DNR offers 'First Day' hikes around the region
FRIENDSHIP, Ohio -- The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will sponsor free "First Day" family hike on New Year's Day, as a way to connect children and parents with the great outdoors even -- or maybe especially -- in winter.
The hike in Shawnee is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, at Shawnee State Park Lodge. Participants are urged to arrive half an hour early to register. Cookies and hot drinks will be served after the hike in the lodge.
First Day hikers can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, with views and vistas unimpeded by foliage. Wildlife that might be spied along these walks will almost certainly include the tough and sturdy chickadees, state bird of Massachusetts, and wild turkeys, the state game bird.
In preparation for each hike, pay close attention to the details of starting time and location. Dress warmly; wear layers of clothing and sturdy, warm hiking boots or shoes, as well as hats and gloves; bring water. In the event of inclement weather, call 740-858-6652 for any possible cancellations.
The hike will be led by park staff and last about two hours. There are also First Day Hikes scheduled at state parks in Kentucky and West Virginia as well.
The closest in West Virginia is at Kanawha State Forest. That hike begins at 2 p.m. at the swimming pool parking lot for the First Day hike Jan. 1. Dials advises participants to watch the weather and to dress appropriately.
For more info, go online www.kanawhastateforest.com and http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/parks/shawnee/tabid/788/Default.aspx