Outdoor coulmn

Columnist John Kilgore(left) participated in the First Day Hike last year at Greenleaf State Park last Jan. 1.

You can get the Roaring Twenties decade off to a great start.

Oklahoma State Parks are offering free guided hikes on Jan. 1 to promote healthy lifestyles in the New Year.

These events are part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes program and are happening in all 50 states.

It’s the ninth straight year that Oklahoma’s state parks have been part of the First Day Hikes initiative and participation grows every year.

In 2020 , at least 20 Oklahoma state parks will invite visitors to experience the beauty of nature in the wintertime.

The director of the state’s parks, Kris Marek, says park staffs work each year to create fresh ideas and incentives to entertain guests who come to their facilities to enjoy the outdoors and the hikes

Several area state parks will participate.

Greenleaf State Park will hold the First Day Hike on the Greenleaf Family Fun Trail at 10 a.m. on Jan. 1. Call 918-487-5196 for details. Coffee and got chocolate will be served.

Park personnel and volunteers will host the easy, one-mile venture along the paved trail. Pets are welcome if they are on a leash. Bring your binoculars and be sure to be dressed for the cool-weather hike. A guide will point out sites of interest along the way.

At Sequoyah State Park near Hulbert, two different hikes are scheduled. The 11:30 a.m. hike is an easy, 1-mile hike. The 1:30 p.m. hike is a moderate, 2-mile hike. Following each event, participants are invited to enjoy warm refreshments at Three Forks Nature Center. Bring your own mug and help us reduce waste.For further info, call  918-772-2108.

First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on the first day of the New Year.

Tom Creider, programs manager with Oklahoma State Parks, is excited about our state participating in this nationwide event.

“Lace up your walking shoes and see you on Jan. 1 as we begin 2020 on the right foot,” said Creider.

For all hiking trails, download the app, AllTrails, to locate different outdoor adventure venues to try in 2020.

My wife and I have challenged each otherto live a healthier a lifestyle in 2020.

Come join us and others who walk daily in our state parks or check out a local city park.  Also, walking in your neighborhood is an option.

Have a safe and prosperous New Year.

Reach John Kilgore at jkilgoreoutdoors@yahoo.com 

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