With the arrival of New Year’s Day, we’ve moved from the most wonderful time of the year to the most optimistic. After a solid month enjoying — or overenjoying, as the case may be — rich foods and fine drink, most of us now turn our attention to our expanded waistlines in an effort to become more fit and healthy. Assisting in that effort is America’s State Parks and its First Day Hikes initiative. On January 1, Americans across the country were encouraged to visit a state park and enjoy a brisk winter hike, taking time to admire the incredible array of flora and fauna that thrive in these public sanctuaries, while busting some of that holiday bulge in the process. During the 2013 hike, more than 22,000 people took to the trails at parks across all 50 states. Those participants logged a total of 43,911 miles in hikes ranging from one to nine miles round trip.
“We are thrilled that so many people across the nation started 2013 in one of America’s State Parks by joining us for a First Day Hike,” says Priscilla Geigis, president of the National Association of State Park Directors and director of Massachusetts State Parks. “Our state parks are places to get naturally healthy through physical exercise and connecting with nature close to home. We hope this experience inspires everyone to continue to enjoy these valued resources throughout the year.”
Click here to plan for the 2015 hike.
Samantha Bartram is the Associate Editor of Parks & Recreation Magazine.