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Indiana DNR 'First Day Hikes'

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There are plenty of ways to celebrate New Year's Day, by either spending time with family or watching football, but the Indiana Department of Natural Resources would like you to spend it with them. The Indiana DNR will usher in the new year with 20 “First Day Hikes” at Indiana's state parks and reservoirs, with one in our region at the Indiana Dunes State Park, on January 1st, at 10am. Those interested can meet outside the nature center for a moderate hike on Trail Nine to the Beach House Blowout and back. First Day Hikes was a program launched more than 20 year ago to foster healthy lifestyles and promote year-round recreation at state parks.


Here's the news release from Indiana DNR:

Celebrate the New Year with a First Day Hike on Jan. 1

Usher in the New Year with other outdoor lovers at one of the many First Day Hikes offered Jan. 1 at Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs.

First Day Hikes are a healthy way to start 2013 and a chance to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and connect with friends. The family-friendly, guided hikes are organized by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with America’s State Parks.

According to America’s State Parks, more than 500 First Day Hikes will be held in all 50 states in 2013. First Day Hikes originated more than 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Mass. The program was launched to foster healthy lifestyles and promote year-round recreation at state parks.

Details about hike locations, difficulty, length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on the America’s State Parks website. Visit americasstateparks.org/first-day-hikes and click on your state of interest to find a First Day Hike nearest you.

DNR’s Division of State Parks & Reservoirs is hosting 20 First Day Hikes throughout the state. They are:

— Brookville Lake: Meet at 1 p.m. at the Wildlife Wander trailhead in Mounds State Recreation Area.

— Brown County SP: Meet at 10 a.m. at the nature center.

— Chain O’Lakes SP: Meet at 5:30 p.m. at the campground general store for a half-mile, sunset luminary walk on Trail 3.

— Charlestown SP: Meet at 1 p.m. at the Riverside Overlook for a 2.3-mile hike on Trail 6, which is rated “rugged.”

— Falls of the Ohio SP: Meet at 1 p.m. on the deck at the interpretive center to investigate the life of the Devonian Sea, preserved in limestone. If water is high, the hike will be along the river bank.

— Fort Harrison SP: Meet at 11 a.m. at the Delaware Lake parking lot for an easy stroll around the lake. Dogs on leash are invited. The park will provide treats for hikers and dogs, and offer information on the new dog park under development.

— Harmonie SP: Meet at 10 a.m. Central Time at the pool parking lot.

— Indiana Dunes SP: Meet at 10 a.m. Central Time outside the nature center for a moderate hike on Trail 9 to the Beach House Blowout and back.

— Lieber SRA (Cagles Mill Lake): Meet at 9 a.m. at the Hilltop Shelter for an hour-long walk.

— McCormick’s Creek SP: Hikers should bring their digital cameras and meet at 2 p.m. at the Canyon Inn for a photo safari in the canyon. Refreshments will be provided afterward.

— Mounds SP: Meet at 2 p.m. at the visitors center front porch for an hour-long hike around the Great Mound.

— Ouabache SP: Meet at 11 a.m. at the bison enclosure for a hike around the enclosure, followed by a short bison program and a bison feeding session.

— Patoka Lake: Meet at 11 a.m. at the beach for a 1-mile “Resolution Walk.”

— Prophetstown SP: Meet at 2 p.m. in the parking lot on the far east end of the park for a hike near the confluence of the Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers, where new hiking trails will open in 2013.

— Pokagon SP: Meet director of Indiana State Parks & Reservoirs Dan Bortner at 1 p.m. at the Inn’s Lonidaw Lounge for a hike to Lake Lonidaw, then up to the toboggan run for cocoa and marshmallows.

— Salamonie Lake: Meet at 10 a.m. at the Hominy Ridge Shelter in Salamonie River State Forest for coffee, hot chocolate and a brisk walk. Pets on leashes are welcome.

— Shakamak SP: Meet at the log cabin at 1 p.m.  The hike will end with hot chocolate and a warm fire.

— Spring Mill SP: Meet at 1 p.m. at the nature center amphitheater.

— Summit Lake SP: Meet at 1 p.m. at the beach parking lot for a 2-mile walk on the Prairie Trail (Trail 1). Hikers are encouraged to bring binoculars. Pets are welcome.

— Turkey Run SP: Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the nature center for a two-hour, moderate hike to look for bald eagles and other winter wonders. Hot chocolate and snacks will be provided at the Narrows Covered Bridge.

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