First Day Hike**

Wisconsin’s State Parks, along with the nations state parks are celebrating the New Year with First Day Hikes on January 1, 2013

First Day Hikes on New Year’s Day 2013, offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1, 2013, at a Wisconsin State Park or trail near you. (Link to parks participating)

"Wisconsin State Parks and trails are local treasures which provide the perfect environment to get outside and get some exercise during the winter months by hiking or snowshoeing or skiing. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling, join others at one of Wisconsin's State Parks on New Year’s Day!” said Patty Loosen, Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Group Coordinator.

Wisconsin’s State Parks and trails boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation, and each First Day Hike will offer an opportunity to explore the unique natural treasure close to home. From Peninsula State Park to Kettle Moraine State Forest - Pike Lake and Southern Unit, hikers can climb hills and bluffs, walk along ponds and beaches, and traverse trails through forests, fields and prairies. Visitors can listen to birds, breathe in the fresh air, discover wildlife tracks, feel the wind and the warmth of the sun or the coldness of the snow. Visitors can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, experience spectacular views and vistas.

Ice along Weborg Point, Peninsula State Park*
First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. The program was launched to foster healthy lifestyles and promote year round recreation at state parks. Last year marked the first time all 50 state park systems joined together to sponsor First Day Hikes, offering 400 hikes nationwide.

State park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the state park. Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on the Department of Natural Resources website.

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is committed to promoting outdoor recreation in state parks as a way to promote healthy lifestyles, especially among children. Getting kids outside creates a unique connection with nature that promotes physical and emotional well-being and encourages creativity and stewardship of our shared resources.

Planning on taking a "first Day Hike"? Share photos.  Click here

* Photo from Friends of Peninsula State park
**Adapted from National News Release