Rhode Islanders Invited to Kick Off the New Year with #FirstDayHike at Fort Wetherill State Park Published on Thursday, December 29, 2022 PROVIDENCE, RI – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and America’s State Parks are inviting everyone to start the new year off enjoying time spent in nature, and tapping into the health benefits of being outdoors by joining a #FirstDayHike at Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. To make it easy, state parks from Maine to California – are offering free First Day Hikes on January 1. The guided hikes are led by park staff members and volunteers who have expert knowledge of their respective locales. What: First Day Hike 2023 When: Sunday, Jan. 1, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM Where: Fort Wetherill State Park, 3 Fort Wetherill Rd, JamestownDivisions of the DEM Natural Resources Bureau will be on hand offering information about agency programs and services. Leashed dogs are allowed if the leash is no longer than six feet. A local historian will be on site offering education about Fort Wetherill. Children must be always accompanied by an adult. The 1.2-mile walk is wheelchair-accessible and stroller-friendly. The walk will be held rain or shine, so DEM encourages participants to dress accordingly. The main entrance will be closed to vehicle traffic during the hike. Participants are encouraged to park alongside the south side of Fort Wetherill Road. Fort Wetherill State Park, situated upon 100-foot-high granite cliffs across the water from Fort Adams State Park, is a former coastal defense battery and training camp. Known for its spectacular view of Newport Harbor and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay, Fort Wetherill has been a popular sight for viewing the numerous Tall Ship Events and America’s Cup Races. This walk is part of DEM's Strategic Mission to promote and increase outdoor recreation in Rhode Island and is the seventh such event DEM has hosted. For more information on the First Day Hike, please visit the RI Parks website. For information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. The National Association of State Park Directors promotes and advocates for the state park systems across America in providing conservation and management of natural and cultural resources, quality outdoor recreation experiences, and connecting children and families to nature and the outdoors. With more than 6,800 park areas and visitation of 813 million people annually, the economic impact to local communities is estimated to exceed $20 billion each year. America’s State Parks is an alliance of state park systems in all 50 states. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.