by Craig Debolt
Hit the park! South Carolina state parks kick off the New Year with ranger-guided hikes and walk, polar plunges into park lakes, bike rides, and interpretive treks along historical trails on Jan. 1.
First Day Hikes will take place at 25 state parks. Most will have guided walks along beaches and lakes, in forests or on historic trails.
Several parks are also offering special events:
- Devils Fork State Park will host a Family Fun Run, a Ranger 5K and a Loon Lunge dip in Lake Jocassee on Jan. 1.
- Paris Mountain State Park will host a Paris Plunge into Lake Placid before an interpretive ranger leads a one-mile nature walk around the lake.
- Charles Towne Landing will host an early-morning 5k and kids run, then offer a post-run meal.
The Park Service’s First Day Hikes are part of a national movement by the America’s State Parks program to get more people out into the great outdoors on New Year’s Day, and to rediscover the beauty and significance of the country’s natural heritage.