These First Day Hikes Start the New Year Right Around the Main Line

Dig your sweatpants out of the closet and dust off those hiking boots. These first day hikes are a great way to start 2024 on the right foot.

With New Year’s Eve swiftly approaching, there’s no better time to get moving on next year’s resolutions. Begin your fitness journey and get moving in the great outdoors with these winter trails and guided first day hikes all around the Main Line area.

Wissahickon Valley Park

Valley Green Rd., Chestnut Hill

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The Wissahickon Valley feels stuck in time, a relic of Pennsylvania’s idyllic countryside and rolling hills before the surrounding land was developed. This guided 3.5-mile hike will take you across the gurgling Wissahickon River and past scenic outcrops that are perfect for observing this beautiful landscape.

Ridley Creek State Park

1023 Sycamore Mills Rd., Media

Ridley Creek State Park (photo credit Ben Silver)This first day hike at Ridley Creek is limited to only 20 people, so be sure to sign up now before all slots are taken. Starting at 10 a.m., this hike permits four-legged friends to join as long as they’re on a leash.

Fort Washington State Park

500 S Bethlehem Pke., Fort Washington

 

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A stop on General George Washington’s way to his winter camp at Valley Forge in 1777, Fort Washington State Park boasts nearly 500 acres of protected land great for bird-watching and picnics.

Binky Lee Preserve

1445 Pikeland Rd., Chester Springs

 

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The 112 acres of Binky Lee Preserve are great for spotting wildlife. They’re so great, in fact, that efforts are currently underway to diminish the local deer population via hunting. With over 50,000 trees planted in the park over the last two decades, there’s sure to be at least a few spots of untouched serenity.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

8601 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia

 

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Lying just off Delaware County’s borders, the myriad lakes and ponds of John Heinz make it a brilliant place to spot wildlife or go fishing. On New Year’s Day, the refuge hosts a guided bird walk with experts Cliff and Nancy Hence. The following day, on January 2, there are ranger-guided New Year’s resolution hikes at dawn and dusk.

Cheslen Preserve

1199 Cannery Rd., Coatesville

 

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Like at Binky Lee, parts of the Cheslen Preserve are currently closed for deer management. That said, with nearly 1,300 acres of public land at your disposal, possibilities for hiking are nearly endless along the beautiful trails of Coatesville.

Marsh Creek State Park

675 Park Rd., Downingtown

 

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This three-mile guided hike along the the glistening shores of the Marsh Creek Reservoir from the west boat launch to the dam and back is the perfect way to kick off the new year.

Valley Forge

1400 North Outer Line Dr., King of Prussia

One of our nation’s most historic national parks, Valley Forge has over 35 miles of trail access for hiking, biking and running. For newbies to the park, the Joseph Plumb Martin loop is a great way to get started. This hike overlooks the central Grande Parade and connects key historic sites and scenic views.

Rolling Hill Park

1301 Rose Glen Rd., Gladwyne

 

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Like the name implies, Rolling Hill Park has its share of peaks and valleys and is perfect for hikers looking for trails with steep inclines and dips. Mill Creek, at the bottom of park, is a quiet place to catch your breath and observe the beauty of the bluffs above and the bubbling river below.

Related: Where to Go Skiing Near the Main Line This Winter

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!