The D&L Blog

Delaware & Lehigh - Celebrating First Day Hikes Across the Corridor 

Start the new year in nature with a First Day Hike near you.  

First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. As part of that initiative, knowledgeable state park staff and volunteers will lead hundreds of free, guided hikes across the United States.   

The five-county Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is home to 12 state parks, each of which feature beautiful natural resources in our region.  

Below we’ve gathered information on the seven hikes PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) employees and park volunteers will lead across the Corridor on Jan. 1st. Register for one today or use the additional resources provided to plan your own adventure. Tag us from the trails at @DelawareandLehigh on Facebook or @DLNHC on Instagram! 

Bucks County  

Ralph Stover State Park 

Tohickon Creek flows through the 45-acre Ralph Stover State Park, making a scenic picnic area. The park features many habitats along easy walking trails, and includes one of Pennsylvania’s three state-run rock-climbing areas.   

  • Guided First Day Hike at Ralph Stover State Park | Jan. 1st, 2024 | 1-3pm: Enjoy a guided 2.5-mile hike over uneven terrain with a few steep hills on one of the most beautiful trails in the county.  Expect to hike at a slow pace so all can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature along the way. For additional details, and to register, visit: First Day Hike 2024 – DCNR Calendar of Events (

Washington Crossing Historic Park 

From the site of Washington Crossing Historic Park, General George Washington and the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776 to march to Trenton, New Jersey. Events are held here throughout the year to celebrate the Christmas Day Crossing, General Washington’s Birthday, Charter Days, Harvest Days and Fourth of July. The park also features the 19th-century village of Taylorsville along with outdoor recreation and picnic areas. 

More to Explore!

Delaware Canal State Park:  

A walk along the 58.89-mile-long towpath of Delaware Canal State Park is a stroll into American history. Paralleling the Delaware River between Easton and Bristol, this diverse park contains: A historic canal and towpath, 50-acre pond, many miles of river shoreline, 11 river islands including the Morgan Hill group (3), Loors, Whippoorwill, Old Sow, Raubs, Lynn/Frog/Rock group, and Hendricks. (Description from: Delaware Canal State Park)  

Neshaminy State Park 

The 339-acre Neshaminy State Park is along the Delaware River in lower Bucks County. The park takes its name from Neshaminy Creek, which joins the Delaware River at this point. Enjoy your own adventure at Neshaminy with this easy 2.7-mile loop trail!  

Nockamixion State Park 

The scenic 5,000-acre park features hardwood forests, Lake Nockamixion, and the remnants of a long-forgotten summer camp. The 1,450-acre lake is a popular destination for boaters, as well as a rest stop for migrating waterfowl. Choose your own adventure at Lake Nockamixion with this helpful trail guide: Hiking at Nockamixon State Park  

Tyler State Park 

The 1,711-acre Tyler State Park is divided into several interesting sections by the Neshaminy Creek and offers hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Park roads, trails, and facilities are carefully nestled within the original farm and woodland setting. Choose your own adventure with the help of PA DCNR’S trail information at: Hiking at Tyler State Park.

Lehigh County

Lehigh County is in close proximity to state parks found in neighboring counties. In addition, the County manages many parks with popular trail destinations, such as Trexler Nature Preserve and Leaser Lake.  

Leaser Lake  

A 4-mile trail around the lake provides beautiful views and nature study, as well as seasonal hiking and cross-country skiing opportunities. To learn more visit: Leaser Lake (

Trexler Nature Preserve 

This 1495-acre natural preserve boasts eighteen miles of trails, offering wildlife observation, bird watching, hiking, walking, horseback riding, and mountain biking opportunities for enthusiasts at all levels. The Covered Bridge Trail is ADA accessible and provides access to the Jordan Creek for fishing.  To plan your own First Day adventure at TNP, visit: Trexler Preserve (

Northampton County

TOT Winter Challenge Kick-off at Jacobsburg

Jacobsburg State Park 

On the northern edge of the Lehigh Valley, the rolling terrain of Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is near the foothills of the Pocono Plateau. The habitats range from fields in various stages of successional growth to mature hardwood forests dominated by oak trees. About 2.5 miles of the beautiful Bushkill Creek and its tributary, Sobers Run, wind through the center. 

