State parks offer hikes to start the New Year on a healthy note

December 31, 2012 

Now that 2012 has roared to a champagne-soaked close, the state is inviting everyone to start 2013 on a more wholesome and healthy note.

State parks will host at least 40 guided First Day Hikes Tuesday, building on a tradition started last Jan. 1. They range from easy to challenging, short to long, early-morning to mid-afternoon – all of them free.

In the Triangle, hike options include:

• Eno River State Park at 2 p.m. at the Few’s Ford access. Choose from 2 mile to 4-5 mile treks. Call 919-620-9099 for more information.

• Falls Lake State Recreation Area at 10 a.m. at Shinleaf recreation area. The hike planned on the Falls Lake Trail includes a scavenger hunt aimed at children aged 6 to 12 years old. Reservations are required. Call 919-676-1027.

• Jordan Lake State Recreation Area at 1 p.m., beginning at Ebenezer Recreation Area in area A at the trailhead for an easy one-mile loop. Call 919-362-0586.

• William B. Umstead State Park. Meet at 9 a.m. to hike a 2-mile round trip from Reedy Creek shelter no. 1 – via the Harrison Avenue entrance – to the Company Mill site. For late risers, meet up at 2 p.m. at Crabtree Creek shelter no. 1 – via the Glenwood Avenue entrance – for an easy one-hour trail. Register for either or both hikes by calling 919-571-4170.

For information about hikes at other state parks, go to www.ncparks.gov/Education/main.php and click on Fun & Free Programs at Parks, then type January 2013 in the search field.

Staff writer Josh Shaffer

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