First day, first hike

Published 2:06 pm Thursday, December 28, 2017

What better way to begin a fresh start than with a breath of fresh air? To kick off the new year, Wilderness Road State Park will host their annual First Day Hike, encouraging everyone to get started early on their resolutions to stay active and healthy through 2018.

As of 2012, all Virginia State Parks began holding a “First Day Hike” on Jan. 1, as a way of welcoming in a new year of adventure and excitement among the parks, as well as reminding people of the importance of spending time outdoors, even throughout the cooler months.

“We feel that getting outside and being active is an important component of a getting a fresh start. Plus, we always have a lot of fun on our little adventures,” said Park Naturalist Jesse Henderson, who leads the hike each year.

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The hike will take place on the 1.5 mile Pioneer Trail, and will lead hikers on an adventure through the dark forest and weary meadow, featuring everything from American Bison to an authentically recreated Native Camp along the way. The beautiful scenery combined with heaps of Appalachian culture is sure to captivate the minds of both history buffs and nature lovers alike.

There will be no parking fee for this event, and anyone is welcome to come and participate in the challenging tromp. Registration is not required, but those who do sign up before Jan. 1 will have the opportunity to participate in both the New Year Challenge and the Photo Contest, both of which are hosted by Virginia State Parks.

For the New Year Challenge, names of all registered hikers who completed the challenge will have the chance to be drawn for multiple prizes. To participate in the photo contest, one must simply snap the best photo of their experience while on the hike. Several prizes will be given out for both contests, including two $500 Virginia State Parks gift certificates. Visit the Virginia State Parks website to register for a chance to participate in these contests.