The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is gearing up for its annual First Day Hikes – a program that encourages Texans to start the new year by spending time in nature.
Stephanie Garcia is a spokesperson for the department, and says First Day Hikes tries to reach those people who’ve made New Year’s resolutions to be more physically active.
“This is a good way to just get them out and enjoy the outdoors in one of our parks,” Garcia says.
Last year, Garcia says New Year’s Day was cold, but that didn’t deter people from venturing out to the parks.
“We actually had almost 1,000 park visitors … that braved the cold, and we actually had over 1,700 miles trekked just on that day from our parks,” Garcia says.
She says a lot of the parks will be hosting special hikes on Jan. 1, but the word “hike” shouldn’t deter those new to exploring the outdoors. Some of the hikes are short and suitable for all ages. There will also be other special activities, from cold-water plunges to bike rides.
“Even dog hikes – so, if you wanna take your four-legged family member, you can definitely do that,” Garcia says. “I really encourage anyone who wants to try and find something near them to definitely visit our website: tpwd.texas.gov.”
Written by Caroline Covington.