CECIL COUNTY — There’s nothing better than ringing in the new year among nature, and Cecil County has two excellent First Day Hikes that you don’t want to miss.

Folks participate in First Day Hikes all throughout the state and region, but I think the Cecil County hikes are the best around. There’s a difficult two miler in Elk Neck State Park, and a fun five miler at Fair Hill.

If you’re participating in one of these hikes, please send us pictures for our Cecil People section. You can send them directly to me at editor@cecilwhig.com.

To all who work towards the conservation and preservation of our natural lands, I thank you. And to those who enjoy being outside and make it a priority to take in the gifts of the natural world — enjoy your First Day Hike! It’s fun for the whole family, and we are lucky to have so many beautiful opportunities to walk the earth nearby.

Details for the Cecil County First Day Hikes are below:

Elk Neck State Park: Marsh in the New Year!

Time of Event: 9:30 a.m.

Meeting Location: Meet in the upper parking lot of the Rogues Harbor Area- 4395 Turkey Point Rd. North East, MD 21901

Degree of Difficulty: Difficult hike

Length of Hike: Approximate round trip distance of 2 miles

Things to Bring: Bring a water bottle and dress for the weather. Wear sturdy, close-toed shoes.

RSVP: 410-287-5333 or ElkNeck.StatePark@maryland.gov

Additional Information: Join a Park Ranger for a revitalizing 2-mile hike on the Beaver Marsh Loop and let the tides wash away your worries. The hike will lead to an observation platform, where participants can clear their minds while taking in the watery wonderland, and will end on a sandy shoreline of the Elk River. Dogs on a leash are welcome. This hike is not stroller-friendly. Donations welcomed!

Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area: Fair Hill 5 Miler!

Time of Event: 11:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.

Meeting Location: North Appleton (Lot #3): 2941 Appleton Road, Elkton, MD 21921

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Length of Hike: Approximately 5 miles (we may even do a little extra)

Things to Bring: Dress for the weather. Wear appropriate footwear. Bring water.

RSVP: Fair Hill Office: 410-398-1246 or diana.marsteller@maryland.gov

Additional Information: Let’s continue our annual tradition of kicking off the new year with 10,000 steps! That’s right, keep your New Year’s resolution from the get go with our First Day Hike. Route is moderate to difficult, but includes beautiful hayfields, forests, and a campfire to warm us up along the way. Route not suitable for strollers. Friendly leashed pets are welcome.

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