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The South Jersey Wheelmen will lead a mountain bike ride on the 10-mile trail at Belleplain State Forest. This is a technical trail with twists and turns through the forest. An option of less mileage is available.

Hike Info
10 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult.
Bring your own bike, bike-riding gear, especially a helmet a must! Some experience with mountain biking is necessary.
Cancelled if inclement weather. Call (609) 805-4073 on 1/1 for info.
Meeting Location: Office in Belleplain State Forest

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration is NOT required. For more information: Call (609)861-2404

CHEESEQUAKE STATE PARK Old Bridge

New Year Hike
Cheesequake State Park
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Enjoy a seasonal Nature Hike on the trails of Cheesequake State Park.

Hike Info
1.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Children 8 and up, with parents/guardians, are welcome. Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing, bring water.
Cancelled if icy conditions. To check, call (732) 566-3208.
Meeting Location: Cheesequake State Park Nature Center

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration is NOT required. For more information: Call (732) 566-3208

DELAWARE & RARITAN CANAL STATE PARK Kingston

First Day Hike at Mapleton Preserve
D&R Canal State Park/Mapleton Preserve
11 am -12:30 pm
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to walk more? Start the New Year off right with a loop hike in the Princeton Nursery Lands – through the fields on the other side of Mapleton Road, along the D&R Canal, and back to Mapleton Preserve. The walk begins at 11 am, whatever the weather. The walk is sponsored by Friends of Princeton Nursery Lands (www.fpnl.org) and will start at the Mapleton Preserve (address below) It is free and all are welcome.

Hike Info
1.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
All ages are welcome as are well-behaved dogs on leash. Dress for the weather, whatever it is.
Cancelled only if blizzard conditions. To check, call 609-683-0483 before 10:30 am
Meeting location: Parking lot of Mapleton Preserve, 145 Mapleton Road, Kingston, NJ 08528

Registration – No Fee. Pre-registration is NOT required. For more information: Call 609-683-0483, or check http://www.fpnl.org

FRANKLIN PARKER PRESERVE Chatsworth

New Year’s Grand Slam Ramble
Franklin Parker Preserve
10:00 a.m.
Spend a leisurely morning with local/regional specialists chatting about their fields of interest; birds, butterflies/moths, trees/shrubs & flowering plants, reptiles & amphibians, nature photographers, field naturalists. Share discussions with them about the results of their field studies at the Preserve during the past several years. Find out what a fascinating & unique place this is!

Hike Info
2.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Anyone with a genuine interest to learn about nature is welcome. Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing, bring cameras, water & snacks. Well behaved dogs welcome! Primitive restroom facilities
Cancelled if rain/ice. To check, call 609-412-3394 or 609-965-8040 before 3 pm on Dec. 31.
Meeting Location: On Route 563 at bridge. 2 miles south of Rt 532/Rt 563 Chatsworth. 8 miles north of the merge of Rt 679/Rt 563 Jenkins. Parking on both sides of roadway.

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration is requested. To register and/or for more information: Call: 609-412-3394

GROVER CLEVELAND BIRTHPLACE Caldwell
History Hike

11:00 a.m.
A guided walk from the Grover Cleveland Birthplace to Grover Cleveland Park, the Old Burying Grounds of the Presbyterian Church and back.

Hike Info
1 mile approx..
Difficulty: Interpretive Tour/Easy to Moderate
Children of 12 years and older with parents/guardians are welcome. Wear warm and comfortable footgear and clothing for walking outside in winter. Animals on a leash are welcome.
Cancelled if conditions dangerous/icy weather/extreme cold. To check, call 908-619-6651 after 9am on 1/1.
Meeting location: Grover Cleveland Birthplace, 207 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell NJ 07006
(973)226-0001.
Registration – No Fee. Pre-registration is suggested. To register and/or for more information: Call 908-236-2043 until 12/31/14.

KITTATINNY VALLEY STATE PARK/PAULINSKILL VALLEY RAIL TRAIL (Blairstown)

30th Annual New Year’s Day Hike
Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail (starting at Footbridge Park)
(extension of Kittatinny Valley State Park)
10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Paulinskill Valley Trail Committee, a Friends Organization of the Kittatinny Valley State Park, will host a 4 – 5 mike hike along the Paulinskill Trail. Meet at Footbridge Park at 10:00am. The trail is cinder-based which provides easy, level walking. Bring lunch and a drink.

Hike Info
4 – 5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Children with responsible adult are welcome. Wear sturdy footgear and weather appropriate clothing. Bring lunch and a drink. Bring cross-country skis and/or snow shoes if desired. Dogs on a leash are welcome.
Meeting Location: Footbridge Park, 1 Footbridge Lane, Blairstown, NJ 07825
NOTE: LEAVE FROM FOOTBRIDGE PARK – Directions Route 94, Blairstown, NJ. Take Route 80 to Exit 12, Route 521. Go north on Route 521 for 5 miles to Route 94 in Blairstown. Turn left onto Route 94 and take the second left into the park, designated by a small white sign with black lettering. GPS coordinates:
40.981345, -74.957191

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration IS REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information: Email pbk123@aol.com

KITTATINNY VALLEY STATE PARK/PAULINSKILL VALLEY RAIL TRAIL (Blairstown)

5th Annual New Year’s Day Horseback Ride
Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail at Halsey Farm
(extension of Kittatinny Valley State Park)
10:00 a.m. – in the saddle by 10:30 a.m.
Bring your own horse to the 5th annual First Day Horseback Ride on the cinder-based rail trail of the Paulinskill Valley Rail Trail under the jurisdiction of Kittatinny Valley State Park. RSVP needed to plan parking; first come, first served for parking. Bring a pot luck to share following ride.

Ride info
5.5 miles with longer options available
Difficulty: Easy
Bring your own horse!
Children 10 years and older with a riding adult welcome (Children must wear a helmet). Riding helmets are strongly advised. Wear weather-appropriate clothing; bring pot luck to share following ride.
Cancelled if icy conditions. To check, call (973)600-5997 on 1/1
Meeting Location: Halsey Farm, 141 Halsey Road, Newton, NJ 07860

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration IS REQUIRED due to trailer parking limitations. To register and/or for more information: Email gldg@embarqmail.com (preferred), or call (973)600-5997

MONMOUTH BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK Manalapan

Follow the Footsteps of Molly Pitcher
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Walk the ground where Molly Pitcher fought at Monmouth!
Meet Dr. David Martin, president of the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield at the Visitor Center for an overview of the Battle of Monmouth, then drive approx. 2 miles (in your own vehicle) to the northern section of the park and walk along the American lines to the position of Proctor’s Artillery and other sites associated with Molly Pitcher. Finish with a visit to the likely site of Molly Pitcher’s “well”. The length of this interpretive tour is subject to change depending on weather and conditions. The tour is over open fields and hills and includes detailed information about troop movements at the Battle of Monmouth. Afterwards cookies, donuts and hot beverages are available at the Visitor Center. The gift shop will be open.

