More than 60 complimentary, guided hikes will be provided in 40-plus state parks across the state (vehicle entrance fees may apply). The hikes are part of the First Day Hikes Program organized in all 50 states and Canada aimed at encouraging people to get outdoors.
Parks are unique places where children play, people exercise, families and friends bond, seniors socialize, cultures share and celebrate their differences, and everyone connects with nature. For eight years, State Parks has participated in the First Day Hikes Program to encourage the public to enjoy the benefits of recreating in the outdoors. Last year, more than 55,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking over 133,000 miles. Californians hiked more than 8,900 of those miles.
"What better way to start out the New Year than by connecting with family and friends in nature?" said California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat. "With iconic landscapes, beautiful views and fresh air, hiking in our state parks is a perfect way to absorb the wonders of the outdoors and learn about California's natural and cultural resources."
State Parks staff, dedicated docents and volunteers will be providing the guided hikes. Distance and rigor will vary per hike/activity, so visitors are encouraged to check out details of start times and description of hikes.
Participating state parks for the 2019 First Day Hikes include:
• Red Rock Canyon State Park offers scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations.
• Angel Island State Park has natural beauty and incredible views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, and rich history.
• Carpinteria State Beach is the perfect place to explore many distinct environments that support a diverse community of plants and animals on the Southern California Coast.
• Humboldt Lagoons State Park is offering a first day swim and paddle this year.
• Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area plans to take participants off-road vehicle riding.
• Año Nuevo State Park continues its equal access walk to view elephant seals January 1 and throughout the winter.
Editor’s note: For a complete list of participating state parks and how to safely enjoy First Day Hikes, we suggest you visit California's First Day Hikes webpage. Many hikes are still being planned and will be added to the list as details become available.
With more than 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, and 4,500 miles of trails, State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, on- and off-road cycling, hiking, camping, and rock climbing are some of the recreational activities enjoyed in 280 state parks. You may want to nvent your adventures by visiting them online at parks.ca.gov.