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First Day Hikes 2015

Ranger-guided outings help visitors stay healthy, and appreciate the outdoors.

Click here for a comprehensive list of all hikes.

More than 30 state parks in South Carolina will offer free ranger-guided hikes, walks and special events on Thursday, Jan. 1, to help launch the new year (and to get resolutions off to a good start.) The First Day Hikes are mostly easy to moderate walks along beaches and lakes, in forests or on historic trails, to help visitors learn more about the cultural and natural heritage of South Carolina and to get in some holiday exercise.

While most hikes are suitable for all ages, one of the hikes at Table Rock State Park in Pickens is a strenuous 7-mile climb to the top of the mountain and is suitable for visitors who are at least 12 years old. Devils Fork State Park in Salem is offering a 1st Day 5K run along with its regular 2-mile hike along a nature trail. And Sadlers Creek State Park in Anderson is hosting a Deer Dip, inviting people to take a dip in the winter waters of Lake Hartwell, much like the Polar Plunges found in northern states.

“Traditionally, New Year’s Day is a time to recharge and restart, and we’re happy to offer ideal settings for people to do that,” said Duane Parrish, Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “The trails and pathways in state parks are some of the most naturally scenic and historically significant in the state. Inspiring and re-affirming, they set the stage for enriching experiences in the South Carolina outdoors.”

For a complete list of parks hosting First Day hikes, click here.

The Park Service’s First Day Hikes are part of a national movement by the America’s State Parks program to get more people out into the great outdoors on New Year’s Day and to rediscover the beauty and significance of their natural heritage.

Check out the video below for hiking tips!

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