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Locals take New Year's walk

Jan. 02, 2014 @ 01:24 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Bryan Danford has a New Year's resolution of sorts, and it kicked off Wednesday with a nature walk at Ritter Park.

Standing tall with the look of a park ranger, the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District's newly hired activity coordinator led a small crowd of people and dogs through the park and up its lesser traveled, more rugged terrain sharing with them bits of history along the way. It's all part of a goal to better acquaint locals with the District's parks.

Wednesday marked the first event in what he hopes becomes a routine in 2014.

"Nature is health," Danford said. "You go the to woods basically to rejuvenate. It's peaceful and tranquil in the woods, and it's just a way of reconnecting with where we came from."

Matt Comeau, his wife Denise and their two daughters were among those taking part in Wednesday's walk. Comeau doesn't consider his family the hiking type, but acknowledged Wednesday provided them a different approach to family time. It also helped them procrastinate in taking down Christmas decorations, a win for his 10-year-old daughter Addy.

"It's a good time to get out with my children," he said. "My wife and I both work, so it's hard to find time to do those things in a busy work week. It's a good opportunity to get out and do something, especially on a nice day."

Veronica Mims, of Huntington, frequently exercises. She joined her husband and friends Wednesday as an alternative to her group gymnasium, which was closed for New Year's Day.

"I kind of want to know how the trails are in the park," she said. "So I can start doing the trails instead of just the actual laps to get more of the hills and hiking into my exercise routine."

Danford, hired in mid November, said he anticipates organizing future hikes, along with sporting and nature events.

Follow Curtis Johnson at Facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD and via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD.

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