DES MOINES - Get the New Year off on the right foot with a hike at Walnut Woods State Park.
Hikers will depart from the Walnut Woods Lodge at 9 a.m. and have three distances from which to choose: one-half mile, one mile and 2.3 miles. The hike will take place on a flat, unpaved trail. Hikers are encouraged to dress for the weather and conditions, bring binoculars and a water bottle.
Participants may see wintering bald eagles and various birds along the Raccoon River, as well as large walnut, sycamores and other trees of the bottomland forest.
Hot chocolate, coffee and other refreshments will be provided in the lodge after the hike. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash. They will not be allowed in the lodge.
The hike qualifies for Healthy and Happy Outdoors (H2O), a campaign to connect Iowans with outdoor resources as a way to reduce stress and improve health.
Iowans can go online to www.iowadnr.gov/h2o
and find more than 30 types of outdoor activities at more than 1,600 state and county parks and recreation areas.
Participants who register for H2O and log activities will automatically be entered for prize drawings. The prize for activities logged in January is a $100 gift card to Gander Mountain. The more activities logged, the more entries submitted.
The hike is part of the nationwide First Day Hikes program sponsored by America’s State Parks.