First Hike

First Hike
Event Date: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Salem’s First Day Hike

Explore the history of the Salem Custom Houses


December 5, 2019 (Salem, MA) – On January 1, 2020, the National Park Service, the City of Salem, Essex National Heritage Commission, and the Salem Historical Society invite locals and community members to participate in First Day Hike, a national initiative established by America’s State Parks to get people outdoors and connecting with places in their own backyards. This will be the fifth year that Salem community members have participated in First Day Hike.

This year’s hike will begin at 12:00pm at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street. This year’s hike will focus on the importance of the Custom House to Salem’s history. David Moffat from the Salem Historical Society will lead the hike through the downtown district stopping at a few of the locations of past Custom Houses along the way. The hike will finish at the 1819 Custom House at Salem Maritime National Historic Site, followed by an optional walk up and back on Derby Wharf. This event is free and open to hikers of all ages. 

“I would like to thank the National Park Service and the Essex Heritage Commission for organizing this First Hike event. It has become a new Salem tradition and a great way to start off the New Year,” says Salem Mayor Kimberly Driscoll.  

“Join your community by tromping around town as part of the First Day Hike.  We've done this for five years, so now it’s a custom! This year, plan to unwrap the history of Custom Houses in Salem,” says Salem Maritime National Historic Site Superintendent Paul DePrey.    

Essex National Heritage Commission CEO Annie Harris says, “Over the past five years, Salem’s First Day Hike has become very popular and we are thrilled to partner on this wonderful event that gets people outside, enjoying the rich heritage of their community.”

In 2019, close to 55,000 people from across the nation kicked off the New Year with a First Day Hike. While State Parks entice millions of visitors year-round, a First Day Hike in many states offers a family-friendly event with a unique perspective of what nature has to offer. America’s State Parks is the website host for First Day Hikes in 2020. Find additional information on hundreds of First Day Hike opportunities across the country at


About Essex Heritage and the Essex National Heritage Area

Essex Heritage is the non-profit organization that manages the Essex National Heritage Area by developing programs that enhance, preserve and encourage recreation, education, conservation and interpretation projects on Boston’s North Shore and the Lower Merrimack River Valley. The Essex National Heritage Area is comprised of the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, MA. For more information, visit or call (978) 740-0444.