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Kick off the new year with a hike at Virginia State Parks

Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 4:43 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - If you’re looking for a healthy activity to start 2022, how about the great outdoors with a “first-day hike”?

You’re in luck! January 1 is First Day Hike.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) says you’ll be able to choose your own guided hike at one of the state parks or you can create your own.

All state parks offer free parking January 1 and visitors to each park will receive a commemorative water bottle sticker (while supplies last).

Virginia State Parks has many hikes and opportunities to choose from, or visit a park and create your own special First Day Hike. Here are a few ideas:

Sky Meadows State Park will open at 5:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day to support the sunrise celebration of various cultures. At 10 a.m., join a ranger at the Backcountry Trailhead for a guided hike.

Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield offers a special New Year’s Eve night hike to celebrate the countdown. The park also offers a variety of special hikes for different ages and capabilities throughout New Year’s Day.

Guided hikes are available every hour from 9 a.m. – noon at Natural Bridge State Park. The approximately 45-minute hike will lead you to great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Join a ranger at Smith Mountain Lake State Park on a mile hike that is rated as easy. The hike includes a scavenger hunt to discover winter’s hidden secrets in nature.

At Clinch River State Park, a ranger will lead you on a 4-mile hike along the Clinch and to the ruins of a failed French settlement.

For a list of scheduled hikes and programs, www.virginiastateparks.gov/firstdayhikes

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