- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The director of North Carolina State Parks thinks people should take a hike on New Year’s Day.

A tradition is set to continue on Jan. 1 with opportunities to exercise and reconnect with nature on First Day Hikes at every state park and recreation area.

State Parks Director Mike Murphy said the hikes are an opportunity to start the year off with healthy activity and reduce the stress of the holidays.

In the past three years, hikers have joined rangers and volunteers to walk more than 10,000 miles on state park trails on Jan. 1. There will be more than 40 scheduled hikes, including Haw River State Park in Guilford County, which will preview a new 3.2-mile trail that will open for general use in the coming months.

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