PDT Staff Writer
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources sponsored the second annual First Day Hike which took place Tuesday.
Jenny Richards, a Naturalist for ODNR and Shawnee State Park, said the First Day Park is a part of a national effort to encourage hikes joining other hiking efforts taking place at other parks throughout the country on New Year’s Day.
“It happens in every state in the United States. I believe it was Massachusetts that started First Day Hikes,” Richards said.
Richards said Shawnee State Park was the only state park in Ohio to host a First Day Hike this year.
“The purpose of today’s hike is to get people out into the woods, to breathe fresh air, and to exercise on this first day of the year, just to start the year off right,” Richards said.
Nine people showed up to participate in the hike, a small number in comparison to last year’s 35 participants.
Richards said she would have liked to have seen more people show up for the 2013 First Day Hike, but gaging the number of how many people will show up is impossible.
“There is no registration needed, it is free and people can just show up,” Richards said. “We will depart from here (Shawnee State Park Lodge), and walk through the parking lot to a mile loop trail which goes through a hickory forest, and its really beautiful.”
Richards said participating hikers will have the opportunity to experience nature first hand.
“We will look for birds, maybe taste a few twigs, and just enjoy ourselves and experience the great outdoors, there is nothing like being in nature,” Richards said.
Richards said the hike is designed for everyone who desires to participate.
“It is not strenuous at all, just a couple of small hills. It is a family-friendly walk, and it will happen here at Shawnee State Park each year on New Year’s Day,” she said.
The hike lasted approximately two hours.