- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The state Department of Natural Resources is sponsoring free, guided hikes in Michigan parks around New Year’s Day as part of a nationwide outdoor effort.

The hikes are part of the America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative. DNR Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson says in a statement that the hikes “are a great way to cure cabin fever and burn off those extra holiday calories.”

Michigan state parks are calling their events “Shoe Year’s Hikes.” They include a Dec. 31 hike at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and Jan. 1 hikes at Yankee Springs Recreation Area in Barry County and Warren Dunes State Park in Berrien County.

A Jan. 2 hike is planned at Mitchell State Park in Wexford County. Events on Jan. 3 are planned for Bay City State Recreation Area, Brighton Recreation Area, Maybury State Park in Wayne County, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and Ludington State Park.

A Jan. 4 hike is scheduled at Sterling State Park in Monroe County.

The National Association of State Park Directors is involved in the effort, which organizers say was expanded last year to park systems in all states. Park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average 1 to 2 miles or longer depending on the state park involved.

Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing are listed online by the DNR and the National Association of State Park Directors.

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Online:

Michigan information: http://www.michigan.gov/gogetoutdoors

National information: http://www.naspd.org

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