"The idea is to get outdoors and have a good time," he said.
The Kanawha State Forest hike will begin at 2 p.m. from the swimming pool parking lot. Dials said hikers should dress in layers and appropriately for the conditions; wear warm, sturdy shoes; bring water and, if needed, a snack.
Sissie Summers, programming coordinator for the Division of Natural Resources' Parks Section, commended Dials and other park workers who lead and help with the hikes.
"Our major parks have big dinners and dances on the 31st. To have folks to roll out and lead a hike is asking a lot of them, but they're enthusiastic about it," Summers said.
Naturalist Paulita Cousin will lead the hike at Blackwater Falls State Park. The three-hour trek, scheduled to start at 10 a.m., will take hikers from the Sled Run Parking Area to scenic Lindy Point. If the area gets as much snow as usual around Jan. 1, snowshoes might be needed.
Renee Fincham, Cacapon State Park's naturalist, will lead the Cacapon hike. Participants should gather at the Cacapon Nature Center a little before 10 a.m. The hilly 1 1/2-mile hike will follow the park's Ridge Trail.
Naturalist Bryan Danford will lead Twin Falls State Park's hike along the Twin Falls Nature Trail. The 2-hour trek will depart from the Nature Trail parking lot at 11:30 a.m.
More information about the hikes is posted on the park system's website, www.wvstateparks.com.
Park personnel can be contacted directly by calling 304-558-3500 for Kanawha State Forest; 304-259-5216 for Blackwater Falls; 304-258-1022, ext. 5209 for Cacapon; and 304-294-4000 for Twin Falls.
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.