America’s State Parks to Host First Day Hikes

Looking for an invigorating way to kick off the New Year? Ring in 2014 with a First Day Hike January 1 in a state park near you! All 50 states are participating in the third annual event that invites families and friends to celebrate the New Year amid the sights, sounds and wonder of our natural world with fun, guided hikes.

“Last year, First Day Hikes hosted 22,000 people, who covered nearly 44,000 miles in 700 state parks all across the country,” said Priscilla Geigis, president of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD). “These family-friendly outings provide a great chance to get outside and experience the beauty of our parks, stay fit and build lasting traditions with loved ones.”

On a First Day Hike visitors enjoy exciting one- to two- mile journeys through diverse, beautiful natural areas, led by park rangers and volunteers. Many hikes include additional activities such as campfires, s’mores, crafts, costume contests and storytelling.

America’s State Parks and American Hiking Society are teaming up to promote First Day Hikes as a healthy and memorable way to start the New Year.

First Day Hikes originated more than 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation — a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. Details about the more than 700 hike locations, including difficulty and length, program themes, terrain and starting times are listed on most state park system websites.

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