Hike Info
2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate. Slow pace, with historical interpretation. Over open fields with uneven surfaces.
Children age 10 and over, with parent/guardian, are welcome. Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate, warm clothing, bring water/snacks
Cancelled if inclement weather. To check, call (609) 529-5356 on 1/1
Meeting Location: Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center, 16 Business Route 33, Manalapan, NJ 07726

Registration – No fee. Registration is required. To register and/or for more information: Call 609-448-6355, or email: dmartin@peddie.org

MONMOUTH BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK Manalapan

First Day Amble
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
12 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Looking for a slow, leisurely stroll along some accessible paths? This is the ‘hike’ for you! People of all abilities and ages are welcome to come out and enjoy the splendor of the outdoors on this first day of the year while sauntering the cinder circuit. This stroll IS suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. Hot beverages and snacks will be available, courtesy of the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield (small donation requested)

Hike Info
1 mile
Difficulty: Easy. Accessible trails
Everyone welcome. Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate, warm clothing. Dogs on leash are welcome outside, but only service animals may enter the building
Cancelled if trails slippery or icy. Call (732)462-9616 on 1/1
Meeting Location: Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration IS REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information: Call (732) 462-9616 stating the number of people in your party and a phone number.

MONMOUTH BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK Manalapan

First-Foot First Day Hike
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Start the New Year on the right foot with an invigorating 3-mile hike on the lesser-known trails of the park. Work off the holiday treats while enjoying some of the most beautiful countryside in Monmouth County. Explore the new visitor center before or after the hike. Hot beverages and snacks will be available, courtesy of the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield (small donation requested)

Hike info
3 miles on park trails
1 hour (approx)
Difficulty: Moderate. Invigorating pace. Early out option available at halfway point.
Children who would enjoy an energetic 3-mile walk are welcome. Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing, wear layers. Bring water and snacks. Dogs on a leash are welcome
Cancelled if dangerous conditions (ice, storms, etc.). To check, call (732)598-3688 on 1/1
NOTE: If trails are covered in snow, this hike CAN convert to a X-country ski excursion IF you bring your own gear. Information will be provided to all who pre-register.
Meeting Location: Monmouth Battlefield State Park Visitor Center

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration IS REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information: Call (732) 462-9616 stating the number of people in your party and a phone number.

RANCOCAS STATE PARK Hainesport

First Day Hike at Rancocas ~ Hike 1
Rancocas State Park
11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
On January 1, in all 50 states, state parks are offering First Day Hikes. In keeping with the tradition, join a Burlington County Park Ranger for a hike at Rancocas State Park. Begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike. Please register with Burlington County Parks.
Hike info
3 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Children ages 6 and up, with responsible adult, are welcome
No pets
Cancelled if weather inclement. Call park at (609) 265-5858 during business hours. On 1/1, call ranger cell (609)352-1018 if weather conditions are uncertain.
Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing. No restroom facilities
Meet at 800 Rancocas Ave, Hainesport. Go through open gate and down gravel driveway until you see a park ranger, park along the gravel driveway shoulder.

Registration
No fee. Pre-registration is REQUIRED. To register, please call Burlington County Parks office: (609) 265-5858 with your name, number attending, and phone number. Website: http://www.co.burlington.nj.us/parks

RANCOCAS STATE PARK Westampton

First Day Hike at Rancocas ~ Hike 2
Rancocas State Park, Westampton section
1pm – 3pm
On January 1, in all 50 states, state parks are offering First Day Hikes. In keeping with the tradition, join a Burlington County Park Ranger for a hike at Rancocas State Park. Begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike. Please register with Burlington County Parks.

Hike Info
3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Children ages 6 and up, with responsible adult, are welcome
No pets, please
Cancelled if weather inclement. Call park at (609) 265-5858 during business hours. On 1/1, call ranger cell (609) 352-1733 if weather conditions are uncertain.
Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing
Meet at the Rancocas Nature Center parking lot. 794 Rancocas Rd., Westampton

Registration
No fee.
No fee. Pre-registration is REQUIRED. To register, please call Burlington County Parks office: (609) 265-5858 with your name, number attending, and phone number. Website: http://www.co.burlington.nj.us/parks

RINGWOOD STATE PARK Ringwood

First Day Hike
Skylands Manor Section, Ringwood State Park
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Join State Park staff and Skylands Association volunteers for a self-guided, family-friendly hike in the Park’s woodlands. Weather permitting; we will climb to the Mt. Defiance overlook on the Halifax Trail and return. Meet at the Carriage House Visitor Center of Skylands Manor State Park between 1pm and 2pm where a map and hike directions will be provided. Staff will be on the trail if assistance if required. Allow 90 minutes for the hike.

Hike Info
1.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Children of any age, with parents/guardians, are welcome; small children may need to be carried. Wear sturdy footgear and weather appropriate clothing. No pets please.

Cancelled if severe weather conditions.
Meeting Location: Carriage House Visitor Center of Skylands Manor State Park

Registration – Pre-registration is NOT required. For more information: Call park office: (973) 962-7031

ROUND VALLEY RECREATION AREA Lebanon

New Year’s Hike
Round Valley Recreation Area
10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Whatever you did the night before, this is your chance to get outdoors in New Jersey and start 2015 off on the right foot. We will hike the 2.5 mile Water Trail and look for signs of new life as the year begins.

Hike Info
2.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Children with adults welcome. Recommend protective, comfortable footwear. Dress warm, wear comfortable shoes, protective to feet as terrain is all natural and not paved. Snacks and water if desired.
Cancelled if snow or ice on the ground. We will call you. If in doubt, please call the park office 908-236-6355 or Jim Tubman 908-963-0546
Meeting Location: RVRA South Lot (first right past park office)

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration IS REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information: Call park office 908-236-6355

WASHINGTON CROSSING STATE PARK Hopewell

From Ferry to Ferry – 100 Horses, 18 Cannon, and Some Wagons
Washington Crossing State Park
10:00 a.m.
A guided walk of the route taken by the “stuff” of the Continental Army on Christmas Night, 1776 across the Delaware River into New Jersey. Sights and stops include the Washington Crossing Bridge, The Nelson House, the Ferry Boat replica, the Pedestrian Bridge and Overlook, the Harvey Stone Barn, and the Johnson Ferry House.

Hike Info
1 mile
Difficulty: Interpretive Tour/Easy to Moderate
Children of 12 years and older with parents/guardians are welcome. Wear warm and comfortable footgear and clothing for walking outside in winter. Bring cameras, binoculars. Service animals only.
Cancelled if conditions dangerous/icy weather/extreme cold. To check, call 609-737-1437 on 12/31or early on 1/1.
Meeting location: Begin at McKonkey’s Ferry in WCHP, PA. (Hike will end at Washington Crossing State Park, NJ) Meet at The McConkey Ferry Inn on the corner of Route #532 and Route #32, Washington Crossing, PA 18977. There is some parking available on Route 532 just after the Inn and in other public lots nearby (within a block of the site). The Inn is immediately after the bridge on the right, coming from New Jersey.

