Find Your Adventure: Skate through Winter with Activities to Enjoy Throughout NYS!
Thousands of New Yorkers Ring in 2020 with a First Day Hike
Thousands of New Yorkers kicked off their 2020 outdoors with a First Day Hike, completing over 1,600 miles on DEC lands alone. Started in 2011 as an effort to get people outdoors, the annual winter hike has become a tradition for many. DEC joined State Parks for a second year and hosted a combined 72 hikes throughout the state. Check out the photos on DEC’s Flickr page.
Inspired? Here are more great winter hikes for you to explore.
Photo: First Day Hikers on SUNY ESF’s Goodnow Mountain hike
Enjoy Winter Recreation at Camp Santanoni
Camp Santanoni in the Adirondacks is holding Winter Weekend events for the seventh consecutive year. Visitors will be able to take part in the open house at the historic camp properties located in the town of Newcomb, Essex County on:
- February 15 – 17 (Presidents’ Day holiday weekend)
- March 14 and 15
Guests will have access to camp properties, be able to tour the buildings, view interpretive displays and cross-country ski or snowshoe on one of multiple trails around the complex. The Winter Weekend events are hosted by the Friends of Camp Santanoni and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s (ESF) Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC). The Friends of Camp Santanoni is a partnership between DEC, Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the town of Newcomb, and volunteers who support preserving this Great Camp for public education, recreation, and inspiration. Learn more about the events and Camp Santanoni on our website.
Celebrate Winter at Reinstein Woods Winter Open House
Join DEC and Friends of Reinstein Woods for the annual winter open house at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center on Saturday, February 8, from noon to 4 p.m. Visitors can try snowshoes and/or cross-country skis free of charge, go on a guided winter walk or enjoy a winter scavenger hunt. There will also be opportunities to enjoy an ice fishing demonstration, make nature arts and crafts, plus much more. Refreshments will be on sale. No registration is required, and there is no admission fee. Let everyone know you are attending with #RRWinterWonderland!
Road Trip to Adventure: Mt. Loretto Unique Area, NYC
Mt. Loretto Unique Area, located on Staten Island, is a great place for your next day trip to escape and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Mt. Loretto provides nature lovers with more than 200 acres of forest, grasslands, wetlands, and costal shoreline on the southern shore of Staten Island. With all these habitats to explore, there are recreational opportunities for everyone. Mt. Loretto features three hiking trails: Wetlands Trail, Grassland Trail, and Beach Loop with abundant opportunities to spot wildlife year-round, as well as a freshwater pond with an accessible fishing pier. There is also a mile of shoreline for saltwater fishing on Prince’s Bay and a new accessible trail and viewing platform right on the beach. Located on Amboy Road less than a mile from the Mt. Loretto entrance is Mount Loretto North, which provides a half mile of paved trail and three woodland trails to enjoy.
You can access Mount Loretto via the NYC S59 or S78 Bus with a stop at Hylan Boulevard and Kenny Road. For those looking for amenities, checkout nearby towns of Tottenville and Pleasant Plains on your trip.
Your Input Sought on Sustainable Use in the Adirondacks
DEC and members of the newly launched High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group encourage New Yorkers to share their input on the State’s efforts to help promote sustainable use of the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks.
DEC announced the formation of the High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group in November 2019, and tasked its members with making recommendations by the end of June 2020, including strategies, actions, and tactics to manage increased use in the High Peaks.
The High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group web page provides links to meeting summaries and will be updated to include future meetings. Public comments regarding issues related to managing use in the High Peaks Region, and what might be done to address these issues, can be submitted to Info.R5@dec.ny.gov. The public is encouraged to submit comments as soon as possible to ensure they are considered by the Advisory Group during their deliberations.
Partner Profile: Stony Kill Foundation
Stony Kill Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) originally formed in the 1970s as a friends group to support the work of DEC at Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center. Their mission is to educate the public and cultivate environmental stewardship through interpretation of the rich, historical, environmental and agricultural heritage of Stony Kill Farm. In 2011, the foundation and DEC entered into an agreement where the foundation manages the programs and services of the center, continuing to offer unique and interactive education programs for children and adults in environmental and agricultural education. Programs include Operation Explore offering students from all five boroughs of NYC an opportunity to visit a working farm and learn about agriculture in the Hudson Valley; field trips for local area schools; a weekly education program serving 15 students from San Miguel Academy in Newburgh, NY; a 4H club that serves 20 local children raising livestock; and a flourishing Summer Explorers camp experience that has expanded to six weeks with six daily camps, serving 120 children each summer.
Stony Kill manages a Bee Association for adults, both beginners and experts in the field, and will soon offer gardening workshops and demos at the upcoming Spring Celebration. Several seasonal events, which include the popular Butterfly Festival, are attended by over 4,500 people each year. In the last two years, the Foundation has raised funds through grants and private donors to purchase a new tractor, allowing the expansion of community garden plots, and to purchase classroom equipment for the soon-to-be-open Learning Center, allowing the Foundation to foster its growing education program with teacher training and increased adult education.