First Day Hikes in North and South Carolina

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Celebrate state parks and healthy living

If getting in shape is one of your New Year’s resolutions, then lace up the hiking boots, grab your coats and hats, and head out to one of many North and South Carolina State Parks for the annual First Day Hike. These hikes can be just the incentive to start you on your fitness goals. Some Jan. 1 hikes are ranger-guided, others are on your own – but either way, there is no admission charge. (So, that means, no excuses!)

Park visitors who participate in First Day Hikes are encouraged to share their experiences through comments and photo posts on social media with the hashtag #FirstDayHikes.

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For information on North Carolina’s parks, including the First Day Hike at nearby Chimney Rock State Park, visit If an adventure to South Carolina is in your plans, check out

Member of the armed forces? You’re invited to participate in a friendly competition to see which branch can cover the most miles. Check in with the park ranger when you arrive for more details.

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 their natural heritage. A win-win!