I love this! Get your family out from in front of the TV, video games and the indoor lifestyle. Take them on a hike and start the new year off right.
America’s State Parks announced that all 50 state park systems will sponsor free, guided First Day Hike Programs on New Year’s Day 2012. America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1, 2012 at a state park. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.
As a part of this program, the AZ State Parks listed below will offer guided hikes on January 1. So get out and hike!
- Alamo Lake SP: 10 am. Meet at Ranger Station/Store. Moderate hike for ages 10 and up. No dogs allowed. 3/4 mile. Bring water, appropriate boots, seasonal clothing, sunscreen, and binoculars.
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum SP: 11 am. Plants, animals, and history hike. Meet at Visitor Center. All ages. Leashed dogs allowed. Dress in layers, bring water bottle, hat, binoculars and camera.
- Buckskin Mountain SP: 10 am. Meet at Buckskin Center. Moderate difficulty. Any age. No pets, except for service dogs. Length of trail 1.5 miles. Bring hiking shoes and water.
- Catalina SP: 9 am. Meet at picnic area ramada. No dogs. Take a bird hike over mostly flat terrain. Will last 2 to 2.5 hours. Usually see 20-30 bird species. Bring water, snacks, binoculars, and bird books.
- Cattail Cove SP: 10 am. Camp Hosts Bill & Betty Noble will lead a 3 mile hike. Park features include a view of the California Water Project’s “soda straws”. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring water. A camera and walking stick are recommended.
- Dead Horse Ranch SP: 9 am. Meet at West Lagoon parking lot. It will last approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours and cover 2 to 3 miles. Hikers will meander along the Verde River riparian area as well as the 3 lagoons that are on the park. Dress in warm layers, wear sturdy shoes and bring water. Participants may also want to bring binoculars and a camera; the day might be good for wildlife photo ops. Ranger Margie will be leading the hike.
- Lake Havasu SP: 10 am. Meet at trailhead near large main launch ramp. Enjoy an interpretive and viewing hike led by Assistant Park Manager Myke Steighler. 1-2 miles. Bring water, supportive shoes, hat, and binoculars.
- Kartchner Caverns SP: 10:30 am. Hike led by Michael Woods, Park Ranger I and Archaeologist, and will include a history of past mining operations on adjacent national forest land. The hike will follow the Guindani Trail and will be about an 1.5 hours long. Hikers will be transported to the trailhead by a park multi-passenger vehicle. Water and restrooms are available at the trailhead. No dogs allowed. Limited to 25 participants. Contact Art at (520) 586-4115 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (520) 586-4115 end_of_the_skype_highlighting to reserve your space. $6 day use entrance fee applies.
- Lost Dutchman SP: 9 am. Meet at Saguaro day-use area. Join us for a ranger led hike on Treasure Loop Trail. Learn about desert flora and fauna and the history of Superstition Mountains and the Lost Dutchman Mine. This is a moderate hike with an elevation gain of 500 feet, 2.5 miles round trip, 2 hours. Carry water, dress in warm layers and wear sturdy trail shoes or hiking boots. In case of rain, hike will be cancelled.
- Picacho Peak SP: 10 am. Meet at Sunset Vista Trail Head for an approximately 4 mile Ranger lead hike. The hike will be a moderate hike on the backside of Picacho Peak. Bring hiking boots, sun protection, and at least 1 liter of water.
- Red Rock SP: 10 am and 2 pm. Meet at Visitor Center. No dogs allowed. Enjoy a 1-1.5 hour interpretive naturalist-led hike. Bring water, good shoes, hat, and dress appropriately.
- Roper Lake SP: 10 am. Meet at gatehouse. Minimum age 7. Length of hike 2.25 miles. Bring sturdy shoes, binoculars, water, layered clothing, and camera.
- Tonto Natural Bridge SP: 11 am. Meet at bridge parking area. Moderate hike .6 miles of the Gowan Trail observation deck. Minimum age 7 years old. Bring water, winter gear. Hike will continue for those want to go through the bridge and return via Anna Mae Trail.
Note: Weather conditions in Jan. may be extreme. Hikes may be canceled due to snow, ice, high creek flow, etc. Check the park website for current info.
List courtesy: AZ State Parks