Start the new year right with a first day hike! - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Start the new year right with a first day hike!

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

Texas State Parks want you to take a hike, but they're not telling you to get lost.

In fact, they want you to find yourself at Tyler State Park at 10 a.m. on New Year's day.

We visited the park and found out it is not just Tyler State Park that's hosting the hike.

Paul Harris is the new Tyler State Park superintendent, and he wants you to use your park, wherever it is.

"We're doing it at several state parks in Texas, and Tyler State Park is hosting one here. We want people to get out and start the year off right; healthy and outdoors," Paul said.

He wants you to know it's not a race. It's more of a stroll, really, along a beautiful East Texas lake.

"We're going to start at the group pavilion, and then we're going to work along the lakeshore trail, and it's just one of the most scenic roads in the park," Paul explained.

Tyler's been doing this for four years now, and there are more feet on the trail every year.

"It's going to be a forty-five minute to an hour long hike, and it will be a slow, steady pace and we just want it to be enjoyable; nothing fast. Just enjoy the scenery and nature and hopefully see some nice birds and some wildlife along the way," Paul pointed out.

"Do people have to worry about wolverines and Bigfoot?" I asked Paul.

"No Bigfoot as far as we know," he replied.

"What about the wolverines?"

"Possibly," Paul stated.

Actually, Paul said he's never seen a wolverine out there, but you might see other wildlife.

"Beaver. You're going to see raccoons. You're going to see a deer occasionally, and some ducks and things that come into the lake, so there's all kinds of things you'll see along the way," Paul specified.

One thing Paul says he's seen less of is Tylerites going to the park. Most of the visitors come from Dallas.

"My goal is to get this park back known to the people of Tyler. I want everyone to start using this park again," Paul added.

Well, he did look a little lonely walking out there by himself, so I thought I'd stroll with him for a while. I figured he'd protect me from the wolverines.

There is an entrance fee of $5 per person to get into the park, but you don't have to leave until 10 p.m. We've posted a link to a list of Texas State parks here.

Copyright KLTV 2013. All rights reserved.

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