Registration – No Fee. Pre-registration is required. To register and/or for more information: Call (609) 737-2515

WATERLOO VILLAGE Byram

Waterloo, A Place of New Beginnings
Waterloo Village Historic Site (Allamuchy Mountain State Park)
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Waterloo, A Place of New Beginnings is an outdoor, guided, interpreted 2 mile walk. Participants will hear about the many roles Waterloo has played throughout the history of New Jersey and the United States of America.

Hike Info
REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. HIKE IS FULL to CAPACITY

Registration – REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. HIKE IS FULL.

WHARTON STATE FOREST Hammonton

First Day Mountain Bike Ride
Wharton State Forest
10:30 a.m.
Bring your own bicycle and roll into the New Year out on tight winding wilderness trails in the New Jersey Pinelands. Venture into this storied land of the Jersey Devil and ghost towns long forgotten. Six miles of sweeping curves and perhaps to the unfamiliar a surprising amount of Ups and Downs await those that are ready for some brisk fun!

Bike Ride Info
6 miles
Difficulty: Easy pace, all dirt trails.
Minimum age: 13 yrs. Bring your own bike – one that is good for dirt trails. Bring and wear a bicycle helmet, eye protection, weather-appropriate clothing for bicycle riding, bring water, snacks (and lunch if you plan to picnic at Batsto).
Cancelled if dangerous/icy conditions. To check, call (609) 567-4559 or (609)561-0024.
Meeting Location: Batsto Village Parking Lot. (Back of Lot Next to Maintenance Yard Gate)

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration is strongly recommended. To register and/or for more information: Call Gil Mika at (609) 567- 4559, or e-mail him at Wharton.nature@comcast.net

WHARTON STATE FOREST/ATSION RECREATION AREA Shamong

New Year’s Day Hike 2014
Wharton State Forest/Atsion Recreation Area
10:00 a.m.
Start of the New Year with the Outdoor Club of South Jersey with a hike in our beautiful Pine Barrens. We will follow trails and sand roads and view some old bogs.

Hike Info
7-8 miles
Degree of difficulty: Moderate pace
Children with parents/guardians welcome. Paths are not wheelchair accessible. Wear sturdy footgear and weather appropriate clothing, bring lunch and beverage.
Cancellation info: http://meetup.com/Outdoor-Club-of-South-Jersey-Hiking (or Check ocsj.org)
Meeting Location: Field next to the Atsion Recreation Area Office, off Route 206.

Registration – No fee. No registration required. For more information: Call or email Christine, 609-351-2789/cdenneler157@yahoo.com, or Pat 856-767-8064/camperpat@hotmail.com. Additional info: Outdoor Club of South Jersey/Meetup for any changes due to weather. (http://meetup.com/Outdoor-Club-of-South-Jersey-Hiking)

WHARTON STATE FOREST Hammonton

Batsto Village Walk
Wharton State Forest
10:30 a.m.
Start your new year with a family history walk through Batsto Village.

Hike Info
1 – 1.5 miles (weather dependent)
Difficulty: Easy
Families welcome (Village tracks may not be comfortable for strollers). Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing, bring water. No pets
Cancelled if icy conditions. To check, call (856)275-6975.
Meeting Location: Batsto Visitor Center, Wharton State Forest

Registration – No fee. No pets. Pre-registration IS REQUIRED. To register and/or for more information: Email Batsto.history@comcast.net, or call (609) 704-1910. Include your name, number of people in your party, a cell phone number and email address.

MULTIPLE STATE PARK PROPERTIES and PUBLIC LANDS Harmony Twp.

Warren Highlands Trail and More!
Warren Highlands Trail, Multiple properties
8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Are you up for a hiking challenge? If you are, please join us for an interesting hike focusing mostly around the newly developed Warren Highlands Trail, in a section between Phillipsburg and Merrill Creek Reservoir. Scenic vistas, woods, farmlands, and more are showcased in this beautiful trail. This is a strenuous and long all-day hike.

Hike Info
15 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult. Long.
Children, accompanied by parents/guardians, who can hike 15 miles in the winter, are welcome. Wear sturdy footgear and weather-appropriate clothing. All participants need to be aware of the duration of the hike and prepare accordingly. Please bring water, snacks and lunch. Remember, we will be out and moving for at least 7 hours. Dogs on a leash are welcome.
Meeting Location: Merrill Creek Reservoir Visitor Center, 34 Merrill Creek Road, Stewartsville NJ.

Registration – No fee. Pre-registration IS REQUIRED.To register and/or for more information: Call hike leader (Mike Helbing) at (908)343-8374, or email him at sneezehorse@hotmail.com
Please call Mike if you are cancelling, or for more information. (908)343-8374

THE FOLLOWING NEW YEARS’ HIKE IS ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 3RD, 2015

PRINCETON BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK Princeton

Battle of Princeton Minute By Minute Walk (January 3, 2015)
Princeton Battlefield State Park
7:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. (on 1/3/2015)
Led by historian Will Tatum you learn of the January 3rd 1777 Battle of Princeton as you follow the flow of the battle minute by minute over the actual ground. The walk is over open, rolling grass fields and hills.

Hike Info
1.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Children of all ages, with parents/guardians, welcome. Wear sturdy footgear & weather-appropriate clothing. Dogs on leash welcome.
Cancelled if poor driving conditions. To check, call 609-921-0074 on 1/2/15
Meeting Location: Thomas Clarke House, Princeton Battlefield State Park

Registration
No fee. Registration is NOT required. For more information: Call 609-921-0074.
NOTE: This hike is on January 3, 2015.

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PEEPSFEST is almost here! Win Trip to Universal Studios Hollywood!

Gail A Sisolak Copyright 2014.

Gail A Sisolak Copyright 2014.

Just in case you haven’t had enough sweetness during you holiday season, head out to the SteelStacks in Bethlehem, PA to enjoy all things Peeps at the PEEPSFEST™. Enjoy this dynamic, interactive family event highlighting the beloved marshmallow confection. PEEPSFEST™ features two days of live music, art and PEEPS®-related programming. The event, presented by Just Born, Inc., the company that makes PEEPS®, and ArtsQuest, culminates Dec. 31 at 5:15 p.m. with the poplar PEEPS® Chick and fireworks to welcome the New Year!

December 30 – December 31, 2014 • view days & times
Venue: ArtsQuest Center
Price: Free (some activities may include a fee)
SteelStacks, First Street and Founders Way
Phone: (610) 332-3378
http://www.steelstacks.org/event/142/peepsfest-trade/#daystimes

Plus, one lucky entry will win a trip for four to experience THE DESPICABLE ME® MINION MAYHEM RIDE at Universal Studios Hollywood.

