The First Day Hikes for the Alabama State Parks were a success. We had 7 different parks participate with hikes totalling more than 300 hikers.
Check out the press release below from the National Association of State Park Directors.
First Day Hikes in America’s State Parks
State Parks Across the Nation Provided Invigorating Start to New Year in 2019.
Thousands of Americans across the nation started 2019 with an invigorating First Day Hike on January 1,
2019 in America’s State Parks. There were 1,270 guided First Day Hikes offered across the United States
from Alaska to Florida and park rangers hiked with more than 72,700 participants covering over 150,280
miles. This was a record number of hikers and even included international participation from Canada
where they hosted 6 hikes for 185 attendees.
“America’s state parks provide people a place to explore the outdoors, habitat for plants and animals, and
protect historic places for future generations. The First Day Hikes are a way park rangers, naturalists and
volunteers can get people outside to connect with nature and history and start new healthy lifestyles.” said
Ellen Graham, First Day Hikes Coordinator and Chief Naturalist, Georgia State Parks, Recreation &
Highlights from many parts of the country included warmer temperatures leading to great hiker turnout
include: Alabama State Parks reported having a significant increase from last year, and those that turned
out received a special edition “I hiked Alabama State Parks New Years’ Day” car decal that was a big hit!
Milder weather in Arkansas and Indiana led to record numbers of hikers throughout those states. In
Massachusetts, over 1,200 people attended the hike where the First Day Hikes initiative began at Blue Hills
Reservation. Even areas of the country in the grip of winter, like Wyoming saw dedicated hikers at sixteen
of their parks and historic sites, and Kansas where temperatures were frigid saw their statewide attendance
figures double from 2017.
At Lake D’arbonne State Park in Louisiana the Boy Scouts turned out to hike in order to earn merit badges.
Lone Pine State Park in Montana offered a night hike lit by luminaries, and hikers braved tough conditions
at scenic Taughannock Falls State Park which welcomed 1,242 participants and Walkway Over the Hudson
(Hudson Valley) drew over 1,400 hikers. North Dakota State Parks offered snowshoe and ski related events
at several of their parks and Virginia rebounded from last year’s cold weather with warmer temperatures
and a great turnout at many of their sites. Overall, First Day Hikes continues to be a hit around the nation.
One participant from Delaware summed up the First Day Hike experience, "Awesome adventure for the
first day of 2019!"
The National Association of State Park Directors promotes and advocates for the state park systems across
America in providing for conser