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For Release: Wednesday, December 18, 2019

DEC Announces Annual Long Island 'First Day' Hikes at Ridge Conservation Area

Two Hikes in Ridge on Jan. 1, Additional Hikes throughout the State to Celebrate the New Year

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)'s Long Island Regional Office today announced two "first day" hikes on Jan. 1, 2020 and encouraged New Yorkers to connect with nature and go on a new adventure on the first day of the New Year. DEC Region 1 staff will lead the hikes around a 2.25-mile interpretive trail at DEC's Ridge Conservation Area. The hikes will start at the Ridge Conservation Area Check Station at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Participation is limited to 30 individuals, per hike.

"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, and proper footwear/headwear. Each participant will receive a fleece headband and First Day Hike sticker.

Please RSVP to or by calling DEC's Region One Education Office at 631-444-0350. For more information on the Ridge Conservation Area, please visit DEC's website.

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 the NYS Parks First Day Hikes website.

What: DEC First Day Hike

Where: DEC Ridge Check Station, 484 Randall Road, Ridge, N.Y. 11961

When: January 1, 2020

Time: 11 a.m. and 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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    Stony Brook, NY 11790
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