Savor a State Park Hike on New Year's Day

The First Day Hikes return for their six fresh-air'd annual outing.

2018... will deliver many gifts and trends and high points and weird points and more trends and trends that will predict trends, but you can count on one mainstay to remain loved, popular, and treasured beyond imagination: the outdoors. A host of books on the ancient art of forest bathing, and connecting with nature, and finding silence in our alert-saturated world will debut in the months ahead, and surely a crop of books, videos, and earnest articles will pop up aroudn the topic. It seems like folly to say "nature's back," because it never left, and those who adore their trees and streams and rocks have remained true to their passion: Being in the great outdoors as frequently as possible. And if you're keen that "as frequently as possible" should rev up just a few hours into the brand-new year, take heart: There shall be free guided hikes, a bounty of them, in the California State Parks. It's all part of...

FIRST DAY HIKES, a six-years-running program that's all about getting people outside and enjoying a state park on the first of January. And on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, you'll be able to join a group at Mount San Jacinto State Park's Desert View Trail, or the Sempervirens Falls Trail at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, or the Monroe Trail at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. There are a few other spots dotting the California map, so see what calls to you, then check out the details, then join up. Or just enjoy your own stroll, or vigorous trek, in the park nearest you. It's quite the auspicious, healthy, gazing-forward activity to join on the first day of the year, and it just may set a stellar pattern for your next 364 days to come. Oh, but only if all of those days could include hiking the California State Parks or another of our nation's great state parks. First Day Hikes is a nationwide event overseen by America's State Parks.

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