California State Parks is inviting Californians and visitors from around the world to kick-start the new year in a healthy way by getting some fresh air and enjoying the outdoors with the annual First Day Hikes on Jan. 1, 2022. More than 40 state parks and over 50 guided hikes will take place across the state in this national-led effort by the First Day Hikes program, which encourages individuals and families to experience the beautiful natural and cultural resources found in the outdoors so that they may be inspired to take advantage of these treasures throughout the year.
“First Day Hikes are a great opportunity to improve one’s physical, mental and social health and what a better way to start the new year than by connecting with nature,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “The state’s iconic and beautiful outdoor places support healthy, affordable, physical and social activities. Join staff, docents and volunteers as well as fellow outdoor enthusiasts to welcome 2022.”
Dedicated docents, volunteers and staff will show visitors some of the wonders of California’s state parks with hikes along the giant sequoias, magnificent redwoods or even through a paddle along the iconic coast. Distance and rigor will vary per hike/activity, so visitors are encouraged to check out details of start times and description of hikes. Participants can find the updated list of state parks by visiting www.parks.ca.gov/FirstDayHikes2022. Additional park units may be added as they become available.
Some of the participating parks include:
- Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – Learn about desert plants, crypto-biotic crusts and sings of animas along the half-mile Panorama Overlook Trail.
- Calaveras Big Trees State Park – Explore the Scenic Overlook and North Grove of the world’s largest trees.
- Humboldt Lagoons State Park – Explore the water and shoreline of Stone Lagoon with an easy-to-moderate paddle trip.
- Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area – Ride the designated trails of the park via three separate guided trail rides geared for all ages and abilities.
- South Carlsbad State Beach – Walk along the beach and learn about the wildlife and plants that inhabit the sandy shore, while keeping a lookout for dolphin sightings.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate digitally by downloading the California State Parks mobile app, which allows users to participate in a check-in challenge, post their progress and share photos along their way. Powered by OuterSpatial, the app will have hike information, route details and more. Visitors can download the app here.
State Parks looks forward to seeing visitors—whether an experienced outdoor enthusiast or a new one—in California’s park trails, beaches, mountains and the deserts, but asks that they recreate responsibly. “Know Before You Go” by reviewing the latest COVID-19 guidelines and additional safety tips.
Visitors are encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the hashtags: #HikeInto2022, #FirstDayHikes and #CAStateParks.
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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.