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Ring in 2015 with a pair of hiking shoes
BY Jasmin Jimenez

We all know the routine. When the end of December rolls around, people begin planning and thoughtfully considering what their resolutions will be for the upcoming year. Well-known New Year’s resolutions include: devoting more time to family, saving money, perhaps rekindling an old flame, eating smarter, losing weight, or being more active.

In the name of living better, America’s State Parks are graciously offering free entry to numerous state parks and the parks will also be providing guided hikes for whoever is interested. The hikes vary in scenic routes and intensity levels, with the intention and hopes of allowing visitors to begin 2015 with a healthy approach right out of the gate.

This national state parks event, also known as the First Day Hikes program, not only advocates for healthier lives, but it also campaigns to get more individuals invested in pursuing outdoor recreational activities.

“This signature event for America’s State Parks was an opportunity to showcase state parks as 'close to home' places for connecting people to nature, promoting year-round recreation and fostering healthy outdoor lifestyles,” said Blythe Liles, a regional interpretive specialist for the Orange Coast District of California State Parks. “Hikes are occurring from Massachusetts to California to ring in the New Year and connect individuals and families to nature fostering physical and mental well-being and shared stewardship of our natural, cultural and recreational resources.”

According to Liles, over 720 million people annually visit America’s State Parks to be inspired by the natural appeal and to partake in recreational activities. These 720 million visitors bring in and contribute $23 billion to the economy and, aside from the major financial boost, the waves of visitors contribute to the preservation to America’s most diverse biological sanctuaries. “Whether you are a first time visitor to this park or a regular, we hope that this First Day Hike inspires you to make America’s State Parks and important part of your exercise routine and your life,” added Liles.

Hikes of all exercise levels, route and overall times are available for registration and any individual interested in absorbing California’s most beautifully preserved and most natural biological resources, is welcome to join in on the hiking plans.

For a list of all the California state parks participating in First Day Hikes and for a description of the hike itself, visit, or like California State Park’s Facebook page,

for regular updates.