First Day Hike encourages people to get outside in the new year

Published: Jan. 1, 2022 at 5:58 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - On New Year’s Day, state parks across the nation hosted an annual tradition. It’s called the First Day Hike. It was canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic, but it’s back this year.

This afternoon, families, four-legged friends, and eager people gathered at Tyler State Park for the First Day Hike. While some people choose the gym as their means to work out after the New Year, others lace up hiking boots and hit the trails. Boyd Sanders, the Resource Interpreter for the park, kicked things off.

“Introducing people to the forest. We’ll talk a little bit about how to have a safe hike, interesting things to see on the hike, and then kind of how to pace yourself on a longer walk,” he said.

Before starting, Sanders led them in hiking safety. Alicia Massingill has been doing the first day hikes for five years and said she enjoys getting outside.

“Just do it because it’s fun, and you meet lots of wonderful people. It’s fresh air, and it’s beautiful. It’s a nice way to start the year on a good note,” Massingill said.

This morning, Sanders led hikers on a bird-watching hike. This afternoon, was all about introducing hikers to the forest and a longer walk on a two-and-a-half-mile trail.

“People are made for the outdoors. When people go outside, exercising is easier. When you get out in the woods, your blood pressure goes down; you forget those worries about bills, payments, school, all that, and you just enjoy yourself,” Sanders said.

Each Saturday, Tyler State Park has outdoor classes and activities.

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