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    Georgia’s “First Day Hikes” Welcome the New Year with Healthy Treks

    Georgia’s State Parks Host New Year’s Day Hikes

    All across the country, state parks are inviting families to start the New Year with a “First Day Hike” and a commitment to healthy living.  In Georgia, several state parks have planned guided hikes where families can connect with nature and each other.  Last year, more than 600 Georgians kicked off 2012 on these guided hikes — a nationwide event sponsored by America’s State Parks.

    According to state park officials, winter is a particularly scenic time for hiking because the open canopy means people can see farther through the woods.

    “In winter, you can appreciate the unusual and beautiful shapes of trees and their branches,” said Georgia State Parks Director Becky Kelley.  “You’ll notice moss-covered boulders and small waterfalls that are normally hidden behind by the forest.  Plus, it’s fun for families to look for deer and other wildlife.”

    Kicking off the New Year with an invigorating hike fits into the mission of the Georgia State Parks “Tons of Fun Initiative” — to encourage citizens to lead healthier lifestyles through outdoor recreation.  The website includes exercise ideas, healthy recipes, nutritionist and personal trainer advice, and more.

    A list of all ranger-led hikes on New Year’s Day is below, and the entire calendar of events can be found at  For guests who want to celebrate a reflective New Year’s Eve in nature, Georgia’s State Parks offer heated cabins, hotel-style lodge rooms, cozy yurts and modern campsites.  For reservations, call 1-800-864-7275 or book online at

    Logo courtesy Georgia State Parks

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