Looking for a way to have a healthy start to 2019? Officials with the Oklahoma State Parks may have a solution.
Twenty-three state parks, including three within the Grand Lake area, will take part in the "First Day Hikes" on New Year's Day, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2019.
The free, guided hikes, are designed to give participants a chance to start the new year by getting outdoors, connecting with nature and promoting year-round recreation.
This is the ninth year for Oklahoma's state parks have taken part in the "first day hike" movement. This year's efforts mark the start of the park system's 801s birthday celebration.
Participants at this year's First Day Hikes throughout Oklahoma will receive a "Hike Oklahoma State Parks 2019" medallion. Many sites will also offer hot chocolate and cookies to guests taking part in the outings.
Additionally the entrance fees at the state parks are waved on the first day, to encourage people to spend the day outdoors.
Hikers at all parks are encouraged to wear weather appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes, bring a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing and remember to pack water and snacks. Pets on a leash are welcome at some, but not all state parks.
Within northeast Oklahoma, three parks are taking part in the event, including Grand Lake State Park, Bernice; Grand Lake State Park-Grand Cherokee Golf Course, Langley; and Natural Falls State Park in West Siloam Springs.
At Natural Falls State Park in West Siloam Springs, participants will meet at 1 p.m., on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at the park's visitor center to take part in a .25 mile hike along the Pine Ridge Trail. Guests can continue for a moderate to difficult half-mile hike along Dripping Springs Trail.
The park is located at 58035 South 682 Road, west of West Siloam Springs off of Highway 412. For more information, persons interested may call 918-422-5802.
At Grand Lake State Park-Bernice, participants will take part in a half-mile hike beginning at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 1, after gathering at the nature center.
The park is located at 54101 Oklahoma 85A, Afton. For more information persons interested may call 918-257-8330 or visit http://bit.ly/grandlakestatepark-bernice.
At the Grand Lake State Park - Grand Cherokee Golf Course in Langley, participants will gather at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at the pro-shop for an approximate three mile walk along the paved cart paths.
The state park is located on north 4475 road, Langley, below the Pensacola Dam. For more information, persons interested may call 918-435-8727.