Winter hikers

Hit the trails for a First Day Hike

Are you a regular victim of post-holiday slump?

We’ve got the secret to starting 2018 on the right foot.

Hiking for health

Couple and dog on boardwalk

A First Day Hike is a fun and healthy way to kick off the new year.

The concept is simple: on January 1, visit a provincial park near you for a hike!

Hiking is a fun activity people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy. Memories made on the trails will stay with you and your loved ones forever.

A First Day Hike promotes a year-long embrace of health and happiness in the outdoors. Plus, hiking offers head-to-toe health benefits:

Diagram on healthy hiking

Hiking is good for cardiovascular health and can help reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Winter hiker on trail

It’s also great at toning muscles especially in quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Add some hills or uneven terrain for an even better cardio workout and to burn more calories.

Hiking is good for your mind, too. Research shows that spending time outdoors may increase your attention span and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50%.

As you travel along the trail, you’ll hear the sounds of nature all around you. Nature sounds — like birds and rushing water — have been shown to lower stress levels.

The origin of the First Day Hike

Park staff in a photo frame
Staff and visitors to the DCR Blue Hills Reservation First Day Hike

First Day Hikes began in the United States over 25 years ago.

The first ever First Day Hike happened in 1992 in the DCR Blue Hills Reservation, a park just south of Boston.

“Many folks have made this their annual tradition,” said Maggi Brown, Visitor Services Supervisor. “We also see new smiling faces every year!”

DCR Blue Hills welcomes about 700-800 happy hikers to the trails every New Year’s Day. Parks across all 50 states now offer First Day Hikes.

A park for all seasons

Winter trail and bridge

Winter in Ontario Parks is quiet, pristine, and absolutely beautiful.

Twenty-six provincial parks are open during the winter season, boasting a wide range of snowy fun, including skiing, skating and snowshoeing.

Interested in staying the night? Stay warm and cozy in one of our heated yurts, cabins, or cottages. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-888-ONT-PARK.

Ready to hit the trails?

Don’t forget to tag us in your #firstdayhike snapshots on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Kick that turkey coma, hop off the couch, and bundle up: we’re going on a First Day Hike!