Dec 252015

Each year the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) announces a national collaboration of all 50 state park systems across America to sponsor guided First Day Hikes on New Year’s Day.
Arizona’s First Day Hikes offer individuals and groups an opportunity to begin the New Year on a healthy note, so get out those boots and take a hike! There will be 20 different hikes offered at 18 parks on Friday, Jan. 1. A full listing of hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing can be found on the Arizona State Parks website at All of the First Day Hikes are included with the day-use entrance fee to each park.
Hikes in the Northern Region include:
* Dead Horse Ranch (Cottonwood), a guided walk along the Verde River and lagoons at 9 a.m.
* Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area (Show Low), Cindi Hall, local photographer and wildlife enthusiast, will lead a hike along the lake at 10 a.m.
* Homolovi (Winslow), join a park ranger for a petroglyph hike to Diné Point via the Tsu’vö trail at 11 a.m.
* Lyman Lake (St. Johns), aetroglyph scavenger hike/hunt on the Petroglyph Trail. This will be an all-day event.
* Red Rock (Sedona), a guided nature hike about the archaeology and geology of the Red Rock area at 10 a.m.
* Slide Rock (Sedona), a moderate hike on the homestead, flora and fauna at Slide Rock State Park at 10 a.m.
* Tonto Natural Bridge (Payson), a guided hike down the Gowan Trail to the observation deck at 10 a.m. Registration is required.
For all hikes, wear warm clothes in layers, bring one liter of water, a hat, sunscreen, good walking shoes, a walking stick, binoculars and a camera. There are always good photo opportunities on these hikes. Also be sure to check with the park for details about the hike before you leave to be sure there are no changes to the hike for that day due to the weather. Some hikes require reservations and some don’t allow dogs. Children younger than 6 years old may need to be carried throughout the hike, so plan to hike with backpacks. Keep checking for updates.
In partnership with the National Park Service, Arizona State Parks will kick off the campaign for Find Your Park, celebrating the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, at the First Day Hikes. Arizona State Parks will offer the 100th visitor of each park’s First Day Hike a Find Your Park gift bag containing outdoor swag to use when you visit your state, national and local parks throughout the year.