- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma State Parks are offering free guided hikes on Jan. 1 to promote healthy lifestyles in the new year.

The director of the state’s parks, Kris Marek, says park staffs work each year to create fresh ideas and incentives to entertain guests who come to their facilities to enjoy the outdoors and the hikes.

It’s the fourth straight year that Oklahoma’s state parks have been part of the First Day Hikes program and participation grows every year. This year, 528 guests hiked at 20 state parks for a total of 962 miles.

In 2015, 23 state parks will invite visitors to experience the beauty of nature in the wintertime. Osage Hills State Park near Pawhuska will kick off their first hike at one minute past midnight on New Year’s Day.

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