On Thursday, January 1, more than 400 hikes will take place across the nation as America’s State Parks, a part of the Great National System of State and National Parks, kicks off their “First Day Hikes” initiative to get Americans outdoors in the new year. More than half of the parks in South Carolina will participate, giving hikers and outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to burn some of the holiday feasting calories, and learn more about local parks and wildlife.
For locals that wish to join in on the fun, Aiken State Park will host its own First Day Hike this year. The activities will start with a 3 mile hike around Jungle Trail at 10:00 am with a state ranger, featuring a nature talk and history of the park. Be sure to bring a towel and change of clothes, however, because the hike’s “cool off” is cooler than most- a “polar plunge” swim will start at noon for those willing to brave water temperatures in January!
The hike is free with park admission ($2 for adults and children 16 and older, and free for children 15 and younger), and participants are asked to bring water,binoculars, insect repellent, hiking shoes and a camera. (Those participating in the polar plunge should also bring a towel and a warm change of clothing.) Be sure to join us at 1145 State Park Road in Windsor, SC for the festivities, and for more information, call 803-649-2857.