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December 9, 2014

MADISON - Anyone looking to start their New Year's resolution for better health can start the year off on the right foot by participating in any of 11 First Day Hikes that will be held at Wisconsin State Park properties on January 1.

On a First Day Hike, visitors can enjoy exciting 1- to 2- mile walks through diverse, beautiful natural areas, led by park rangers and volunteers. Most hikes include additional activities such as campfires, s'mores, crafts, costume contests and storytelling.

America's State Parks and American Hiking Society are teaming up with state park programs across the country to promote First Day Hikes as a healthy and memorable way to start the New Year.

All 50 states are participating in the fourth annual event that invites families and friends to celebrate the New Year amid the sights, sounds and wonder of our natural world with fun, guided hikes.

In Wisconsin, First Day Hikes will be held at the following properties:

On Jan. 1, 2014, 190 participants hiked a total of 605.7 miles at nine different state park properties, up from 165 participants who hiked a total of 396 miles in 2013.

Nationwide last year, more than 27,000 people took part in more than 800 hikes in all 50 states - an increase of 5,000 participants over 2013, according to the National Association of State Park Directors.

For helpful cold weather hiking tips, visit the American Hiking Society's website at (both links exit DNR). For a complete listing of all State Park events, including First Day Hikes, search the DNR website for keywords "get outdoors."

All participants are encouraged to log their First Day Hike adventures on social media with the hash tag "#firstdayhikes."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brigit Brown - 608-266-2183 or Paul Holtan, 608-267-7517

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 09, 2014

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