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New Year’s Was a Day at the Park
First Day Hikes Program Draws 1,100 Visitors to Texas State Parks
For the second consecutive year, hundreds of Texans showed up at State Parks across Texas to participate in the First Day Hikes Program, part of a nationwide effort to encourage people to get outdoors for healthier lifestyles on the New Year’s Day holiday.
Fifty-seven state park locations offered a guided hike led by a park ranger or experienced park volunteer, up from 48 last year. In all, 1,100 visitors braved the cold and rainy weather conditions that gripped much of Texas on Jan. 1, and participated in a variety of nature hikes, ranging in length and degree of difficulty, from mountainous treks to birding boardwalks through wetlands.
“First Day Hikes is something we want folks to embrace as a tradition for years to come,” said Karen Blizzard, assistant director of park interpretive services and the Texas coordinator for the national First Day Hikes program. “Hiking is a great way to see and enjoy the outdoors, and also a fun way for families to be together and stay fit.”
Mother Neff State Park, located in Central Texas northwest of Temple, had the most hikers of any Texas park with 115, while Franklin Mountain State Park in El Paso hosted 78 visitors for its jaunt into the Chihuahuan Desert country.
Nationally, some 22,000 folks chose to ring in the New Year at more than 720 hikes, totaling more than 43,000 miles in all 50 state park systems.
For more information about hiking or other activities in Texas State Parks, visit http://www.texasstateparks.org.
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