CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - On New Year's Day, thousands of state park lovers in all 50 states will hit the trails for ranger-guided hikes designed to rejuvenate and burn off all of those tasty holiday treats.
This year, nearly half of South Carolina's state parks will be participating in the event, so there's no excuse not to lace up your boots and get moving. Below is a list of participating parks, contact information and information about each hike. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, dress appropriately for the weather and bring plenty of water and bug spray if necessary.
803-649-2857 | email@example.com
Join a ranger at Aiken State Park and enjoy a 3-mile hike around Jungle Trail. We'll observe beautiful scenery, look and listen for wildlife and just have fun with some other motivated park enthusiasts. Take a break from the holiday feasting and walk off that uncomfortable feeling.
Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies. Meeting place is at the park picnic area. Hike is from 10a.m. until 11a.m.
803-284-2212 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Come and enjoy Barnwell State Park as a ranger leads you on a leisurely hike on the park's 1.5 mile nature trail. Experience much of the wildlife and plant life that the park has to offer and start the year off right enjoying your South Carolina State Parks. Hike takes place from 1p.m. until 3p.m.
Event is free but park entrance fee still applies.
864-836-6115 | CaesarsHead@scprt.com
Join us as we bring in the new year on the park's newest trail. This easy one-mile hike through the forest takes us past two waterfalls and the ruins of the original Greenville Wayside Park. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water.
Register at least 2 days prior. Meeting place is at Wildcat Wayside Falls parking lot, Highway 276 between Jones Gap and Caesars Head state parks. Hike is from 10a.m. until 11a.m.
864-447-8267 | email@example.com
Join a ranger at Calhoun Falls State Park for an enjoyable hike on the Cedar Bluff Nature Trail. The hike will last approximately one hour and cover one and three quarters of a mile.
The registration deadline is Dec. 21 and the group will meet by the tennis courts in the day use area. The event hours are from 3p.m. until 4p.m.
Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
843-852-4200 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a ranger at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site and enjoy the History and Garden trails, trails full of history, culture and beauty.
The group will meet at the Visitor Center at 9a.m. and hikes will last until approximately 10a.m.
843-537-9656 | email@example.com
Join a ranger at Cheraw State Park and enjoy the Turkey Oak Trail. This 4.5 mile, moderately strenuous hike will get rid of the guilt of that extra piece of pie!
Registration deadline is Dec. 29 at 5p.m. The group will meet at the Turkey Oak Trailhead at 11a.m. Hike is expected to last until 1p.m. Event is free, but park fee still applies.
803-385-2680 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a ranger at Chester State Park on the Nature Trail for a 2-mile round-trip hike. Along the way we'll stop and talk about both nature and history topics relating to the park. This walk promises to be invigorating to the mind and body!
The group will meet at Shelter 2 in the day use area and the hike is from 8a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Event is free, but park fee still applies.
864-944-2639 | email@example.com
Join a ranger at Devils Fork State Park for a guided nature walk and explore either the Oconee Bell Nature Trail or the Bear Cove Nature Trail. We'll decide which trail we use based on weather conditions and number of participants. Who knows what you'll see along the way in the winter wonderland of Devils Fork State Park? This is also a great alternative if you are with someone running the 1st Day 5K at the park, but not running it yourself.
The registration deadline is Dec. 31. The hike takes place from 10a.m. until noon and hikers will meet in the boat ramp parking lot. This event is free.
803-364-4152 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a ranger at Dreher Island State Park for a 2.5-mile hike on the beautiful Little Gap Trail as it meanders through the woods and near the waters of Lake Murray. Along the way, we may see winter wildlife including nesting bald eagles, loons, and more. Lace up your boots, bring you binoculars, and be in the first group on the Little Gap Trail in 2013.
Registration ends on Dec. 30. The group will meet in the park lot area for picnic shelters 7 and 8. Hike takes place from 9a.m. until 11 a.m. and the fee is $4/adult, $2/child, 4 and younger are free.
843-869-2156 | email@example.com
Join a ranger at Edisto Beach State Park and enjoy the Spanish Mount Trail, a trail full of Native American history and culture.
