- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Four West Virginia state parks have scheduled New Year’s Day hikes to encourage people to get outdoors.

Participating in 2015 are Kanawha State Forest, Blackwater Falls State Park, Cacapon Resort State Park and Pipestem Resort State Park.

The national First Day Hikes program works to start Americans down on a healthy path in 2015. 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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