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New Year’s Day hike set at Osage Hills State Park

Warm-blooded nature lovers can celebrate New Year’s with a two-mile guided hike Wednesday afternoon at Osage Hills State Park.

Hikers are to meet at the OHSP office around 1 p.m. for the Jan. 1 hike. Park Manager Nick Connor is to serve as the guide.

This will be the second New Year’s Day hike at Osage Hills. Last year’s inaugural event drew approximately a dozen participants, park officials said.

First Day Hikes are planned at 20 state parks, sponsored by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.

The free, guided hikes offer “an opportunity to begin the New Year on a healthy perspective by getting outdoors, connecting with nature and promoting year-round recreation,” a spokesperson for the state agency said.

“We realize the importance of getting visitors outdoors to experience the peace and beauty of the state parks any time of year, and especially in winter,” said Oklahoma State Parks Director Kris Marek.

The tourism department official said First Day Hikes were started in 2012. Marek added that the number of parks hosting the event has grown each year.

Other First Day Hikes in the area (with Jan. 1 starting times, starting points) include: Keystone State Park at Mannford (noon, park office); Grand Lake State Park in Bernice (1 p.m., paved trail); Grand Lake State Park at the Grand Cherokee Golf Course in Langley (noon, pro shop); Sequoyah State Park in Wagoner (1 p.m., Paradise Cove).

Hikers should remember to wear weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes. They are encouraged to have water and snacks and may also bring a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing. Pets (on leashes) are allowed at some parks, but not all.

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