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Published on December 26th, 2013 | by Pat


First Day Hikes Starts Year On Right Foot

For the third straight year, hiking groups across the country will come together on January 1 to ring in the new year right with one of the simplest, most invigorating activities there is: hiking.

First Day Hikes — for the first time this year, an official collaboration between America’s State Parks (ASP) and the American Hiking Society (AHS) — is an annual celebration hosted by ASP, offering guided hikes at state park locations all across the country, on the first day of the year. First Day Hikes is part of a larger effort to promote state parks as well as “starting off the year right with a healthy, outdoor active lifestyle,” according to ASP.

Last year, ASP hosted over 22,000 hikers who trekked over 43,000 miles for First Day Hikes 2013. Both ASP and AHS look forward to an even bigger turn out this year.

“We are eager to bring more attention and visitors to America’s State Parks, where visitors can expect to be immersed in the quiet beauty of nature in winter, experience breathtaking vistas” says the American Hiking Society.

Harnessing the spirit of new beginnings and resolutions, First Day Hikes is also organized in the spirit of building new, healthy habits. “Studies have proven that getting outdoors is one good way to relax and recharge the body, mind and spirit.” says Phil McNelly, Executive Director of the National Association of State Park Directors.  “We hope that hiking along a trail in a state park will become part of an individual’s or family’s regular exercise routine.”

Find out more about the hikes planned for your neck of the woods here. Share your stories from the big day with the hashtag #firstdayhikes.


Want to make your own way? Find your local 60 Hikes within 60 Miles or Five-Star Trails guide and set your own path for ringing in the new year right.


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About the Author

is happiest when he's on the move, whether by foot, pedal, or some other form of alternative transportation. Hiking, biking, camping, and rock climbing demand his outdoor attention at all times. Now, as editor and contributor to, they demand his indoor attention, as well.

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