Atlanta, GA All across the country, state parks are inviting families and friends to start the New Year with a “First Day Hike” and a commitment to healthy living.  In Georgia, a dozen state parks have planned guided hikes where people can connect with nature and even re-connect with each other.  The nationwide event is sponsored by America’s State Parks, with New Year’s Day hikes being led in all 50 states.

“Winter is a great time to go hiking because you’ll see vistas normally hidden by foliage,” said Georgia State Parks Director Becky Kelley.  “You can really appreciate the magnificent shapes of trees, and you’ll see rocks and streams that are normally out of sight.  Plus, winter is a good time to look for wildlife like fox and turkey.”

Kicking off the New Year with an invigorating hike fits into the mission of the Georgia State Parks Tons of Fun Initiative: to encourage citizens to lead healthier lifestyles through outdoor recreation.  The TonsofFun.org website includes exercise ideas, healthy recipes, nutritionist and personal trainer advice, and more.

A list of all ranger-led hikes on New Year’s Day is below, and the entire calendar of events can be found at GeorgiaStateParks.org/Events.  Families may want to call ahead to make sure hikes are suitable for the youngest family members.

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