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"First Day Hikes" Kick Off New Year

December 19, 2013
People hiking in Georgia's Panola Mountain State Park

All across America, state park systems are inviting citizens to start the New Year with a “First Day Hike” and celebration of nature. In Georgia, more than 40 state parks have planned ranger-led hikes that will also inspire participants to kick off 2014 with a commitment to healthy living.

From easy family-friendly strolls to more challenging treks, Georgia’s State Parks offer a variety of choices for “First Day Hikes.”  Some focus on history, such as walks through Civil War camps or to ancient Indian mounds.  Others highlight geologic wonders, such as Tallulah Gorge or Providence Canyon.  Seminole State Park is including a fitness challenge, and Fort Mountain State Park will even end its hike with a “black bear plunge” into a cold mountain lake.

“Joining this movement to start the New Year with a healthy hike is a great way to connect with nature, as well as your friends and family,” said Georgia State Parks Director Becky Kelley.  “Being outdoors and walking is good for soul, as well as your heart.”

The nationwide “First Day Hikes” program is sponsored by America’s State Parks.

More than 40 hikes in Georgia are being offered.  A map showing park locations can be found at Georgia State Park's website

Those who want to celebrate a peaceful New Year’s Eve in nature can reserve one of Georgia State Parks’ cozy cabins, heated yurts, lodge rooms, or modern campsites with hot showers.  For reservations, call 1-800-864-7275 or book online.

About the Author

Kim Hatcher is the Public Affairs Coordinator for Georgia's State Parks & Historic Sites.  She has worked for the Department of Natural Resources for 20 years and enjoys sharing the great outdoors with others.