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Virginia State Parks Offer Special New Year's Day Hikes

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A view of Mason Neck State Park in Northern Virginia. Park rangers at Mason Neck will host three special New Year's Day hikes Jan. 1, 2013.
Bill Rand: http://www.flickr.com/photos/randwill/3384417474/
A view of Mason Neck State Park in Northern Virginia. Park rangers at Mason Neck will host three special New Year's Day hikes Jan. 1, 2013.

The Virginia State Parks system wants to help residents kick off the new year with some healthy activity. The commonwealth's parks system is participating in a national program called First Day Hikes, calling on Virginians to spend time hiking in state parks on the first day of 2013.

All 35 state parks have special programming on New Year's Day, says Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation spokesman Jim Meisner.

"Some parks will have a guided hike led by a park ranger. Other parks will have special, self-guided hikes -- and other parks will have cookies and cider," he says. 

In Northern Virginia, Mason Neck State Park rangers will host three different hikes on New Year's Day, and Leesylvania State Park will offer a special self-guided hike this year.

The event was popular last year; visitors to Virginia state parks hiked more than 5,500 miles as part of First Day Hikes last year.

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