OHIO — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is offering a way for Ohioans to kick off the year: the annual First Day Hike events.

“The First Day Hikes program is a wonderful opportunity to embrace the beauty of Ohio’s natural wonders and jumpstart the New Year with a commitment to health and wellness,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Whether you’re an avid hiker or a newcomer to the trails, our state parks, forests and preserves offer a variety of scenic routes for everyone to enjoy.”

ODNR said the First Day Hikes are family friendly, and are good for all ages and abilities. They include wooded trails as well as lakefront paths. The goal, ODNR said, is to help individuals reconnect with nature while spending quality time with friends and family. 

The hikes will take place on Jan. 1 at 13 different locations, including 12 state parks and one nature preserve. Some of them will be led by a naturalist, helping to give insight into the natural and cultural history of the area, ODNR said. The full list of locations is available on the ODNR website. 

The First Day Hikes are part of the Winter Hike Series, and participants of both will receive a special sticker to commemorate ODNR's and the Ohio State Parks' 75th anniversary.