First Day Hikes Break State Park Records

 

January 7, 2019

A couple hikes in Gorges State Park. This year's first day hikes broke records. (Times photo by Kevin Fuller)

First Day Hikes offered at all of North Carolina's state parks on New Year's Day brought a record 3,859 people to join 57 guided hikes across the state. Mild, dry weather made the hikes more attractive than those in 2018, which were marred by rain and winter weather.

To start the New Year, hundreds of dogs, two llamas and a goat joined their human companions on various hikes. Participants ranged in age from newborn to 95 years young. Cliffs of the Neuse State Park set a record for their park's first day hike program with 300 participants.

Many traditional events continued, including the First Day 5-K at Haw River, the Polar Plunge at Hanging Rock and the Two State, One Hike partnership between Crowders Mountain State Park in N.C. and Kings Mountain State Park in South Carolina.

"I was thrilled to see so many North Carolinians in our parks, particularly the record number at Cliffs of the Neuse," said state parks Director Dwayne Patterson, who grew up in Kinston near the park. "These hikes were a great start to the year for people of all ages, and I look forward to millions more people enjoying healthy outdoor recreation activities at our beautiful state parks throughout the year."


Nationally, First Day Hikes is promoted by America's State Parks and the National Association of State Park Directors, with more than 400 hikes scheduled in state parks across the country. In North Carolina, the tradition began at Eno River State Park more than 40 years ago. All N.C. state parks have offered first day hikes since 2012.

A complete list of First Day Hikes in North Carolina can be found at http://www.ncparks.gov/first-day-hikes.

About North Carolina State Parks

North Carolina State Parks manages more than 234,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina's state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the N.C Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes more than 19 million visitors annually.


About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism and promoting economic development.


NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit http://www.ncdcr.gov.

 
 

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