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A Great Way To Ring In The New Year

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Arnold, CA – California park officials are offering a healthy start on day one of the new year, with plenty of destinations to choose from, including the Mother Lode.

Why not get out and enjoy the fresh air with the annual First Day Hikes on Monday, New Year’s Day? State park officials say that it is a national-led effort that “encourages individuals and families to experience, with a seasoned guide, the beautiful natural and cultural resources found in the outdoors, and in doing so may inspire them to take advantage of these treasures throughout the year and an individual’s lifetime.”

Currently, more than 60 state parks will be participating, with over 70 guided hikes taking place across the state. Calaveras Big Trees State Park is one where hikers can experience a snowshoe-guided hike through the park’s North Grove. Park officials added, “Snowshoes will be available to borrow, and the first portion of the program will be an introduction to how to snowshoe.”

The distance and difficulty will vary per hike or activity. Details regarding start times and descriptions of hikes can be viewed by clicking here for the website of the event. The interactive site allows the public to search a map of locations by park name, county, and region. Visitors can also see the status of the hike and the last time it was updated, and by zooming into the map, they can find hikes taking place near that region of the map.

Most parks require a parking fee for hikes. State park officials noted, “If visitors have checked out the State Library Parks Pass or have qualified for the Golden Bear Pass, they can enter for free at participating parks. Additionally, parents of fourth graders are invited to download the California State Park Adventure Pass, which allows free entrance to visit park units like Millerton Lake State Recreation Area or Samuel P. Taylor State Park.” (Click here for more information on these free passes.)

Park officials provided these tips to stay safe during First Day Hikes and all year:

  • Know Before You Go: Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a backup plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick.
  • Play It Safe: Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. For example, make sure to dress in layers, bring plenty of snacks and water, and wear appropriate hiking shoes.
  • Leave No Trace: Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
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