"What a great way to start a year," he said. "For those of us who have eaten too much over the holidays and haven't been out much, an hour or two hike will make everyone feel better."
Assuming that wintry weather prevails on Jan. 1, Miller advises First Day hikers to dress in layers, wear a hat, and be sure to carry water. "You can still sweat on winter hikes and become dehydrated," he said.
Long said Kanawha State Forest's First Day Hike, to be led by Assistant Superintendent Kevin Dials, will begin at 2 p.m. on Jan. 1, from the forest's swimming pool parking lot.
A hike of about three miles is planned, following sections of Davis Creek Trail, Rattlesnake Trail, Border Road, and Crabapple Trail. For more information, call the park office at 304-558-3800.
At Blackwater Falls State Park, a First Day Hike along Elakala Trail begins at 10 a.m., taking hikers along the rim of Blackwater Canyon, past some large sandstone formations, and along a section of Shay Run. Stops will be made along the way to discuss the canyon's history and flora and fauna.
Sturdy boots and shoes are recommended, since the trail may be icy or snow covered. Soup, sandwiches and hot meals will be available after the hike at Blackwater's lodge restaurant. For more information, call 304-259-5216.
At Cacapon Resort State Park, a 1.5-mile hike along Ridge Trail, led by the park's naturalist, will depart from the Nature Center at 10 a.m. For more details, call 304-258-1022.
Pipestem Resort State Park's First Day Hike will be a 1.5-2-mile hike to Long Branch Lake, led by program director Kim Hawkins. Participants should meet in the McKeever Lodge lobby at 1 p.m. For information, call 304-466-1800.
For cold weather hiking tips, visit the American Hiking Society's website at www.americanhiking.org/cold-weather-hiking.
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.