Start the New Year With a First Day Hike

AUSTIN, December 18, 2015 – Begin the New Year on the right foot by participating in a First Day Hike at a Texas State Park.

“The First Day Hikes initiative has proven itself as the ideal way for people to physically make a statement about trying to live a more active lifestyle in the New Year,” said Brent Leisure, Texas State Parks Director. “Texas State Parks are an ideal setting for achieving that goal and enjoying nature simultaneously, with the added benefit of spending time with family and friends.”

On Jan. 1, more than 70 state parks and natural areas around Texas will host First Day Hikes to help visitors commit to their New Year’s resolution to drop a few pounds and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Events can be found at

These events are part of the America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative taking place in all 50 states.

“Last year, we hosted a record-breaking 41,000 people who hiked 72,442 miles in our state parks across the country when we launched America’s State Parks First Day Hikes,” said Priscilla Geigis, President of the National Association of State Park Directors. “Think of it as the start of a new and healthy lifestyle, for the whole family. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling, join us at one of America’s State Parks on New Year’s Day.”

As guided and self-guided hikes are going on throughout the day, some special events are taking place as well, including midnight hikes, runs, a polar plunge, paddling treks, and bike rides.

Balmorhea State Park in Toyahvale is hosting a First Day Polar Plunge from 8- 11 a.m. into the artesian spring-fed swimming pool that it is renowned for. Visitors are encouraged to bring their swimsuits, towels and warm clothing to change into.

Start 2016 with an afternoon interpretive paddle session at Lake Ray Roberts State Park- Johnson Branch Unit in Pilot Point. A park guide will lead paddlers around the lake and point out the different animal and plant species that call the lake home. More information about this First Day Paddle can be found on the park’s website.

For background and First Day Hikes locater map, visit Look for hikes nationwide on NASPD’s database at


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