COLUMBIA - Most state parks in South Carolina will offer ranger-guided hikes, walks and special events on Monday, Jan. 1, to get the new year started on the right foot.
The First Day Hikes are mostly 1- to 3-mile easy walks along beaches, marshes …
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Park: Lee State Park
Address: 487 Loop Road, Bishopville
Trail: Wetlands and Sandhills trails
Time: 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Meeting location: Education Center
Degree of difficulty: easy
Minimum age: n/a
Length of trail: 1 mile
Things to bring: Water bottle, camera, binoculars, walking shoes
Contact information: (803) 428-5307
Address: 6660 Poinsett Park Road, Wedgefield
Trail Time: 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Meeting location: Park Office
Minimum age: must be able to walk 2 miles on your own
Length of trail: 2 miles
Things to bring: water, dress for the weather, camera, and comfortable hiking shoes
Contact information: (803) 494-8177
The First Day Hikes are mostly 1- to 3-mile easy walks along beaches, marshes and lakes, in forests or on historic trails, to help visitors learn more about the cultural and natural heritage of South Carolina and to get in some holiday exercise.
Two parks will host longer hikes, but the treks still will be moderately easy. They are Caesars Head (5-mile hike along Raven Cliff Falls Trail) and Cheraw (4.5-mile hike along Turkey Oak Trail) state parks.
Additionally, a few parks will offer 5K runs (Charles Towne Landing and Devils Fork state parks), while others will offer "plunges" or quick, exhilarating dips into water. Plunges are scheduled at Aiken (New Year Plunge), Devils Fork (Loon Lunge), Hunting Island (Pelican Plunge), Paris Mountain (Paris Plunge) and Sadlers Creek (Deer Dip).
"These events have become very popular in our parks," said Duane Parrish, director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. "Visitors are using this time to recharge and restart and to enjoy some of the most scenic settings in South Carolina."
Park visitors who participate in First Day Hikes are encouraged to share their experiences through comments and photo posts on social media with the hashtags #FirstDayHikes and #SCStateParks.
For a complete list of parks hosting hikes and events, visit www.SouthCarolinaParks.com.
The Park Service's First Day Hikes are part of a national movement by America's State Parks program to get more people out into the great outdoors on New Year's Day and to rediscover the beauty and significance of their natural heritage.
For more information, contact Dawn Dawson-House at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 734-1779.
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