This year Georgia has gotten a jump start on planning for New Year’s resolutions. Often, people’s resolutions include living a healthier lifestyle – whether it be eating healthy, exercising more, or both. Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites are offering different options for beginning the new year on the right foot – literally. “First Day Hikes” is a movement sponsored by America’s state parks to help increase the metabolism and decrease the waistline of Georgians this year.
Various parks in Georgia are participating in the program, so everyone can find the right hike. The different paths range from family-friendly strolls to challenging treks and some specifically focus on historical or geological wonders. If you want to spend New Year’s Eve in a peaceful nature setting, you can even reserve one of the parks’ cabins, lodge rooms, or modern campsites!
The participating parks range from Metro Atlanta, Northern Georgia, Coastal Georgia, Middle Georgia, and Southern Georgia. Here are a couple examples of First Day Hikes:
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This 6-mile guided hike is the perfect winter outing for the first day of the new year. Enjoy meandering creeks cascading over rocks and bring a light lunch to enjoy on the way. For children older than 10 and adults in good walking shape. $5 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.
Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia, GA
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Welcome the New Year with a 1.2 mile moderate hike on the Muscadine Trail. We will meet in the Day Use Parking Area. We will finish the hike at the beach pavilion where hikers can add a little “luck and wealth” to their year. Come enjoy a sampling of black eye peas and collard greens to your New Year. Register in advance by calling 706-356-4362 by December 30. $5 parking. 706-356-4362.
Indian Springs State Park – Flovilla, GA
Join a park ranger for a journey through time. Discover the history of Indian Springs State Park, sample the famous spring water, and tour the park museum. This moderate hike will involve some steps and hills. Participants meet at the park museum. $5 parking. 770-504-2277.
For a complete list of hikes, visit this page.