New Year's Day 2014 marks the third year in a row for First Day Hikes across America's State Parks. Last year, there were over 700 hikes across the nation, with more than 22,000 visitors participating, a 6,000 increase over 2012. This year, there is even a First Day Paddle set for Humboldt Lagoons State Park in California.
All 50 states are taking part in the New Year's Day activity, which is sponsored by America's State Parks, a national organization that celebrates state park systems developed in the United States. To find a hike near you, visit your local State Park website.
In 2014, California State Parks commemorate their 150th Anniversary. This year, there are 37 parks hosting 42 different hikes, one paddle event, and even an off-road vehicle ride. You can enjoy hikes in the redwoods, the deserts, and along the coast and beaches. Red Rock Canyon State Park in Kern County will offer a vigorous nine-mile hike, while an easier two-mile hike will take place at Asilomar State Beach in Monterey County.
At Prairie State Park on the western border of Missouri, hikers will have the opportunity to view some of more than 100 bison that call the park home. For those of you who prefer the DIY approach, many of the State Parks will offer self-guided options.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and start your 2014 off right with a hike. Happy New Year!