CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the new year arrives, many always make a resolution to be more active on their way to what they hope is a healthier year, West Virginia’s state parks hope to assist with that plan.
For the last few years, the park system has sponsored a “First Hike” program on Jan. 1. That will be the case again Tuesday, the first day of 2019, with interpretative walks along trails of select state parks across West Virginia.
“It’s an opportunity to celebrate the new year with a new beginning and a new healthy perspective,” said Sam England, chief of the West Virginia State Parks. “The guided one is always a beginner level, about a two-mile hike.”
Among the the parks sponsoring First Day Hikes are Blackwater Falls, Kanawha State Forest, Cacapon, Chief Logan, Tygart and Watoga. They are all listed on the state parks website. The one at Kanawha State Forest has been well-attended in past years, England said.
“It’s a very popular hike, we’ll have 100 or more people turn out for that one,” he said. “But Chief Logan State Park is holding their first-ever.”
The hikes are largely on the beginner level and include a good measure of education along the way.
“A two-mile guided, interpretive hike is a little different than just going out for a hike,” England explained. “All of these are being led by our naturalists, so not only are you getting exercise and the benefit of being in the outdoors, you’ll also learn a good bit about winter nature.”
Most of the hikes are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. A few have early afternoon start times.