BOSTON (AP) — After hiking in a Massachusetts park more than 30 years ago, a simple plan to get more people outdoors on New Year’s Day has become a national movement.
In 1992, only 380 people took part in the first day hike on the nearly 7,000-acre (2,830-hectare) Blue Hills Preserve just south of Boston. On Sunday, tens of thousands of people will take part in first-day hikes at hundreds of parks in all 50 states.
A brisk walk is a great way to literally start the New Year off on the right foot, getting outdoors, enjoying nature, spending time with family and friends, getting in shape, and getting park officials and attendees. You can start working on your New Year’s resolutions. Said.
“It’s all about mind, body and soul,” said Rodney Franklin, Parks Director for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service.
The late Patrick Flynn, former Blue Hills supervisor, came up with the original plan.
Priscilla Geigis, deputy commissioner for conservation and resource management at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, said, “Many people think of parks as just summer places, so he brings people to the parks in the winter. I wanted a way,” he said.
77-year-old Steve Olanoff attended the first event at the Blue Hills in 1992 and now volunteers to shepherd hikers along the park’s trails each year.
“Back then, I had nothing to do on New Year’s Day,” he said. “Everybody was sitting at home watching TV. When I heard there was an opportunity to go hiking, I said, ‘Well, I’ll try,'” he said. It is truly amazing that so many people are doing this now. ”
Over the years, more Massachusetts State Parks have participated. Other state parks then joined. In 2012, First Day Hikes took off nationally when the National Association of State Park Keepers endorsed the idea..
“It shows that one person has an idea that could spread like that,” Geigis said.
Some states have their own twist. Northwest of Austin, at Inkhi Lake State Park in Barnett County, Texas, attendees can enjoy the first day running, biking, or paddle in a canoe or kayak.
Some locations in Oregon may require snowshoes or cross-country skis, said Jason Resch, marketing manager for Oregon’s Parks and Recreation division. Elijah his Bristow State Park near Eugene also offers a first-day horseback riding experience.
“Bring your own horse,” said Lesh.
Some hikes are guided by park rangers or volunteers who teach about the history, geography, flora and fauna of a particular park. It promotes stewardship and a commitment to protecting parks and open spaces, he said, Geigis. Snacks are served in many places.
And we welcome people of all ability levels.
“We want to appeal to as many people as possible,” Franklin said. “So some of the hikes on paved flat surfaces aren’t very long, but if you want a brisk and longer hike, you can do it.”
Families with babies, the elderly, and people with dogs were on board for the first-day hike in Chester Blandford State Forest, Massachusetts, according to Western guides on the 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) hike. said Elizabeth Massa, president of Mass Hilltown Hikers. jaunt.
“If your New Year’s resolution is to exercise more, lose weight, and be healthier, this is your chance,” she said.