Group will meet at the Spanish Mountain Trailhead at 1p.m. The hike is expected to last about an hour. Event is free, but park admission still applies.
843-873-0692 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a ranger at Givhans Ferry State Park and enjoy a walk in the woods along the beautiful Edisto River. The group will meet at the community building before the 2p.m. hike.
864-391-2450 | email@example.com
Join a ranger at Hickory Knob State Park and enjoy the moderately strenuous, 2-mile Beaver Run Trail as it wanders through the beautiful hardwood forest along Strom Thurmond Lake. Stick around for lunch and hot cocoa in the restaurant after the hike.
Registration deadline is Dec. 29 at 5p.m. The hike is from 10a.m. until 11a.m. and the group will meet in the park lodge/office prior to the hike. Event is free.
843-237-4440 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a ranger at Huntington Beach State Park and enjoy the Sandpiper Pond Trail and beach walk. Half the walk will be in the maritime forest around Sandpiper Pond and the other half will be on the beach. Most of the walking surface is flat, but sandy, and some loose sand may be encountered.
Registration deadline is Dec. 29 at 5p.m. The group will meet in the North Beach parking lot and the hike will take place from 10a.m. until noon. Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
864-972-3352 | email@example.com
Join a ranger on Lake Hartwell State Park's nature trail and enjoy the beauty of the upstate of South Carolina. We'll take a leisurely walk through the woods as they lend themselves to views of beautiful Lake Hartwell and the foothills of the Blue Ridge.
The registration deadline is Dec. 31. The hike is from 9a.m. until 10a.m. and the group will meet at the visitor center. Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
803-943-5051 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a ranger at Lake Warren State Park and enjoy a leisurely walk around the 1.25-mile Discovery Trail. The trail is stroller friendly, but they may have to be lifted over one step at the bridge. After the hike, stick around for some hot beverages.
Hike is from 10:30a.m. until 11:30a.m. and group will meet at the park office. Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
803-789-5800 | email@example.com
Join a ranger at Landsford Canal State Park and enjoy the Nature Trail along the Catawba River. This easy, half-mile trail will take you to the eagle viewing area. If you choose, you can continue down the Canal Trail to the spider lily overlook deck and old lock structure.
The hike is from 10a.m. until 11 a.m. and the group will meet in the main parking lot. Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
803-428-5307 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a Lee State Park ranger and stretch your legs on a one-mile walk through the woods on New Year's Day. The walk will begin at the park's Education Center and is from 9a.m. until 10a.m. Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
843-774-8872 | email@example.com
Join a ranger at Little Pee Dee State Park and enjoy a hike on the Beaver Pond Nature Trail as it winds through the woods and along the shore of Lake Norton. We don't know what we'll see, but one thing's for sure— we will feel better at the end of the hike.
Hike is from 10a.m. until 11a.m. and group will meet at the park office. Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
864-938-0100 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring in the New Year at Musgrove Mill State Historic Site by taking a 1.3 mile, ranger-led hike of the Musgrove Mill Battlefield Trail. Discover how important South Carolina was in the American Revolutionary War and how small battlefields had big impacts on the outcome. By participating, you will be a part of a nationwide movement in parks of First Day Hikes. Get healthy this year, and start it with a First-Day Hike at Musgrove Mill.
Event is free but spaces are limited, so call the park early to reserve a space. The group hike will start at 10a.m. and lasts until 11:30a.m. and the group will meet at the Horseshoe Falls Parking area.
843-238-5325 | email@example.com
Get outside at Myrtle Beach State Park on the first day of this new year and resolve to spend more time enjoying the natural world. Feel, see, hear, and smell your way through a diversity of coastal habitats as we enjoy a leisurely 1.5-mile stroll and appreciate the serenity that nature provides. Let's unplug and unwind from our fast paced world for a few hours and be inspired by nature and its zen-like ways. This program is designed for adults.
The hike starts at 10a.m. and is expected to last until noon. Hiking group will meet at the Nature Center. The event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
864-638-5353 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a park ranger at Oconee State Park and explore several Civilian Conservation Corps structures. We'll honor the past as we welcome a new year.
