HARRISBURG – To promote a healthy start in the new year, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will sponsor free, guided hikes in 19 state parks on New Year’s Day as part of a nationwide effort to get people active outdoors.
“Our First Day Hikes help remind people that our state parks and forests are open for healthy outdoor adventures in all four seasons, including winter,” DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti said. “They are a great way to start the first day of the year and make a resolution to enjoy nature and get more exercise.”
Organized by the National Association of State Park Directors to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks, all 50 states joined together for the first time in 2012 to sponsor First Day Hikes.
The following Pennsylvania state parks are participating in 2014: Bald Eagle, Black Moshannon, Chapman, Delaware Canal, French Creek, Hills Creek, Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, Jennings Environmental Education Center, Kings Gap Environmental Education Center, Marsh Creek, Moraine, Nescopeck, Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, Ohiopyle,Parker Dam, Presque Isle, Promised Land, Pymatuning and Raccoon Creek.
Pennsylvania State Park staff and volunteers are leading the hikes, which are usually about one or two miles, but can be longer depending on the park and its terrain.
“Last year, we hosted approximately 785 people who hiked over more than 2,000 miles in our state parks across Pennsylvania,” Ferretti said. “Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling, join us at one of Pennsylvania’s state parks on New Year’s Day!”
Participants are encouraged to log their First Day Hike adventures on social media with #firstdayhikes.
Additional details can be found at www.visitPAparks.com; click on “Events Calendar” on the left and select Jan. 1.