- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia State Parks system is participating in a national program to start Americans down on a healthy path in 2015.

It’s called First Day Hikes and it begins New Year’s Day. All 36 state parks in Virginia are participating.

Last year, more than 27,000 people hiked around 66,000 miles on 885 hikes in state parks across the country.

Massachusetts began offering First Day Hikes in its parks more than 20 years ago, and the National Association of State Park Directors has issued a challenge to other states. Officials say 50 state parks across the country are set to participate.

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