Ilia Fehrer – Judy Johnson Memorial Beach Walk Joins Assateague State Park’s ‘New Year Day Hike’

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

The public is invited to join Assateague Coastal Trust ACT and staff from Assateague State Park to celebrate the legacy of Assateague Island, and ACT’s Founders Judy Johnson and Ilia Fehrer, on New Year's Day, Saturday, January 1, 2022, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at Assateague State Park’s day-use boardwalk.

Stop by the Day-Use boardwalk and hang out around the campfire with Assateague Coastal Trust’s Billy Weiland, Verena Chase, and State Park staff. Come chat, share stories, ask questions and make a connection. Free hot chocolate and coffee will be available, so please remember to bring your own mug if you can!

The self-guided hike is happening on January 1st and 2nd from 7 am to sunset. State Park staff will be available 10 am-2 pm Saturday and Sunday.

The first Assateague Beach Walk was held on January 1, 1970. The newly formed Committee to Preserve Assateague Island hosted the inaugural event to draw attention to Assateague’s wild beauty. The Committee to Preserve Assateague Island was created by Ilia Fehrer, Judy Johnson, and a few friends who had organized to rally against early plans for the development of Assateague Island, which included a 25-mile highway and a number of commercial enterprises, as part of a proposed Ocean Beach resort, much like Ocean City. A series of 1962 nor-easter's interrupted construction, and eventually the Assateague National Seashore and Assateague State Park were established. The Committee became the organization, Assateague Coastal Trust, who along with Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague State Park sponsor this popular annual New Year’s Day walk on the island. Dogs on a leash are welcome only as far as the boundary of the State Park (to the north of the boundary, dogs are not permitted).

ACT’s traditional “Judith Johnson- Ilia Fehrer Memorial Beach Walk” is Jan 1 10-2. ACT staff will be there to greet members and serve coffee/cocoa.
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