First Day Hikes a way to start 2017 on right foot

There’s an old belief that says what you do on New Years Day is what you will do the rest of the year. For those resolving to be more active, many North Carolina State Park are offering a guided walk in the woods. There are options to participate in the annual First Day Hikes at Eno River State Park in Durham, at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, and at Falls Lake State Recreation Area and Umstead State Park in Raleigh.

Jordan Lake Park Ranger Steve McMurray says it’s a great way to start: simply, and one step at a time.

It’s very quiet, if there’s nobody on the trail, it’s very quiet,” he said. “Ao quiet that you can’t believe you’re here at the lake just outside of Raleigh and Apex and Cary.”

At Eno River, rangers will lead a two-mile and a four-mile hike. Falls Lake will host a .75 mile scavenger hunt designed for kids ages 6 to 12. (Reservations are required for this one. Call the park office at 919-676-1027 to sign up).

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area hosts a 2.7-mile hike. (This one is more challenging).

And Umstead will offer a 1.3-mile hike along the Pott’s Branch Trail, which is rated as an easy hike.

“Especially for those that have their new year’s resolution to be physical or start a routine, the first day hike is a great way to get out there and start, especially in a state park in a natural setting,” McMurray said.

If you’re want to step into the new year at midnight, Chimney Rock State Park starts with a 12:01 a.m. walk in the woods.

What makes a good walk? For McMurray, “Just the company you’re in, being outside in the woods, just the pleasure of hearing the wind in the woods.”

The North Carolina State Parks service lists individual locations, hikes and lengths online.

Pay a virtual visit to some NC State Parks

A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.