THE GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE INCLUDES:

A TRIP FOR 4
◾Round-trip airfare
◾3 day, 2-night stay
◾Tickets and front of line passes to Universal Studios Hollywood

http://www.marshmallowpeeps.com/promotions/minion-mayhem#

PEEPSFEST™ Schedule

Tuesday, December 30

Capital BlueCross Creativity Commons
(1st floor ArtsQuest Center)
The PEEPS & Q’s Performance Series is presented by The Lesson Center.
• 10am – 3pm • Big Jeff and Magician – Eddy Ray
•3-4pm • Diorama Winner Announce
•10am – 4:00pm • NEW! The Lesson Center
Mini music lesson demonstrations Thelessoncenter.com

Fowler Blast Furnace Room
(2nd floor ArtsQuest Center)
•10am – 4pm • NEW! Dutch Springs
Kids activities including Rub a Dub Dub – Scuba in a Tub, PEEPS(R) Spaghetti Build and meet a Dog Sled team member. Complete the Dutch Springs word scramble map for a free Just Born sample!

Loft
(2nd floor ArtsQuest Center)
•10am – 4pm • NEW! Pinebrook Family Answers
Temporary tattoos and stickers
•10am – 4pm • NEW! Concern Professional Services
Snowman activity papers and bean bag toss
•10am – 4pm • The Literacy Center
Bookmark coloring activity
•10am – 4pm • Wildlands Conservancy
Fairy and wizard wand making
•10am – 4pm • FLYLVIA
FLYLVIA balsa wood planes and 4 ticket giveaways

Lee & Stella Yee Family Connect Zone
(1st floor ArtsQuest Center)
•10am – 4pm • Face Painting by Pleasant Valley Promotions
Price varies by design.
•10am – 4pm • NEW! Ed Youtz, Wood Turner
Spinning tops for kids; $5 per top.
•10am – 4pm • Five Star Home Foods
•10am – 4pm • NEW! Try Dye
Make your own Tie Dye Creations $10-$15
•10am – 4pm • Expanded PEEPSFEST™ Merchandise Area

Musikfest Café™
(3rd floor ArtsQuest Center)
•10am – 4pm • Family Disco Lounge feat. Baze and His Silly Friends
$5 for ages 17 and under, free for adults with ticketed kids. Dance the afternoon away as the Musikfest Café is transformed into a disco lounge. You’ll enjoy a family-friendly DJ, bounce house, balloon art by Tootsee and Friends & more.

Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas
(1st floor ArtsQuest Center)
•10:30am – 3:00pm • KIDS CINEMA sponsored by Spark Orthodontics
◦ Candy Craze: How PEEPS® Are Made video (10:30am, 12:00pm, 12:30 pm, 2:00pm, 2:30pm)
◦PBS’ Sesame Street Celebrates New Year’s Eve Around the World (11:00am, 1pm, 3pm)

SteelStacks Campus
•10 – 4pm • PEEPS® Scavenger Hunt
Forms located at the ArtsQuest Center 1st floor information desk
Kids and adults alike are invited to search the PEEPSFEST™ campus including the ArtsQuest Center and PBS 39 for hidden PEEPS® Chicks. Once they’re all found and the race numbers they are wearing are recorded, families can turn in their completed scavenger hunt form and they’ll be entered into a drawing to win a PEEPS & COMPANY® $30 Gift Certificate.

Air Products Town Square
•10am – 4pm • Make Your Own PEEPS® S’mores
1 S’mores Kit, $2 | 3 S’mores Kits, $5
•10am – 4pm • PEEPSMOBILE®
Guess the weight of the PEEPSMOBILE®. Be the closest to the actual weight and you’ll win a PEEPS & COMPANY® $30 Gift Certificate!
•10am – 4pm • St. Luke’s University Health Network
Join St. Luke’s nurses on the HealthStar van to make your own first aid kit.
•10am – 4pm • PEEPS® Chick Ice Sculpture
•10am – 4pm • NEW! Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Hockey shoot inflatable and appearances by meLVin.

PBS39
•10am – 4pm • PEEPS® Diorama Competition (1st floor)
Vote for your favorite PEEPS® Diorama.

Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks
•1pm, 2pm, 3pm • NEW! Bethlehem Mounted Police
Appearances by Pharoah & Raven; with a special presentation on the horses.

Wednesday, December 31

Capital BlueCross Creativity Commons
(1st floor ArtsQuest Center)
The PEEPS & Q’s Performance Series is presented by The Lesson Center.
•10am – 3pm • Dave Fry and Magician – Eddy Ray
•10am – 4:30pm • NEW! The Lesson Center
Mini music lesson demonstrations Thelessoncenter.com

Fowler Blast Furnace Room
(2nd floor ArtsQuest Center)
•10am – 4:30pm • NEW! Dutch Springs
Kids activities including Rub a Dub Dub – Scuba in a Tub, PEEPS(R) Spaghetti Build and meet a Dog Sled team member. Complete the Dutch Springs word scramble map for a free Just Born sample!

Loft (2nd floor ArtsQuest Center)

•10am – 4:30pm • Wildlands Conservancy
Fairy and wizard wand making
•10am – 4:30pm • Allentown Art Museum
Holiday exhibition themed hands-on activity
•10am – 4:30pm • FLYLVIA
FLYLVIA balsa wood planes and 4 ticket giveaways

Lee & Stella Yee Family Connect Zone
(1st floor ArtsQuest Center)
•10am – 4:30pm • Face Painting by Pleasant Valley Promotions
Price varies by design.
•10am – 4:30pm • NEW! Ed Youtz, Wood Turner
Spinning tops for kids; $5 per top.
•10am – 4:30pm • Five Star Home Foods
•10am – 4:30pm • NEW! Try Dye
Make your own Tie Dye Creations $10-$15
•10am – 4:30pm • Expanded PEEPSFEST™ Merchandise Area

Musikfest Café™ (3rd floor ArtsQuest Center )
•10am – 4:30pm • Family Disco Lounge feat. Little Rockers Band
$5 for ages 17 and under, free for adults with ticketed kids. Dance the afternoon away as the Musikfest Café is transformed into a disco lounge. You’ll enjoy a family-friendly DJ, bounce house, balloon art by Tootsee and Friends & more.

Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas
(1st floor ArtsQuest Center)
•10:30am – 3:00pm • KIDS CINEMA sponsored by Spark Orthodontics
◦Candy Craze: How PEEPS® Are Made video (10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm)
◦PBS’ Sesame Street Celebrates New Year’s Eve Around the World (11am, 3pm)
•12:10, 1:10, 2:10pm • Lehigh Valley Zoo presentation

SteelStacks Campus
•10 – 4:30pm • PEEPS® Scavenger Hunt
Forms located at the ArtsQuest Center 1st floor information desk
Kids and adults alike are invited to search the PEEPSFEST™ campus including the ArtsQuest Center and PBS 39 for hidden PEEPS® Chicks. Once they’re all found and the race numbers they are wearing are recorded, families can turn in their completed scavenger hunt form and they’ll be entered into a drawing to win a PEEPS & COMPANY® $30 Gift Certificate.