Hike is from 1p.m. until 3p.m. and group will meet on the front porch of the park office. The event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
864-244-5565 | email@example.com
Join Ranger Cathy Taylor at Paris Mountain State Park for a one-mile hike around Turtle Trail. During the hike, Cathy will inspire you with many life lessons that we can learn from nature as we enter the new year.
Hike is from 2p.m. until 3:30p.m. and group will meet at the park center. The event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
803-494-8177 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Step into the new year as we kick off 2013 with a guided hike around the lake at Poinsett. The hike will start at the park office at 9a.m. and last until 10a.m. Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
803-267-3675 | email@example.com
Join a ranger at Rivers Bridge State Historic Site and walk in the footsteps of Civil War soldiers. Take an easy 2-mile hike, see the natural beauty of the Salkahatchie Swamp, and hear how the soldiers endured bad weather during battle that took place in February 1865. We'll hope for beautiful weather, but if it's a little nasty, come out anyway. At least nobody's shooting cannons at you.
The group will meet at the Memorial Grounds and the hike is from 10a.m. until noon. Event is free.
864-226-8950 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Join a ranger at Sadlers Creek for a hike down the Pine Grove Nature Trail. This hike will be a great opportunity to start off the New Year on the right foot. Group will meet at the Park Pavilion and the hike will take place from 9a.m. until 11 a.m. Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies
803-854-2408 | email@example.com
Join a ranger at Santee State Park for a one-mile hike on the scenic Limestone Trail. Did you get a new camera for Christmas? Bring it along and take some pictures of the natural beauty of Santee in the winter. The ranger will share some helpful hints about taking nature-scene photos. In order to provide individual help and instruction on nature-based photography, this hike is limited to 20 participants, so sign up early! Registration ends on Dec. 31.
The group will meet at Shelter #4 in the day-use area and the hike will last from 9a.m. until 10a.m. Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
803-788-2706 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Start the new year off right by joining us at Sesquicentennial State Park for a guided walk on our two-mile Sandhills Trail. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest in this unique sandhills ecosystem while learning tips to make your next hike safe and enjoyable. Pre-registration is required because space is limited.
The hike will last from 1p.m. until 3p.m. and the group will meet at the park office. Event is free, but park entrance fee still applies.
First Day Hikers at Table Rock State Park will have the option of taking one of two different ranger-guided hikes.
Begin your new year on top - the top of Table Rock Mountain! Rangers will lead you through rugged mountain terrain to the spectacular vistas that await you at the top of the mountain. If you are ready for a challenge that will leave you breathless, put on your hiking boots and head to Table Rock State Park for this 7.2-mile hike that will take you to 3,124 feet and back. This hike lasts from 9a.m. until 3p.m. and the group will meet at the Table Rock Nature Center before 9a.m.
Begin your new year looking into the past. A ranger will lead you on a 1.6-mile hike around Lake Pinnacle for great scenic views and a glimpse into the creation of Table Rock State Park. Learn about the Civilian Conservation Corps - CCC - and its legacy as you examine CCC structures along your hike. The beauty of Table Rock Mountain and the lore of the CCC combine to create a great experience to begin the new year. This hike lasts from 10a.m. until 11:30a.m. and group will meet in the parking lot for Shelters #1 and #2.
Both of these hikes are free, but the park entrance fee still applies.
Table Rock State Park
Sesquicentennial State Park
Santee State Park
Sadlers Creek State Park
Rivers Bridge State Park
Poinsett State Park
Paris Mountain State Park
Oconee State Park
Myrtle Beach State Park
Musgrove Mill State Historic Site
Little Pee Dee State Park
Lee State Park
Landsford Canal State Park
Lake Warren State Park
Lake Hartwell State Park
Huntington Beach State Park
Hickory Knob State Resort Park
Givhans Ferry State Park
Edisto Beach State Park
Dreher Island State Park
Devils Fork State Park
Chester State Park
Cheraw State Park
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site
Calhoun Falls State Park
Caesars Head State Park
Barnwell State Park
Aiken State Park