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Head to Sonoma County for the 11th Annual First Day Hike

by Eugenia Lazaris

Dec 4, 2023

© Ryan Slimak | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

As the new year quickly approaches, family travelers are busy making lots of plans for a year of great travel and a healthier 2024. And what better way to combine the two than with a beautiful hike through nature at one of California’s most beloved state parks?


For the past 10 years, outdoor lovers have taken part in something called First Day Hike, which occurs every January. This year will mark the 11th anniversary of the annual event, and while you can participate at locations all over the country, Jack London Historic State Park in California’s Sonoma County is a pretty good place to start the new year.


First Day Hikes is a movement sponsored by America’s state parks designed to get people outdoors and motivated to live a healthy lifestyle throughout the year. The annual hike, which takes place Jan. 1, has become a favorite event at Jack London Park. The trail consists of an 8-mile group hike that takes you to a beautiful viewpoint on the top of the mountain.


The First Day Hikes movement isn’t just a great way to start off your year on a positive note, it is also a great way to instill this idea in your children by teaching healthy habits. The added bonus is getting to explore beautiful locations across the country.


It isn’t just the draw of a refreshing New Year’s hike bringing visitors to this historic park. Named after literary legend Jack London (of Call of the Wild and White Fang fame), the park was once the beloved home and ranch of the writer. Today, the park preserves his legacy and offers visitors beautiful landscapes to enjoy with great trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and more. It is a favorite for locals and Jack London fans from around the world who visit to take advantage of the peaceful grounds to paint, bird watch, get some literary inspiration or simply enjoy a relaxing picnic.


The 2024 hike begins at approximately 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day and you can expect to finish around 2:30 p.m. The price of admission to the park is $10 plus parking and gives you all-day access to the beautiful park grounds.


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