•12:30pm • Mascot Dash
Sponsored by Red Robin
Featuring popular area mascots! Starts at the ArtsQuest Center.
•12:40pm • Kids Fun Run
Sponsored by Red Robin
Different age groups compete in a 50 yard dash. Tickets can be purchased on site day of event, $10 per child. Begins at the ArtsQuest Center.

•1pm • PEEPSFEST™ 5K (Starts at the ArtsQuest Center)
Registration/Packet pickup begins at noon
Sponsored by St. Luke’s University Health Network and Red Robin
Run, jog, or walk your way into the New Year with the PEEPSFEST™ 5K. Prizes awarded to the overall winners and in each age category. The first 500 to register receive a long-sleeved race shirt and goodie bag.

Air Products Town Square
•10am – 4:30pm • Make Your Own PEEPS® S’mores
1 S’mores Kit, $2 | 3 S’mores Kits, $5
•10am – 4:30pm • PEEPSMOBILE®
Guess the weight of the PEEPSMOBILE®. Be the closest to the actual weight and you’ll win a PEEPS & COMPANY® $30 Gift Certificate!
•10am – 4:30pm • St. Luke’s University Health Network
Join St. Luke’s nurses on the HealthStar van to make your own first aid kit.
•10am – 4:30pm • NEW! Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Hockey shoot inflatable and appearances by meLVin.
•10am – 4:30pm • PEEPS® Diorama Competition (1st floor)
Vote for your favorite PEEPS® Diorama.

Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks
•1pm, 2pm, 3pm • NEW! Bethlehem Mounted Police
Appearances by Pharoah & Raven; with a special presentation on the horses.
•4:30pm • PEEPS® New Year’s Eve Party
Kid friendly rock band We Kids Rock gets the PEEPS® party started and pumped up for the PEEPS® Chick Drop.
•5:15pm • PEEPS® Chick Drop and Fireworks
Join us as we celebrate this uniquely Bethlehem tradition – the dropping of a 4.5-foot tall, 85 lb. lighted PEEPS® Chick and fireworks to welcome in the New Year!


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Maryland State Park First Day Hikes 2015

Image Courtesy of Maryland State Parks

Image Courtesy of Maryland State Parks

Maryland State Parks First Day Hikes 2015

Would you like to start the New Year off with a new tradition?

On January 1st Maryland State Parks are leading 27 different First Day Hikes at parks across Maryland. The hikes are free, and there is sure to be one for your activity level.

Dogs are welcome at many hikes! Be sure to RSVP so the rangers know who to expect!
http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/firstdayhikes.aspx

Image Courtesy of Maryland State Parks

Image Courtesy of Maryland State Parks

Assateague State Park First Day Hike

Ilia Fehrer / Judy Johnson Memorial Beach Walk

Time of Event: 1 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the Assateague State Park concession building

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families of all ages. The guided hike will take place on the beach toward the north end of the island.

Length of Trail: One mile round trip

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Hot chocolate will be served on the concession deck following the walk.
RSVP: Call Assateague State Park at 410-641-1094 to register

Additional Information: Join Ranger Bill Yates and Volunteer Interpreter Chris Seymour for this year’s hike “Finding your own Island?”

Assateague’s eco-zones provide unique ways to experience the island. While the ocean provides one of the largest habitats around the island, there are many other on the interior of the island you may not realize exist. You’ll explore the island from its sandy beach to its salty marshes exploring each habitat as its own mini island and taking a moment to realize that they offer unique experiences for humans that sit there a spell and absorb the sights and sounds of that particular zone.

The first Assateague Beach Walk was held on January 1, 1970. The newly formed Committee to Preserve Assateague Island hosted the inaugural event to draw attention to Assateague’s wild beauty. The committee was created by Ilia Fehrer, Judy Johnson and a few friends who had organized to rally against early plans for development of Assateague Island, which included a 25-mile highway and a number of commercial enterprises, and the Ocean Beach resort, much like Ocean City. A series of 1962 nor-easters interrupted construction, and eventually National and State Parks were established. The committee became the organization, Assateague Coastal Trust, who along with Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague State Park sponsor the New Year’s Day walk each year.

Cedarville State Forest First Day Hike
A Winter Hike in the Forest

Time of Event: 1 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the park’s headquarters office parking lot on Bee Oak Road.

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families.

Minimum Age for Children: Age 5, all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Length of Trail: Three miles on the Orange and White Trails. Hike will last approximately 1.5 hours.

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

RSVP: Call Cedarville State Forest at 301-888-1410 to register

Additional Information: Join the Friends of Cedarville State Forest on a steady winter hike in the forest and make a fresh start in the new year. Hot chocolate and refreshments will be provided in the headquarters office after the hike.

Cunningham Falls State Park First Day Hike
Lower Falls Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m.

Meeting Location: Call the park at 301-271-7574 to register and for details on the meeting location.

Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families.

Minimum Age for Children: None. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Length of Trail: 1 mile round trip

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for
drinking.

RSVP: Call Cunningham Falls State Park at 301-271-7574 to register

Additional Information: Follow a stone dust path, smooth enough for jogging-style strollers, all the way to Maryland’s longest cascading waterfall. Allow 20 minutes at the falls for photos, rest and relaxation.

Dan’s Mountain State Park First Day Hike
A Sunset on a New Year

Time of Event: 4 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the fishing pond parking lot on Water Station Run Road

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike along farm roads and single-track trail. This trail contains natural features that become more challenging when ice and snow are present.

Length of Trail: Approximately 1 mile.

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the outdoors, and water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Dan’s Mountain State Park at 301-895-5453

Additional Information: Complete your New Year’s Day with a sunset hike along the Dye School Trail. Dusk on Dan’s Mountain is ideal for quiet reflection and wildlife viewing. A ranger will lead the group and remark on the natural and cultural history of the park. If weather permits, participants can drive to the top of the park on Recreation Road to witness an Appalachian sunset. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

Deep Creek Lake State Park First Day Hike
Hike the Discovery Center

Time of Event: 10 a.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the Discovery Center

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families of all ages. The guided hike will take place in and around the Discovery Center mainly dictated by the weather of the day.

Minimum age for kids: Age 5

Length of Trail: 1 mile round trip.

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the outdoors should the weather permit, and can bring camera and binoculars. Hot chocolate will be served at the Discovery Center following the walk.

RSVP: Call Deep Creek Lake State Park at 301-387-7067 to let us know you are going to join us!

Additional Information: Join naturalists Sam Dixon and Alana Morgan as you “Hike the Discovery Center.” Tour our displays, discover fossils in our building, tracks in our walls, tour the indoor mine, meet animals up close, venture outside to our aviary. If the weather permits, we will walk to the beach and back discovering the uniqueness of nature in winter.

