RRSP's First Day Hike a success
The third annual First Day Hike, which took place on Jan. 1 at Roaring River State Park in Cassville, was an overwhelming success, according to Kerry Hays, assistant park superintendent.
"Our First Day Hike was a wonderful event with our biggest turnout since the program first started three years ago," Hays said.
This year's event saw 52 hikers, co-parent to 19 participants last year.
"This was a guided tour, so hikers learned about various geological and natural wonders along the trail," Hays said. "There were quite a few kids along and they took full advantage of exploring the caves.
"One gentleman was celebrating his 50th birthday by taking the First Day Hike with his family," Hays continued. "We even encountered a curious armadillo along the way. It stayed long enough for everyone to take a look."
Although it was the first time many of the hikers took advantage of the first-day program, all had previously visited the park. Several indicated they would make the First Day Hike a yearly tradition.
People came from Cassville, Monett, Neosho, Exeter, Cape Fair, Pineville, Butterfield, and Eureka Springs, Ark., to take part in the first hike of 2014.
"We had really good weather," Hays said. "The temperature rose to the mid-50s by the end of the hike, so it was certainly a great day to get outdoors."
Winner of the walking stick, which featured a Roaring River State Park medallion, was Paula Rawlings, of Cassville.
"I came because I needed an adventure," Rawlings said.
Other winter events at the park include Eagle Watching Days, set for 3 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 18 and Saturday, Feb. 15. For more information on upcoming events, visit www.mostateparks.com.