Contact: Matthew Ritter, Delaware State Parks, 302-739-9187; or Necia Beck, Delaware State Parks 302-739-9175, Necia.Beck@state.de.us
Delaware State Parks to celebrate
the New Year with First Day Hikes Jan. 1, 2013
Rejuvenate by taking a family friendly trek through a state park close to home
DOVER (Dec. 27, 2012) – Delaware State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes in seven state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative. Held annually in all 50 states, First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 at a state park close to home. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.
“We are excited to host First Day Hikes as part of this national effort to get people outdoors and into our parks. First Day Hikes are a great way to cure cabin fever and burn off those extra holiday calories by starting off the New Year with an invigorating walk or hike in one of our beautiful state parks,” said Delaware State Parks Director Charles A. Salkin.
In Delaware, hikes will be offered at the following locations and times:
· Alapocas Run State Park, Wilmington 10 a.m.
· Brandywine Creek State Park, Wilmington 2 p.m.
· Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes 11 a.m.
· Fort DuPont State Park, Delaware City 2 p.m.
· Killens Pond State Park, Felton 3 p.m.
· Trap Pond, Laurel 10 a.m.
· White Clay Creek, Newark 1 p.m.
Information about trail difficulty, location of trail head and more is available at www.destateparks.com/FirstDay.
“Last year, we hosted more than 14,000 people who hiked more than 30,000 miles in our state parks across the country when we launched America’s State Parks First Day Hikes on New Year’s Day 2012 in all 50 states,” said Priscilla Geigis, president of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD). “To start 2013, we’re inviting kids and adults to get their hearts pumping and experience the beauty of our state parks at one of over 400 hikes nationwide. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling, join us at one of America’s State Parks on New Year’s Day!”
America’s State Parks boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation, and each First Day Hikes will offer an opportunity to explore unique natural and cultural treasures close to home. From California to Maine, hikers can climb hills and mountaintops, walk along ponds and beaches, and traverse trails through forests, fields and prairies. Visitors can listen to birds, breathe in the fresh air, discover wildlife tracks and feel the wind and the warmth of the sun or the coldness of the snow. Visitors can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, experience spectacular views and vistas and benefit from the company of a knowledgeable state park guide.
“Studies have proven that getting outdoors is one good way to relax and recharge the body, mind and spirit.” said NASPD Executive Director Phil McNelly. “We hope that hiking along a trail in a state park will become part of an individual’s or family’s regular exercise routine.”
The mission of the NASPD and America's State Parks is to promote and advance the state park systems of America for their own significance, as well as for their important contributions to the nation’s environment, heritage, health and economy. America's State Parks is committed to promoting outdoor recreation in state parks as a way to address obesity, especially among children. Getting kids outside and unplugged from video games and other electronic media creates a unique connection with nature that promotes physical and mental well-being and encourages creativity and stewardship of our shared resources.
First Day Hikes originated more than 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Mass. The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year round recreation at state parks. Last year marked the first time all 50 state park systems joined together to sponsor First Day Hikes, offering 400 hikes nationwide. Park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the state park. Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on the America’s State Parks website. Visit www.americasstateparks.org to find a First Day Hike nearest you.
Each of Delaware’s 16 state parks has unique natural, recreational, educational, cultural and historical features that offer endless opportunities for children and families to have fun in the outdoors. For a complete list of year-round public programs and more information about the parks, visit www.destateparks.com.
Vol. 42, No. 484