Last updated: December 26. 2013 2:01PM - 952 Views
Wil Petty Staff Writer jpetty@civitasmedia.com

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New Year’s Day for many means making resolutions to maintain a healthier life.

New River State Park and the Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area, are helping people with that goal start from the beginning.

“Every state park in North Carolina will be doing a ‘First Day Hike,” said Scott Robinson, a park ranger at New River State Park. “We are one of the many participants doing (the hikes).”

The hike at New River State Park will begin at 10 a.m. and the hike at Mt. Jefferson will take place at 2 p.m.

Robinson said the hikes will be approximately a mile and a half.

“It’s a way to get people out the first day of the year,” he said. “It’s a great way to start 2014.”

The goal of the hike is to get people out to enjoy the scenery. Park rangers will discuss different wildlife and trees that participants see while walking through the parks.

“There’s always a chance of seeing a deer or something while we’re out,” Robinson said. “Basically, we’ll talk about anything that we see along the way.”

The hikes are free and will take place rain or shine. Hikes may be called off if there is snow or ice on the road, making it hard for people to access the parks.

“If the roads were closed due to snow, we would probably cancel the hikes due to safety issues,” Robinson said. “If we can have the event at all, we sure will.”

Robinson said the state parks in Ashe County have been participating in the First Day Hikes for three years.

“We’re trying to get folks from all across North Carolina out to participate and to enjoy nature and be active,” he said.

Hikers will need to wear warm clothing, hiking boots and bring water bottles. Participants will meet the park rangers at their respected visitor centers before embarking on the hike.

For more information on the hikes, call New River State Park at (336) 982-2587 or Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area at (336) 246-9653.

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