I've just moved to DC from India, and was looking into the First Day Hike program at Mason Neck State Park in Virginia for Jan 1st. It started because I don't really have anything planned for NYE or New Year's Day (after being used to usually spending it in my hometown with friends), so I was just looking at hike or wildlife-viewing options. Now, I'm pretty excited at the prospect of seeing my first ever bald eagles and several bird species that are new to me - when I last lived in the US years ago, I wasn't a big birder and so didn't really notice any wildlife. Now I'm losing my mind at Canada geese and hawks that I saw on the bus into DC from NYC First question: is First Day Hike a bad day to go to a state park, since there might be bigger crowds? Second question: would anyone in the DMV/NOVA already be going or interested in joining? Thought it would be cool to go with local Zoochatters who actually know the local species. Everything is new to me: bald eagles, tundra swans, etc. A raccoon to me = a tiger to you! But it seems like it would be fun for a local also to get a nice head start on potential Big Years Bonus if you have a car... as I don't, and am currently trying to figure out how best I can get there (if at all) without one. We'll obviously split gas and I can get you a thank you drink after we return to DC (or wherever I can take metro / bus / cab from). Hope to see some bald eegs with y'all! EDIT: Forgot to post logistical details. Security Check Required ^that post (the most recent on the Mason Neck State Park Friends page) has some of the details on their programs. Their programming begins at 10am but I think the park opens at 8am, so if anyone isn't too hungover from the previous night, I would be interested in getting there early to potentially get some bald eegs and other birds before the crowds come in. The park (and parking) are 100% FREE all day! Then at 10am we can either join their scheduled programming or do our own trails, and maybe join them for the tundra swans at noon. If you want to go but want to recover in the morning, I'd be good to go at a later hour too - anything works for me! The park being open and free all day is blessing enough as I'm excited by literally any North American wildlife that can be seen.