- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Islanders are invited to mark the beginning of the new year outdoors with a free guided walking tour, as part of an annual event being marked in all 50 states.

It’s the fifth annual “First Day Hike,” organized by the National Association of State Park Directors. Last year’s hikes drew more than 41,000 people across the country to nearly 1,000 guided tours.

Rhode Island’s three-mile tour is scheduled at the Blackstone River State Park. It’s scheduled to start at noon Friday in Lincoln at the Captain Wilbur Kelly House.

Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit says the event is an opportunity to get active while learning about the environment and the state’s network of parks. She calls it a healthy start to the new year.

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