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For Release: Monday, December 17, 2018

DEC Announces Annual 'First Day' Hike at Ridge Conservation Area

State to Lead Hike on Jan. 1 to Celebrate New Year

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced a 'first day' hike on Jan. 1, 2019, and encouraged New Yorkers to connect with nature and go on a new adventure on the first day of the New Year with DEC. DEC Region One staff will be leading the hike around a 2.25-mile interpretive trail at DEC's Ridge Conservation Area. The hike will start at the Ridge Conservation Area Check Station at 1 p.m.

"First Day hikes are a perfect way to start the New Year. DEC is offering this unique guided hike at the Ridge Conservation Area to help connect New Yorkers with nature and the outdoors. The hike will pass through forest, grassland, and pond habitat areas and offer many scenic viewing locations," said Carrie Meek Gallagher, DEC Region One Director.

DEC encourages hikers to come prepared for the conditions: warm layered clothing, water, sunglasses, proper footwear/headwear. Each participant will receive a fleece headband and First Day Hike sticker.

Please RSVP by email to David Pomeranz or by calling DEC's Region One Education Office at 631-444-0347. For more information on the hiking area, please visit DEC's webpage on the Ridge Conservation Area.

DEC and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation are planning "First Day" hikes at parks and state lands across New York. For a complete list of planned hikes, please visit NYS Parks webpage.

What: DEC First Day Hike
Where: DEC Ridge Conservation Area, 484 Randall Road, Ridge, N.Y. 11961
When: January 1, 2019
Time: 1 p.m.
Details: A 2.25-mile hike will wind its way through the 184-acre Ridge Conservation Area. The hike features 14 interpretive posts describing forest, grassland and pond habitats. The interpretive trail hike will provide scenic viewing locations. Smart phone technology will allow users to access trail interpretive information with a quick swipe of the QR code at the trail's entry way kiosk and stations along the path.
Cost: None
Directions to Ridge Conservation Area: Rt. 495 (L.I.E.) exit 68, north on William Floyd Parkway (CR 46) to Rt. 25 west, 1/4 mile to right turn on Randall Road, entrance 300' on left side.
Weather: The guided hike will be cancelled if snowfall or other weather events creates hazardous travel conditions or outdoor recreation conditions. Please call 631-444-0347 on the day of the hike to determine if hike is still scheduled. DEC staff plan on making weather cancellation calls or e-mails on December 31 if weather conditions look hazardous. The self-guided trail is open daily 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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