EAST HADDAM, Conn. (WTNH) — What better way to kick off the New Year than by getting a breath of fresh air?

On New Year’s Day, state parks across the nation will continue a time-honored holiday tradition: the First Day Hike. These hikes give families and individuals a welcome start to the new year by exploring the great outdoors, exercising, and connecting with your local scenery.

And here in Connecticut, participants will spend their first day of 2023 at Gillette Castle State Park, in East Haddam!

Gillette Castle in East Haddam, Connecticut (Photo provided by Olivia Perreault, Digital Reporter at News 8)

The First Day Hike will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to the DEEP website. The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park invite anyone who wants to spend their time outdoors, and will even be offering visitors hot cider and trail maps that explain the historic features of the grounds.

Visitors who pre-register online can participate in guided hikes of the route followed by William Gillette’s narrow-gauge train system. Or, you can take yourself on a self-guided tour of the gorgeous grounds!

DEEP’s website states that guided hikes are scheduled to occur between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1. The hikes are about an hour long, and they cover gentle and flat trails with some brief climbs.

Guided hikes will be limited to 20 visitors each due to COVID restrictions, officials said, and require registration online.

So bundle up, hikers! Get your sturdiest shoes and your warmest outdoor gear, and breathe in 2023.