Hundreds of hikers and skiers started the new year outside as part of New Hampshire State Parks' First Day Hikes program. Five parks throughout the state - Monadnock, Franconia Notch, Odiorne Point, Milan Hill, and Bear Brook - welcomed visitors with trail maps, campfires, and hot chocolate.
David and Janet Lamb say their visit to Bear Brook State Park is part of their New Year's resolution.
“We decided to do more hiking this year so we thought this was a good way to start our training for higher elevation hiking or more long term hiking,” David says. Despite living nearby for over 60 years, the couple says this New Year's day was their first foray into Bear Brook State Park.
At the end of the registration line, a group of hikers waited with their dogs, all attendees of dog training at Finlayson's Pet Care Center. The group goes on 'canine hikes' multiple days a week in the summer but this was one of their first winter trips to Bear Brook.
82-year-old Bob Howard said he had been coming to the park for nearly forty years to hunt. After greeting park staff, Howard leaned on his cane and sized up the crowd.
“I’m going home to tell my wife it was a shock to see all these people here,” he said.
Howard said he didn’t have any New Year’s resolutions but hoped to see peace “for everybody, not just here, but the world.”