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Start the New Year with a hike through Florida's State Parks

Get ready to hike your way into the New Year at Florida's State Parks!
Credit: KING

Most New Year's resolutions start with the promise of working out more or eating healthy and staying fit.

Well, this year, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Park Service is helping you check that "working out more" box by offering Florida residents a chance to start the New Year off with a hike.

A series of "First Day Hikes" will be held all over the state on Wednesday, Jan. 1, where Florida residents are invited to start the New Year off on a healthy foot.

The event is free, after admission to the parks which varies between $4 and $10 per vehicle with up to eight people inside. Pedestrians, bicyclists and extra passengers are $2 per person. Check each individual state park for exact pricing.

The hikes are guided by Park Rangers and give Floridians the chance to exercise while enjoying the natural beauty of Florida's many different landscapes. This event offers something for the whole family to enjoy.

“DEP is committed to protecting Florida’s natural beauty,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. "From the Keys to archeological mounds, from first-magnitude natural springs to coral reefs, our state’s beauty is unparalleled, and we cherish the opportunity to show that to visitors during the First Day Hikes and beyond. In 2019 our state parks won their fourth Gold Medal Award for the best state park system in the nation, more than any other state, and that’s a pretty good sign that we’re meeting the diverse outdoor recreation needs of Florida’s population.”

Some of the events to look forward to are, scavenger hunts and trail bingo at the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, a 1.5-mile hike of the spring and the final resting place of the Civil-war era steamboat Madison at Troy Springs State Park and a 5-mile hike along the nation’s last unimpeded sandy bottom river at Blackwater River State Park which concludes with a sampling of black-eyed peas and cornbread.

Don't miss out on a chance to start your New Year off with a bang while enjoying a bit of Florida's natural beauty. 

For a list of all First Day Hikes, visit FloridaStateParks.org.