By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
Commitment to a New Year’s resolution, the promise of a fresh start, or “just because:” each January 1st, despite or because of the previous night’s celebrations, some people will start the new year with a focus on fitness. In Northern Virginia, families that want to kick off the new year with active, heart-healthy fun with neighbors have some options including including 5K races and “first day hikes.”
Since many gyms and fitness centers will be closed on New Year’s Day — and let’s face it, they’ll be packed, anyway, for the next few months — these hikes are a great option. See our list below and let us know via the comments if there are other events we should add!
EVENTS JANUARY 1, 2020
First Day Hike at Mason Neck State Park
Start the new year off right with a First Day Hike! First Day Hikes at state parks offer families a way to start the new year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike. Mason Neck State Park in Lorton will celebrate with a series of guided hikes (at 10 am, 12:15 pm, and 2 pm), that will take visitors to some of the more iconic views at the park, and do a little bit of bird watching along the way; you may even get to see one of their famous bald eagles! This is also a free entrance day at the park. You can bring the whole family, since Mason Neck is a dog-friendly park.
First Day Hike at Wolf Trap
Put on your hiking boots and warm clothes and grab a water bottle to head to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna. The park also hosts a First Day Hike, with two options: a 1.5-mile hike or a 3-mile one, both ed by volunteers from Friends of Wolf Trap National Park.
First Hike Fairfax
Fairfax County Park Authority also celebrates the First Hike day with expanded hike options and photo contest prizes. Just visit any Fairfax County Park Authority trail on January 1, 2019, explore, take some photos, and enter the organization’s photography contest to win prizes, including a “People’s Choice” award and park passes.
First Day Hike Neabsco Boardwalk
Stroll along the picturesque new Neabsco Board Walk (it opened just in 2019!) to get great views of the wetlands. This event at Neabsco Regional Park involves a circuit hike of about two and a half miles, and will include the Neabsco boardwalk. The free event is sponsored by Prince William Soil & Water Conservation District.
Reston New Year’s Day 5K
Kick off the New Year in style at the New Year’s Day 5K at the Reston Town Center! With a race start time of 10 am, there’s still time to sleep in a bit after ringing in the New Year! The run will start and finish at Reston Town Center and will cover a picturesque route. There will be music, food, and fun celebration following the race. Registration is $35.
Commitment Day 5K
Register today for the New Year’s Day 5K Fun Run & Walk PLUS a weekend filled with festivities, sponsored by the Life Time Fitness Foundation. This four-day event — dedicated to helping people embrace healthier, happier, more active lives — kicks off across the country on New Year’s Day with a Commitment Day 5K fun run in more than 50 locations, including one in Reston. The race begins at 10 am.