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Start Your New Year with a Texas State Park Hike

published on December 22, 2014

texas state parks new year hikeGet started on your New Year’s resolution to adopt a healthier lifestyle by heading outdoors to hit the trails January 1, 2015 at one of dozens of Texas state parks hosting “First Day Hikes.” Jan. 1 marks the fourth consecutive year Texas state parks are participating in the First Day Hikes initiative, which is part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes and is coordinated by the National Association of State Park Directors. Earlier this year, New Year’s Day events attracted more than 1,500 people, covering almost 6,000 trail miles in 59 Texas state parks.

At least 67 Texas state parks have scheduled over 100 First Day events to kick off this New Year. With moderate weather in many locations and ample opportunities to hike – and paddle – state parks, this New Year’s Day is a great time to make a healthy start on the next year!

“Our third annual First Day Hikes initiative proved a resounding success, drawing even more people who made a physical statement about how they intend to live their lives,” says Texas State Parks Director Brent Leisure. “There’s something symbolic about getting outside and visiting a state park on this day in particular. So, whether you’re motivated by the beauty of nature, want to shed a few pounds or simply desire to spend quality time with family, we invite you to head to a nearby state park on New Year’s Day and join the fun.”

2014 marked the first time First Day Hikes took place in all 50 states, drawing nearly 28,000 people nationwide who hiked 68,811 miles. First Day Hikes originated at Blue Hills Reservation, a Massachusetts state park, more than 20 years ago.

At the last event, Pedernales Falls west of Austin had the third greatest turnout in Texas, with 129 hikers. For a new twist, this year Guadalupe River and Martin Creek State Parks will host midnight hikes. Garner State Park will host a 2.5 mile walk to the top of Old Baldy. Cooper Lake State Park participants will start the year by hiking, running, or biking the 4.6 mile Coyote Run Trail. Paddlers can get their First Day action in at the Johnson Branch unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park. And, even yoginis can hone their practice at Enchanted Rock!

First Day events are free, but park entry fees do apply. Click 100 First Day events for a full calendar.

Photo provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife. © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department