PROVIDENCE, RI – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) invites Rhode Islanders to kick off 2023 and celebrate the New Year 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. Last year, nearly 85,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking over 176,366 miles throughout the country on the hikes. This hike, the seventh such event DEM has hosted, is set for 11 AM to 1 PM.

“DEM is excited to ring in the New Year with a First Day Hike at Fort Wetherill State Park,” said DEM Director Terry Gray. “The ocean views at Wetherill are awesome and what better way to kick off the New Year than by getting outside and enjoying nature? Whether you are a first-time visitor to Fort Wetherill or a regular, we hope that the hike inspires you to make Rhode Island’s State Parks an important part of your wellness and recreation routine in 2023 and beyond.”

DEM will be offering commemorative pins to participants. Divisions 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.

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. The area also is a major attraction for scuba diving, with diving clubs using the facilities at the boat ramp year-round. Additionally, the park offers family and group picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking, and opportunities to explore the 61.5-acre property. This walk is part of DEM’s Strategic Mission to promote and increase outdoor recreation in Rhode Island.

For more information on the First Day Hike, please visit the RI Parks website. For information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit

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