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Free guided hikes with the Oklahoma State Parks on New Year’s Day

Photo courtesy Oklahoma State Parks
Participants at the First Day Hike with a ranger in the Osage Hills Parks.
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NORMAN, Okla. -- While festivities almost finished and the New Year’s coming, one has the possibility to start 2016 in a good shape. For the fifth years, the Oklahoma State Parks organize the First Day Hikes in coordination with the America’s State Parks.

According to Keli Clark, the media coordinator of the Oklahoma State Parks, 16 free guided hikes in 14 parks are programmed for the first January. Four hikes has been canceled, such in Roman Nose State Park-Watonga due to the weather conditions in the last few days. The Park rangers, Park naturalists and staff members will supervised hikes.

From beginner to experienced, the First Day Hikes are opened to everyone and up to 500 participants are expected to come. The Oklahoma State Parks recommends appropriate winter dress and if it is possible, a camera and a binocular to enjoy the beauty of the nature.

Extra activities could be proposed such a bonfire at the Osage Hills State Park-Pawhuska and often a hot chocolate will be provide to give courage for braving the cold weather.

For Jan. 1, 2016, over 1,000 guided hikes are organized in 50 states. In 2015 almost 28,000 people came for the America’s First Day Hike. For more details concerning the hikes around the United States go on naspd.org.

The Oklahoma State Parks includes 34 parks and represented by the America’s State Parks that is also named the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD). The NASPD was created in 2010 to unify the 50 U.S. State Parks organizations and provide a better representation and promotion of the States Parks system to the politics.

Today the NASPD regroups 10,234 state parks for a surface of 18 million acres. With more than 739 million visitors in 2014, state parks are playing an important social role and have an economic impact on communities of over $20 billion.

Participants at First Day Hike 2013 at Lake Thunderbird (Photo courtesy Oklahoma State Parks)

The values of the State Parks are not only economic but also environmental because of conserving the area under its protection. The state parks are small havens especially with the rapid urbanization and the standardization of the landscape by the industrial agriculture

In addition, with 63 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, promoting regular hike to people could be an interesting way to reduce obesity when you know there are 10,234 state parks. A report of Marketdata Enterprises Inc shows that in 2014 the U.S. weight loss market represented nearly $60 billion.

The New Year's resolution should be; stop spend money in weight loss products and miracle programs, and go outside to enjoy the treasure of the nature has to offer.

 “America’s State Parks provide havens for young and old alike to explore the beauty and serenity of nature through outdoor recreation,” Lewis Ledford, the executive director of the NASPD told Red Dirt Report. “Hiking offers inspiring ways to improve your physical and mental health, while discovering beautiful public lands in every state.”

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Olivier Rey

Olivier has traveled in 20 countries on six continents before landing in Norman. Native French...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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