Kick off 2014 with the First Day Hike offered at Fresh Pond

Hikers can join the staff at Delaware Seashore State Park and kick off the New Year by enjoying what the outdoors has to offer, with the First Day Hike, starting at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1.

Fresh Pond contains a 3.4-mile trail weaving through upland forest, meadow and saltwater marsh habitats and is considered one of the park’s hidden gems. Participants are being encouraged to dress in layers and wear shoes or boots that are comfortable.

The First Day Hike is free and requires no pre-registration. Participants should meet at the Fresh Pond, Hickman Road entrance at 1 p.m. More information and directions to the trailhead are available by calling (302) 227-6991 or by visiting destateparks.com.

State park offers new sea glass jewelry class

Back-to-back classes instructing how to create one-of-a-kind sea glass jewelry sets are being offered at the Indian River Life-Saving Station on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The 10 a.m. class features the classic sea glass pendant program, in which participants will create necklace pendants while learning the basics of wire-wrapping technique. The 1 p.m. class will feature the newest class addition: Sea Glass, Part 2: Earrings. Building upon the basic wrapping technique, participants can create their own earring set using a slightly more difficult and abstract wrapping method.

Those who haven’t found the perfect piece of sea glass yet will be able to choose a piece of sea glass from the park’s collection.

The fee for each individual program is $15 and includes all materials and instruction. The classes are considered suitable for those 12 or older, but those younger than 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Pre-registration is required and can be done by calling (302) 227-6991.

The Indian River Life-Saving Station is located in Delaware Seashore State Park, 1.5 miles north of the Indian River Inlet and 3.5 miles south of Dewey Beach. More information is available at destateparks.com.

State parks kick off weekly winter hike series

Delaware State Parks officials said this week that winter can be one of the best times to explore the outdoor wonders of coastal Delaware, and outdoorsfolk can join staff at Delaware Seashore State Park for a series of guided hikes in each Sunday in January and February at 1 p.m.

The series will feature a different location each Sunday and cover a variety of habitats, including the intertidal zone, salt marsh areas and upland forest. In addition, each hike will offer park visitors an opportunity to learn about coastal wildlife and local history.

The hike schedule is as follows: Jan. 5 and Feb. 2, Burton Island Nature Preserve; Jan. 12 and Feb. 9, Holts Landing State Park; Jan. 19 and Feb. 16, Thompson Island Nature Preserve; and Jan. 26 and Feb. 23: Fresh Pond Tract.

Each hike in the Winter Hike Series costs $4 per person. Pre-registration is required and can be made by calling (302) 227-6991 by 4 p.m. on the day prior to the hike. More information is available at destateparks.com.