Start the new year off on the right foot - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Start the new year off on the right foot

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State Parks across Texas are hosting numerous guided hikes on January 1 as part of the national First Day Hikes program.  TPWD photo by Bryan Frazier State Parks across Texas are hosting numerous guided hikes on January 1 as part of the national First Day Hikes program. TPWD photo by Bryan Frazier
HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

With New Year's Day right around the corner, folks are focusing on their 2013 new year's resolutions. Some will vow to add more exercise into their routines, and others will promise to unplug and get outdoors more. Start the New Year off on the right foot by tackling both those resolutions at once!

On January 1st, state parks across Texas will be hosting "First Day Hikes," an annual event that is held nationwide.  The Houston area has 3 parks participating: Brazos Bend State Park, Stephen F. Austin State Park, and Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center.

At Brazos Bend State Park, they want to encourage people to see state parks not only as a place to enjoy nature but a great place to get active.

"Brazos Bend's First Day Hike starts at 10:00 am on January 1st" explains David Heinicke a Park Naturalist. "Visitors will meet at our nature center for this 1/2 mile guided hike where they will learn about the plants and animals that live in this area."

Recent on-site visitor surveys in Texas parks revealed that hiking / trails were the most sought-after amenity by park visitors, and many Texas state parks have added newly built or recently improved hiking and biking trails to meet growing demand. The Brazos Bend First Day Hike will be guided, but you can always do something on your own.

"Brazos Bend State Park offers over 35 miles of hiking and biking trails," says Heinicke. "Whether out for a short walk, an all day hike, leisurely bike ride with the family, challenging off road bike ride or trail run, Brazos Bend is just the right destination. Even better, it's less than an hour drive from most of Houston."

Participants will want to make some modest advance preparations. Some park's First Day hikes warrant call-ahead reservations, and in most instances, folks will want to wear sturdy shoes, and bring drinking water and a hiking stick. Park entrance fees apply in most places, and many parks are leading the First Day Hike at no extra cost.

Create a new family tradition by participating in "First Day Hikes" at a park near you, and together you can start off your year in a new direction.

ONLINE:

http://www.texasstateparks.org/firstdayhikes

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/calendar/

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