Elk Neck State Park First Day Hike
Beaver Marsh!

Time of Event: 1 to 3 p.m.

Meeting Location: Beaver Marsh trailhead in the Rogue’s Harbor area

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike for families

Length of Trail: Approximately 2 miles

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Elk Neck State Park at 410-287-5333

Additional Information: Join a park ranger on an invigorating two mile trek on the Beaver Marsh Trail, exploring upland forests and marshy habitats along the way.

Fair Hill NRMA First Day Hike

Time of Event: 11 a.m. Hike may cover some rocky and steep terrain

Meeting Location: Covered Bridge Parking Lot

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families of all ages

Length of Trail: 4 miles round trip

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Fair Hill NRMA at 410-398-1246

Additional Information: Set to reconnect with the natural world as we journey to and from Centre School, a one room schoolhouse that has been restored and was last used in 1924. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

Fort Frederick State Park First Day Hike
The Civil War comes to “old Fort Frederick”

Time of Event: 11 a.m. Hike will last approximately 2 hours

Meeting Location: Fort Frederick State Park Visitor Center

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families

Length of Trail: Approximately 2 miles

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Fort Frederick State Park at 301-842-2155

Additional Information: Join a park ranger and learn about the activities of the 1st Maryland Infantry, USA during the winter of 1861-1862 while they garrisoned “old Fort Frederick.” While stationed there, the 1st was involved in several skirmishes with Confederate troops including Christmas Day 1961 and New Year’s Day 1862. Other aspects of the war at the fort will be discussed as well.

Gambrill State Park First Day Hike
Green and Black Locust Trails

Time of Event: 4 p.m. Hike is not stroller accessible and not appropriate for adults carrying children in backpacks.

Meeting Location: Call Gambrill State Park at 301-271-7574 to RSVP and for meeting location.

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike.

Length of Trail: 1/2 mile round trip

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking, and a camera.

RSVP: Reservations are recommended. Call Gambrill State Park at 301-271-7574

Additional Information: Join a Park Ranger on the Green and Black Locust Trails in the High Knob area, which follow the contour of the mountain to three beautiful overlooks. Take advantage of the rare chance to view these spots at sunset. Make sure to bring your camera.

Greenbrier State Park First Day Hike
Winter Wonderland Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m. Hike around the lake will last approximately 1.5 hours

Meeting Location: Meet at the Greenbrier Visitor Center

Degree of Difficulty: We are offering two hikes this year – an easy hike around the lake for all ages and a moderate-to-strenuous, hilly hike for more experienced hikers

Length of Trail: The lakeside hike is about 1.5 miles, which will take about 1.5 hours and the more strenuous hike is about 3 miles and will last 2-3 hours

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking, and a camera (optional).

RSVP: Reservations are recommended. Call Greenbrier State Park at 301-791-4767

Additional Information: Join Park Rangers on New Year’s Day at Greenbrier State Park for a “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” hike around the lake. Two hikes will be offered this year. Take the easy lakeside trail hike and learn about the lake, trees and wildlife, including bald eagles, white-tailed deer, squirrels, chipmunks and red-tailed hawks that make their habitat in and around the state park. More experienced hikers can take the 2-3 hour, 3-mile hike on Greenbrier trails and enjoy a steady hike through the woods in the winter.

Gunpowder Falls State Park First Day Hike
Hike at Jerusalem Mill

Time of Event: 1 to 3 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the Blacksmith Shop in Jerusalem Village

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families. This trail contains natural features that become more challenging when ice and snow are present.

Length of Trail: Approximately 1.75 miles

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Gunpowder Falls State Park at 410-592-2897

Additional Information: The Friends of Jerusalem Mill will lead hikers along the Little Gunpowder Falls. The hike will cover some wet or uneven terrain. Meet at the Blacksmith Shop in Jerusalem for refreshments before the hike. Please call to register.

Herrington Manor State Park First Day Hike
Start the New year with Mystery

Time of Event: 1 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the Herrington Manor Ranger Station. Hikers will caravan to the trailhead located approximately 3.5 miles from the Ranger Station.

Degree of Difficulty: A moderate hike for families. Recommended for ages 7 and above.

Length of Trail: 1.5 miles

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Herrington Manor State Park at 301-334-9180

Additional Information: Hike with a park ranger through the state forest to one of the best kept secrets in Garrett County. This hike will feature a unique destination that is definitely high on the COOL factor. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

Janes Island State Park First Day Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at camper check-in lot near the park store and nature center

Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families.

Length of Trail: 2 miles

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Janes Island State Park at 410-968-1565

Additional Information: Join park rangers for a leisurely hike through the park grounds in search of deer, turkeys and bald eagles. The hike includes views of some of the park’s 30 miles of water trails, a reclaimed agricultural field and a portion of the campground.

New Germany State Park First Day Hike
Healthy Parks, Healthy Hemlocks, Healthy You!

Time of Event: 1 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the New Germany Lake House

Degree of Difficulty: A moderate loop hike with approximately 120 feet of elevation change along a singletrack trail. A short section of the hike will be on a paved road. The hike should take no longer than an hour to complete.

Length of Trail: 1.5 miles

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Weather depending, snowshoes are recommended and available to rent.

RSVP: Call New Germany State Park at 301-895-5453

Additional Information: Start your New Year off right with an invigorating winter hike that either jump-starts or supports your healthy lifestyle. A ranger will lead hikers along trails showcasing park history, scenic views of Poplar Lick Run, and lush hemlock forests. Well behaved dogs on a leash are welcome.

Patapsco Valley State Park
Hike for Your Health at Hollofield

Time of Event: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Meeting Location: Hollofield – Headquarters parking lot

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families. Recommended for children ages 12 and older

Length of Trail: Approximately 1 mile

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Patapsco Valley State Park at 410-461-5005

Additional Information: Start the New Year off healthy in your own back yard. Learn how to get the most out of your hike and live a healthier lifestyle. This is the first in a series of ranger lead “Hike For Your Health” to show guests different trails throughout the park.

Patapsco Valley State Park
Orange Grove History and Cascade Falls Trail Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Meeting Location: Orange Grove parking lot

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to dfficult hike

Length of Trail: Approximately 2.5 miles

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Patapsco Valley State Park at 410-461-5005

Additional Information: Hike the Cascade Falls loop and learn about the history of Orange Grove, the mill town, flour mill, swinging bridge, Civilian Conservation Corps and camping in the 1920’s. This hike will be moderately difficult so wear sturdy boots.


Patapsco Valley State Park
Sunrise Hike at Hollofield Overlook

Time of Event: 6:45 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Meeting Location: Hollofield parking lot to the right of the ranger station

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families

Length of Trail: Approximately 1 mile
Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Patapsco Valley State Park at 410-461-5005 or Mark Jennys at 410-917-2239

Additional Information: Meet at the Patapsco Valley State Park State Park Hollofield area before sunrise to photograph the sunrise of the new year. The class discusses the dangers of photography in direct sunlight. After the photo shoot you will learn how to process your photos. Tripods are recommended but optional. Registration is required.

