CASTILE — Sure it was chilly on Jan. 1, but that didn’t stop well over 150 hardy souls from getting out for a healthy hike in Letchworth State Park.

There was a roughly even split between hikers on the four narrated hikes and most stayed to enjoy the cookies and hot drinks afterwards at The Humphrey Nature Center.

In addition to hikers receiving a New York State Parks logoed backpack, an added incentive for sticking around after the hikes this year was the possibility of winning one of four Empire Passes being given away. A New York State Empire Pass provides the pass holder unlimited access to all New York State parks for the year it is issue. Value of a one-year Empire Pass is $65 and they can be purchased at

The extreme cold temperatures on January 1st did cause the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park First Day Hikes to be rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 13. Three Empire Passes will be given away in a raffle on the Greenway’s hikes.

Letchworth is operated by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation which oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 69 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit