Dec. 31, 2013. New Year’s Day for many means yet another New Year’s resolution for health and happiness in the year ahead. Why not kick off your resolution for 2014 with a healthy start? Many state parks and natural areas in the High Country are offering a “First Day Hike” to residents and visitors who are looking for a refreshing outdoor retreat for the first day of 2014.
Check out our list and pick one near you to bring in the New Year with a healthy start.
Grandfather Mountain State Park will host a New Year’s Day hike from 1-4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1. Participants should meet at the Lowes Foods parking lot near the intersection of N.C. 105 and N.C. 184. Join a ranger on a winter exploration hike looking for tracks and other signs of animal activity. We will be out for three hours and the hike may stray from the trail. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather and conditions, and can contact the office at 828-963-9522.
Elk Knob State Park will also host a New Year’s Day Hike. It has been said that whatever you do the first day of the year, you will do the rest of the year. Why not get outside and take a hike? Meet at the Elk Knob Trailhead at 2 p.m. for an invigorating hike to the summit. Dress appropriately for the weather keeping in mind that layering will allow you to regulate your temperature much more easily. Be sure to bring some water and plan for a two and a half to three hour outing in the elements. For more information, call 828-297-7261.
Start the New Year with some fresh air. Join the first of many hikes in a beautiful North Carolina State Park at New River State Park. Join a park ranger for an informal hike down the Hickory Trail. We will begin at the Park’s Visitor Center and hike 1.5 miles to the river and back. Wear sturdy shoes and bring some water to drink. Please call the park office at 336-982-2587 to register for this hike or for more information.
Come on up to Mount Jefferson State Park for a first day hike on New Year’s Day 2014. Experience the ancient Appalachians from a ridgeline trail. Take a bird’s eye view as we hike above this vast ocean of mountains. Starting at the picnic area, we will hike a little more than one mile round trip. Bring your winter coat and gloves as we celebrate the nature of Mount Jefferson on New Year’s Day. The start time will be at 2 p.m.