Pocomoke River State Park First Day Hike

Time of event: 10 a.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the Shad Landing Administration Building

Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for all ages

Length of Trail: 2 miles round trip

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and sturdy hiking shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Pocomoke River State Park at 410-632-2566

Additional Information: Where can you experience native stands of loblolly pines, stands of mixed pine/hardwoods, and a cypress swamp all in a 2 mile trip? Right on Maryland’s Eastern Shore at Pocomoke River State Park. Join a ranger and travel down the Hudson Tract to see the Cypress swamp in winter. You may even encounter an overwintering Bald Eagle or catch a glimpse of a Wild Turkey. This is a great way to start a New Year.

Rocky Gap State Park First Day Hike
Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Time of Event: 2 p.m.

Meeting Location: Rocky Gap State Park Nature Center parking lot

Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families

Length of Trail: 1 mile

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and encouraged to bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Rocky Gap State Park at 301-722-1480

Additional Information: Rocky Gap State Park and the American Cancer Society invite you to join us for our annual First Day Hike. This partnership promotes healthy lifestyles and the importance of daily physical activity. Donations are $5 per person with children 12 and under free. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Allegany County, which helps raise funds for cancer research and patient programs. Dogs on a leash are welcome.


Sandy Point State Park First Day Hike
Hound-dog Hike

Time of Event: 10 a.m.

Meeting Location: East Beach shelter area

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families

Length of Trail: approximately 1 mile
Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and encouraged to bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Sandy Point State Park at 410-974-2149

Additional Information: There’s nothing better to help get your year started on the right path like a hike with your favorite K-9 along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Hikers without pets are welcome. After the hike toast the New Year with sparkling cider and treats for your pet.

Seneca Creek State Park First Day Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the park office

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for all ages

Length of Trail: 1.5 miles round trip

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and encouraged to bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Seneca Creek State Park at 301-924-2127 to let us know you are coming

Additional Information: Join the rangers of Seneca Creek State Park for a hike near the historical Woodlands area of the park. The hike will follow a portion of Great Seneca Creek for some fantastic photo opportunities. Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome. Afterward, warm up with hot cocoa in the park office.

Seneca Creek State Park First Day Bike Hike

Time of Event: 1 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the park office

Degree of Difficulty: Easy for all ages

Length of Trail: 1.5 miles round trip

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to bring their own bike, helmet and water for drinking, and to dress appropriate for the weather.

RSVP: Call Seneca Creek State Park at 301-924-2127 to let us know you are coming

Additional Information: Start the New Year with a leisurely bike ride on the roads of Seneca Creek State Park. We will view the 90-acre lake and see evidence of some of the winter critters that live in the area. Afterward, warm up with hot cocoa in the park office. Please note: this event is weather-dependent. If the roads are deemed unsafe by park staff, registrants may participate in the hike that is scheduled at the same location and time.

Smallwood State Park First Day Hike
Sunrise at Smallwood

Time of Event: 7 a.m.

Meeting Location: Sweden Point Discovery Center

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate hike for families
Length of Trail: 2.5 miles round trip

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather and encouraged to bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Smallwood State Park at 301-743-7613

Additional Information: Join a park ranger on a brisk nature hike through the park exploring beaver and duck habitats. After the hike enjoy warm beverages and danish. This trail is stoller accessible, but jogging strollers are highly recommended. Dogs on a leash are welcome in the park, but are not permitted in the Discovery Center.


St. Mary’s River State Park First Day Hike
A New Year for Nature

Time of Event: 10 a.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the parking lot of St. Mary’s River State Park

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike along the shoreline of St. Mary’s Lake

Length of Trail: 3 to 4 miles

Things to Bring: Participants should come prepared to be outside for an extended period of time in possibly very cold and windy weather conditions. Please bring water for drinking and wear sturdy shoes. Bring a camera to remember the beautiful scenery.

RSVP: Call St. Mary’s River State Park at 301-872-5688

Additional Information: Start the year off right and reconnect with nature as you journey along the lakeside with a park ranger. The forested area around the lake provides an excellent opportunity to catch a look at the local wildlife. The guided portion of the hike will be about 3 miles of the 7.5 mile loop; you can return with the ranger or continue the trail at your own pace and leisure. Dogs on a leash are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Susquehanna State Park First Day Hike
Explore the Greenway

Time of Event: Noon

Meeting Location: Meet at Fisherman’s Park below the Conowingo Dam at the end of Shures Landing Road.

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for families

Length of Trail: 2 miles

Things to bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking.

RSVP: Call Susquehanna State Park at 410-557-7994

Additional Information: Start your New Year off right with fantastic views of the Susquehanna River. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

Tawes Garden First Day Hike
A Winter Walk Through “Maryland in Miniature”

Time of Event: 1 p.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the Garden’s weekend entrance on Herbert M. Sachs Drive between the Courts of Appeals building and the Maryland
Judicial Center.

Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for families with children of any age. Trail is a combination of paving, boardwalk and pavers. This hike is stroller friendly and well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome.

Length of Trail: Approximately 1/2 half mile round trip.

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow, cold). Bring along drinking water and binoculars for bird spotting. Hot cocoa will be served after the walk.

RSVP: Reservations are recommended. Call Tawes Garden at 410-260-8189

Additional Information: Get your New Year off to a refreshing start in this urban green space in downtown Annapolis. Join the park ranger and a naturalist for a leisurely walk through the Maryland Park Service’s only public garden and arboretum. You’ll hear how this once inhospitable lot was transformed to the 5-acre oasis it is today. We’ll scout for winter songbirds and other wildlife among areas that demonstrate Maryland’s native mountain west, central piedmont and coastal plain regions.

Tuckahoe State Park First Day Hike
Holiday Walk Up With Morning Sunshine

Time of Event: 11 a.m.

Meeting Location: Meet at the Lake Pavilion

Degree of Difficulty: Easy hike for all ages

Length of Trail: 2 miles

Things to Bring: Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking, and a camera (optional).

RSVP: Call Tuckahoe State Park at 410-820-1668

Additional Information: Hike will begin along the lake’s edge with great views of wildlife (maybe a bald eagle or two!) before heading into the woods with views of flooded woodlands and mature forests. Topics will include changing forests and wildlife habitats. The hike will last approximately 1.5 hours.


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The Ultimate Pumpkin Experience in Kenova, WV; October 24 & 25, 2014

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

Many people drive miles to see elaborate Christmas displays, but Kenova West Virginia lights up the night for another holiday celebration—Halloween. In 1978, the Pumpkin House tradition began with only 5 pumpkins carved for a Halloween display. Since then, the number of hand-carved pumpkins has grown to 3,000. At night, the lights can be seen from across the river in Ohio.

