America's State Parks stepped into 2012 in spectacular fashion with guided First Day Hikes across the country in all 50 states on January 1.
In Iowa, a reported 111 participants hiked 5.1 miles enjoying wildlife, forests and prairies, and historic areas in Iowa’s state parks, as part of the national event.
Hikers met at Walnut Woods, Dolliver Memorial and Mines of Spain state parks.
“There was a lot of enthusiasm among the first day hikers, many who had not spent time in a park during the winter,” said Kevin Szcodronski, chief of State Parks for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, who, along with his dog, joined the 20 hikers at Walnut Woods State Park.
“Having knowledgeable staff leading the way gave participants some background on the area, some insight into what they were looking at and an opportunity for further discussion and Q&A along the way,” he said.
Szcodronski said they may look to expand the number of parks for the First Day Hike in the future.
Nationally, from Florida to Alaska and Maine to California, more than 14,000 people celebrated the New Year by hiking in a state park, choosing from 400 hikes sponsored by state park systems. This is the first time all 50 state park systems joined together as America’s State Parks
to host First Day Hikes on January 1, 2012.