Each year, almost everyone has some sort of New Year's resolution to get outside more or get healthier. This year, South Carolina State Parks can help jump start that effort with a First Day Hike.
In conjunction with America's State Parks and state park systems across the country, SC State Parks have organized events all over the state on Jan. 1, 2017, to get everyone outside. You can start the day with a sunrise hike to photograph the Adventure at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site or brave the cold and take the plunge at Paris Mountain State Park's Paris Plunge.
The parks are hosting 40 different events at 35 parks across the state. Events range in activity and skill level, with some parks hosting multiple events. If you're a walker, many parks are hosting walks, with some as short as a half-mile. Others are more challenging, like the Caesars Head 5-mile hike up the mountain. More of a runner? Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site and Devils Fork State Park are hosting 5K events. Aiken, Devils Fork, Paris Mountain and Sadlers Creek State Parks will be holding cold water "plunge" events for those looking to start 2017 refreshed. And Lee and Kings Mountain State Parks are hosting organized trail rides for horse owners.
And if you'd rather strike out on your own, each of South Carolina's 47 parks will be open New Year's Day.
In addition to all of the First Day Hike activities, SC State Parks also are inviting active and retired military personnel to compete in First Day Hikes to see which branch of the Armed Forces can hike the most miles in a single day. Military personnel can opt to join scheduled hikes or do their own, as long as they check in with rangers first. So if you're a member of the Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force, come out and help rack up miles for bragging rights. Just stop stop by the park office to pick up an Ultimate Outsider guide and tell the park ranger on duty which branch of service you represent. Report back the number of miles after you finish.
So get out, enjoy and start 2017 on the right foot.
Get more information on each of the events here.