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

Every Halloween season, the house at 748 Beech Street in Kenova, West Virginia is transformed into the Great Pumpkin House. The owner, Ric Griffith and hundreds of other volunteers carve thousands of pumpkins for display at his home every Halloween.

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

Image Courtesy of C-K Autumn Fest, Inc.

This illuminated wonder, which welcomes nearly 30,000 visitors each year, takes center stage at a Victorian house, dating back to 1891, at 748 Beech Street. Formerly, the house was notable as a stopping place for President Grover Cleveland. Now, it’s famous the number of glowing jack-o’-lanterns.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/C-K-AutumnFest-Inc/373688296037794?ref=stream


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Pymatuning Fall Spooktackular in PA

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The Pymatuning State Park in Pymatuning, PA hosts their Fall Spooktackular this weekend, October 10 & 11, 2014. This year’s event will be family oriented. They are planning a night hike, movie, kids craft; costume contest for kids, pets, and adults, trick-or-treat, site decoration contest, non-scare hayrides, and bonfire with music. There will also be two new events related to pumpkins, the Pumpkin Derby and the Pumpkin Slingshot. The event is open to the public and there is no parking or entrance fee.

Some individual events have a small fee to participate others are free.

Food, beverages, and pumpkins will be for sale.

Events with a fee are the Pumpkin Derby, Pumpkin Slingshot, Hayrides and Kids Craft.

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/pymatuningstatepark


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Zombie Shoot-Out at WV Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

West Virginia Penitentiary has added a thrilling new attraction to the fall line-up of fun with their Zombie Paintball. Zombies are loose on the South Yard, and it’s up to you to save the town at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV. Grab one of their stationary paintball guns and do your best with live, unarmed zombie targets. From 7:00 p.m. until closing, zombies will be waiting for you. Zombie Paintball runs concurrently with the Dungeon of Horrors and the North Walk.

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

The Dungeon of Horrors is filled with new and thrilling experiences this year. Over 10,000 people each year are introduced to one of the scariest places behind bars. In The Dungeon of Horrors you can experience the fright of being locked in a cell, the fear of being lost in a maze, and the terror of an eerie walk through the dungeon of horrors. Will you manage to keep up with your group and not get separated? Do you have what it takes to make it through? Don’t worry, our actors will be there to help you along. (Snicker.) Warnings and rules apply; take them seriously. Especially the one about live bats.

The North Walk will take you through the oldest part of the former West Virginia Penitentiary. It is also known as the area with the most paranormal activity, a place where murders, violence and brutality were common everyday occurrences. This was where the most dangerous inmates were housed, the maximum security area, North Hall; the inmates called it – The Alamo.

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

Image Courtesy of West Virginia Penitentiary

You will enter this part of the prison through the “Administration Building” and the “wheel” – these areas have been closed to the public for years and only opened for the Haunted House season. The North Walk is not an attraction, but a flashlight tour of an area that was once considered one of the bloodiest institutions in the nation.

There are no actors on the North Walk. It’s just your group, your tour guide, a flashlight, and a few tales from the past. The areas that you will visit include: North Hall, the Boiler Room, The Infirmary, and The Psych Ward.

If these events sound a little too intense for the younger members of your family, the WV Penitentiary has a Kid’s Night on Monday, October 27th, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Designed for children ages 1 – 6, the trick-or-treat style event, allows children to spend time gathering goodies from several tables, playing games, taking pictures on a fire truck, face painting, and having fun.

Family Night, October 28th, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. is designed for Kids ages 7-12. The “Lil Dungeon of Horrors” is a scaled-down version of the haunted house specifically designed for younger children that might not be ready for the “full” Dungeon. They do not recommend anyone under the age of 13 to attend the regular season Dungeon of Horrors.

The actors will NOT be in full costume and will respect smaller haunted house attendees. Use the phrase “Monster Be Good”, if it gets too scary!

http://www.wvpentours.com/tickets.htm


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Harry Potter Festival in Philadelphia, PA

The Harry Potter Festival transforms Chestnut Hill into a magical world on Friday, October 17 and Saturday, October 18. (Photo courtesy Chestnut Hill Business Association)

The Harry Potter Festival transforms Chestnut Hill into a magical world on Friday, October 17 and Saturday, October 18. (Photo courtesy Chestnut Hill Business Association)

Mid Atlantic Harry Potter fans don’t need to travel to Orlando, Florida or England to get their Harry Potter fix. On October 17-18, the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA will play host to a weekend’s worth of spellbinding events at the Harry Potter Festival , where there will be wizardry and wonder in the air.

Enjoy an enchanting weekend of wizards, potions, spells, scavenger hunts, falconry, wizard chess, parades and more.

The popular event features familiar characters from the world of Harry Potter, special activities for fans of all ages, live entertainment, food and more. Hunt for Horcruxes, watch local colleges face-off at a Quidditch tournament and more during the magical weekend celebration.

The 4th Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Quidditch Tournament is one of the highlights of the annual Harry Potter Festival Weekend in Chestnut Hill. (Photo courtesy Chestnut Hill College)

The 4th Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Love Quidditch Tournament is one of the highlights of the annual Harry Potter Festival Weekend in Chestnut Hill. (Photo courtesy Chestnut Hill College)

Beyond flavors from the world of Harry Potter, Chestnut Hill neighborhood businesses and shops on and around Germantown Avenue also transform into familiar locales from Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade like Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheeezes and many more.

On Friday, the weekend begins with the official Harry Potter Conference with presentations that are free and open to the public from 3 to 5 p.m.

After the literary events, starting at 7 p.m., pop in and out of pubs on a Chestnut Hill Pub Crawl.

Tickets for the pub crawl go on sale Wednesday, October 1; scoop up passes quickly since the crawl has sold out in past years.

Harry Potter Festival Schedule

Friday, October 17

Harry Potter Conference at Chestnut Hill College

The Pub Crawl begins at 7:00 p.m. and is a ticketed event. Tickets go on sale October 1st.

The Bales of Cornwall Hay Maze at Woodmere Art Museum

Film Showing: Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone at Teenagers. Inc. Center

Saturday, October 18

Harry Potter Festival & Quidditch Tournament

The Quidditch Tournament begins at 10 a.m. at Chestnut Hill College

9:45 a.m.-Opening Ceremony: Chestnut Hill West Septa Station with The Hogwarts Express
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

•The “Hunt for the Horcrux” activity

•The Bales of Cornwall Hay Maze at Woodmere Art Museum
Scarecrow Walk at Morris Arboretum

•Complimentary Knight Bus Trolley transports Wizards and Muggles all over town

•Defense Against the Dark Arts classes

•Sorting Hat Demonstration

•Hedwig’s Hollow Selfie Park at Buckley Park

plus
•fortune tellers
•face painters
•magicians
•caricatures
•games and activities
•specialty food, drink and retail promotions
•Musicians, *Photo Booth*

Be sure to check out Harry Potters Guide to Philadelphia