Alabama State Parks to Host First Day Hikes

Feeling run down from the holiday excitement? Reinvigorate with a First Day Hike at an Alabama State Park! On New Year’s Day 2013, DeSoto, Gulf, Joe Wheeler, Lake Guntersville, Monte Sano, and Oak Mountain will each host a guided hike to help start the year off right. All 50 states are hosting First Day Hikes to encourage the public to spend time outdoors, reduce stress and improve quality of life. The hikes are free, but park entrance fees apply.
Locations and times below:
Location: DeSoto State Park country store
Time: 10 a.m. 
Contact: Brittney M. Hughes, 256-601-7593 or 256-997-5025
Location: Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trail parking lot on State Road 2
Time: 1 p.m.
Contact: Kelly Reetz, 251-948-7275 
Joe Wheeler
Location: Lodge lobby
Time: 10:30 a.m. 
Contact: Tim Haney, 256-247-5466
Lake Guntersville
Location: Lodge lobby
Time: 9:45 a.m. 
Contact: Nick Guinn, 256-571-5444
Monte Sano
Location:  CCC Museum at the scenic overlook
Time: 1 p.m.
Contact:  Kent Wilborn, 256-534-3757
Oak Mountain
Location: Marina parking lot on Terrace Drive
Time: 10 a.m.
Contact: Emily Cook, 205-620-2520
Can't make one of the New Year's hikes? There are plenty of self-guided hikes at all of Alabama’s 22 state parks. Other hiking/biking options outside of the state park system include Alabama's Forever Wild properties. For trail maps and more, visit or
In addition to hiking, Alabama State Parks offer a wide variety of outdoor recreation options and overnight accommodations. Winter is an especially good time to visit an Alabama State Park as several of the parks offer discounted rates on cabins, and lodge and hotel rooms. Visit for more details.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit