Hike RRSP on New Year's Day

Wednesday, December 26, 2012
First Day Hike award Roaring River State Park received the America's State Parks First Day Hikes Founding Park award after offering a First Day Hike on Jan. 1 of this year. The award is for "participation in contributing to the success of America's State Parks First Day Hikes 2012 and helping to build America's State Parks brand, promote healthy lifestyles and encourage year-round recreation at state parks." Last year was the first year that all 50 states collaborated on a single, nationwide state parks event occurring on the same day. Kerry Hays, Roaring River assistant superintendent, pictured above, served as the guide for this year's First Day Hike. Hays will lead his second First Day Hike on Jan. 1, 2013.

Roaring River State Park will offer its second First Day Hike on Jan. 1, 2013. Hikers are invited to meet at the Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center off of Highway F in the park.

"This is a great way to start the year," said Kerry Hays, park assistant superintendent, who will lead the First Day Hike, "particularly for people who have decided they need to do something active. It is a great way to get started."

First Day Hike participants will travel Fire Tower Trail to Deer Leap Trail and then along the River Trail back to the nature center. The hike is approximately two and a half miles.

"It is not that difficult of a climb," said Hays. "The most difficult part of the hike will be the start of the trip."

Hikers are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. Guides be taking photos during the hike, but participants are also invited to bring along cameras.

"Dress in layers," said Hays. "We will have the hike no matter what the weather is like. Bringing water would be good too."

Last year's First Day Hike at Roaring River State Park attracted between 20 and 30 participants. Hays hopes to see the same number or more hikers come out for this year's event.

"We will provide information about the different types of ecosystems we find along the trail," said Hays. "Last year, we had a lot of people who had never visited Roaring River before. We will continue to provide information on the types of things there are to do at Roaring River during the course of the year."

First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago at Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Mass. The program was designed to promote healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks.

The First Day Hikes conducted on Jan. 1 of this year were the first time that all 50 state park systems joined together to sponsor the program.

Nature enthusiasts who are unable to attend the First Day Hike are encouraged to take part in one of Roaring River's other upcoming winter activities. The park will hold eagle viewing events on Jan. 19, 2013, and Feb. 16, 2013.

For more information on the First Day Hike or other Roaring River State Park programs, call the park office at 847-2539 or the nature center at 847-3742.

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