Created less than a decade ago by the National Association of State Parks Directors (stateparks.org), First Day Hikes are quickly become a tradition for adventure and nature loving Americans.
Invigorated by the popularity of their November event, the Friends of Machimoodus & Sunrise State Parks were thrilled to host another well-attended hike. Group members counted well over 100 people. Not only did newly appointed - and incredibly in-demand - DEEP Parks Supervisor Jack Hine join the fun, he brought his family along, too! Hikers came not just from the local area, but from Wallingford, Middlefield, Madison and beyond, many of whom were first time visitors to our beautiful parks. A few dozen of the lucky attendees even received token keepsakes, provided by the CT DEEP.
Because of the large turn-out, the Friends wound up leading two hikes, both guided by new member Erin Day of East Hampton. The first hike took all 100 plus participants down through Machimoodus to the Salmon River and back up to the parking lot through the old Sunrise resort property, traversing about 2 miles on wide, easily navigable paths. The second trek took the more adventuresome up to the vista where a clear view of the sun glinting off the waters of the Moodus and Salmon Rivers made the challenge worth while. This excursion was a shorter in length but more arduous, as the trails up to the vista are narrower and can be quite steep in places.
The Friends aim to keep building on this momentum in 2020, and are already busy planning events and detailing upcoming projects. We meet the first Wednesday of every month and are always seeking both new members and input from the community. In the next few weeks, we will be launching a website which will help to promote visibility for the organization and the parks we serve. Until then, we can be reached through Facebook, Instagram and via email.