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Here are some ideas to help you welcome the arrival of a new decade on Jan. 1, 2020 with a little outdoors fun!



New Years 2017 DipsThousands of folks on the Delmarva Peninsula greet the arrival of each new year by taking a mid-winter dip into the ocean or the Bay on New Year’s Day. Some folks make quite the spectacle of themselves for these occasions, donning silly hats and ridiculous costumes. Others keep a lower profile, making the briefest of dips and then hightailing it over to a nearby bonfire or hot chocolate line. Most of these events benefit local charities, which do their part to create a festive environment full of creature comforts for their brave plungers.

No, I absolutely, positively will not be running into the ocean come Jan. 1, 2020. That said, don’t let me spoil your fun! Here are the dips:

The Ocean City (Md.) Penguin Swim
• The Dewey (Del.) Dunk (I haven’t been able to find detailed 2020 info on this yet, but it usually pops up here.)
The Fenwick Freeze (Fenwick Island, Del.)
• Exercise Like the Eskimos (Bethany Beach, Del.)
• The Chincoteague (Va.) Pony Plunge


If plunging into the New Year in wet and freezing fashion is not for you, opt instead to join in a group walk. A number of state parks on the Delmarva Peninsula organize “First Day Hikes” in the great outdoors on Jan. 1.

• This list of First Day Hikes in Delaware includes events at a slew of state parks in our area, including Cape Henlopen, First State Heritage, Fort Delaware/Fort DuPont, Holts Landing, Killens Pond, Lums Pond, Trap Pond, and lots of parks in and around Wilmington, too.

New Years Weekend: First Day Hikes on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, as well as Southern Delaware

• This list of First Day Hikes in Maryland includes (in the “Eastern Region”) events at Assateague Island, Janes Island, Pocomoke River, and Tuckahoe state parks, as well as at the Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area. For some reason, Elk Neck State Park is listed in the “Central Region,” though it’s on my definition of the Eastern Shore!

• In Virginia, Kiptopeke State Park near Cape Charles will be joining in the First Day Hike fun.

–Compiled by Jim Duffy. Happy New Year, everyone!

PS: If I missed any hikes or dips in your town, please feel free to spread the word by adding a comment here. Try to include a link to where folks can go to get more info.

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