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First Day Hikes held across Connecticut today

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection State Parks and its partners will sponsor free, guided hikes in many state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative taking place in all 50 states.

Spokesman Chris Colibee says this offers individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenated and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1st at a state park close to home.   Connecticut has hundreds of miles of trails appropriate for all age levels to enjoy as we celebrate the first day of 2019.  Each year more than 9 million visitors visit the 110 Connecticut State Parks.

Park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the state park.  Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on the America’s State Parks website. 

Kettletown State Park in Southbury is among the facilities hosting a First Day Hike.  A 2-mile moderate trek will take place at 1pm at the trail head for Miller Trail.  This hike will offer views of much of the tornado damage from May 2018.  Participants are asked to bring water, snack, sturdy footwear, and a sense of adventure.  Dogs on leash allowed.

First Day Hikes originated more than 25 years ago at a state park in Massachusetts.

 National Association of State Park Directors Executive Director Lewis Ledford says visitors can listen to birds, breathe in fresh air, and discover wildlife tracks.  He added that visitors can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, experience spectacular views and vistas and benefit from the company of a knowledgeable state park guide.  America's State Parks is committed to promoting outdoor recreation in state parks as a way to address obesity, especially among children. 

The mission of the NASPD and America's State Parks is to promote and advance the state park systems of America for their own significance, as well as for their important contributions to the nation’s environment, heritage, health and economy.

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