  • Guided First Day Hike | Jan. 1st, 2024 | 10-11:30am: Enjoy a 3-mile interpretive hike on Homestead Trail to enjoy views of Blue Mountain and the village of Belfast. Additional details and registration found here: First Day Hike – DCNR Calendar of Events (
  • Women in the Wild: Guided First Day Hike | 1-2:30pm: Participate in a 3-mile interpretive hike on Homestead Trail to enjoy views of Blue Mountain and the village of Belfast. The hike will start and end at the visitor center at 400 Belfast Road. Additional details and registration information found here:  Women in the Wild – First Day Hike – DCNR Calendar of Events (

Carbon County

Beltzville State Park 

The lake is home to migrating waterfowl and numerous species of fish, but visitors also have opportunities to hike 15 miles of trails, hunt almost 2,000 acres, and ski or snowshoe across the land. 

  • Guided First Day Hike | Jan. 1st, 2024 | 2pm: Join the Friends of Beltzville and park staff on a 3.5-mile hike from the Beltzville State Park Environmental Interpretive Center (EIC) to the tower on top of the dam, culminating in a scenic view of Beltzville Lake. For additional details and registration information visit: First Day Hike – DCNR Calendar of Events (
More to Explore!

Hickory Run State Park 

The 15,990-acre Hickory Run State Park lies in the western foothills of the Pocono Mountains, and has over 40 miles of hiking trails, three state park natural areas, and miles of trout streams. Boulder Field, a striking boulder-strewn area, is a National Natural Landmark. To plan your own adventure, visit: Hiking at Hickory Run State Park 

Luzerne County

Lehigh Gorge State Park  

A deep, steep-walled gorge carved by a river, thick vegetation, rock outcroppings, and waterfalls characterize Lehigh Gorge State Park in Carbon and Luzerne Counties.  

Nescopeck State Park  

More to Explore!

Frances Slocum State Park  

Consists of 1,035 acres in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County. The horseshoe shaped, 165-acre lake is popular for boating and fishing, and is a home to many species of birds, fish, and wildlife. Numerous hiking and mountain biking trails and the large day use area attract visitors to picnic and explore the forests. To plan your own adventure, visit: Hiking at Frances Slocum State Park.

Ricketts Glen State Park  

Hike the Falls Trail System to explore the glens, which boasts a series of wild, free-flowing waterfalls, each cascading through rock-strewn clefts in this ancient hillside. The 94-foot Ganoga Falls is the highest of 22 named waterfalls. Old growth timber and diverse wildlife add to the beauty. Hiking restrictions apply during winter. Check trail advisories here: Ricketts Glen State Park And plan your next self-guided adventure at Ricketts Glen here: Hiking at Ricketts Glen State Park

Last year nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year outdoors, collectively hiking over 133,000 miles throughout the country.

We invite you to take part in this new-found tradition on a guided or self-led hike at one of the many state parks found throughout the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.  

Hiking not your thing? No problem. Our five-county corridor boasts three multiuse trail networks that can be used to enjoy a First Day bike, run, walk, or roll. Click on the links below to learn more. 

Whatever your outdoor activity of choice – Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor has you covered. Just make sure you’re winter-ready for recreation with these helpful tips put together by our Director of Trails and Recreation.  

And don’t forget to log your miles on Get Your Tail on the Trail where a First Day Hike badge awaits! 

Written by Brit Kondravy, Conservation Coordinator

Brit serves as the Local Lead for Lehigh Valley Greenways – one of Pennsylvania’s eight Conservation Landscapes – and manages the LVG Mini Grant Program. In her role she is able to promote conservation and recreation through place-based partnerships throughout the five-county Corridor.