Start the New Year With a Hike

by Texas Parks & Wildlife on January 7, 2016 in Lifestyle, Wellness, Living Texas,
Enchanted Rock Photo courtesy of TPWD e1452041675200

Start the new year on the right foot by taking a hike at a Texas State Park in your area. This year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department continued its annual First Day Hikes initiative, and it has been a great experience.

But in case you’re taking some extra time getting started on those fitness goals, or looking for some real motivation, consider taking going on a hike in one of Texas’ many amazing state parks.

Canyon Lake Photo by Brian Greenstone
Canyon Lake Photo by Brian Greenstone

“[Hiking] 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 hosted First Day Hikes to help visitors commit to their new year’s resolution to drop a few pounds and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Even if you didn’t get out to one, it’s never too late to start. Find out what events parks in your ares have going on at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website. 

“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.”  

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

Remember to bring a camera with you. We love to see your photos! Enchanted-Rock-Hiking Photo courtesy of TPWD
Remember to bring a camera with you. We love to see your photos! Enchanted-Rock-Hiking Photo courtesy of TPWD

Balmorhea State Park in Toyahvale hosted a First Day Polar Plunge  into the artesian spring-fed swimming pool that it is renowned for.

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. Or explore nature with one of their bird watching events. All levels of bird watchers are welcome and be sure to bring binoculars, sturdy shoes and water .

Start this year off right, and keep the momentum going throughout 2016, and make this year one to remember.