As we finalize last-minute preparations for this most wonderful time of the year, our spirit of goodwill and harmony will soon give way to a post-holiday hangover.
A sure cure for the aftereffects we suffer from our turkey-induced coma, eggnog fog and fruitcake overload is outside our door. The treatment is easy and free and includes a heavy dose of fresh air and sunshine.
For the second year, Oklahoma State Parks is participating in a nationwide effort with America's State Parks to encourage visitors to begin a healthy new year with free hikes in a state park on Jan. 1. Last year, all 50 states held First Day Hikes with six Oklahoma state parks hosting the inaugural event.
“We're excited once again to welcome visitors to our parks and encourage everyone to establish a healthy New Year's tradition with their families and get outdoors,” said Kris Marek, Oklahoma state parks director.
This year, 13 Oklahoma state parks invite visitors to explore the parks, hike for free and enjoy the beauty of nature in the wintertime.
Arrowhead, Canadian: Meet at the park office at 10 a.m. for an easy one-mile hike.
Beavers Bend, Broken Bow: Meet at the Forest Heritage Center at 9 a.m. for a moderate one-mile hike along the Cedar Bluff Trail.
Grand Lake-Bernice Area: Meet at the Nature Center at 11 a.m. for an easy half-mile hike along the Bernice Nature Trail.
Foss State Park, Foss: Meet at the Mouse Creek Campground at 10 a.m. for a moderate three-mile hike along the Warrior Trail.
Greenleaf, Braggs: Meet at the Kid's Fishing Pond Gazebo at 10 a.m. for an easy one-mile hike along the Family Fun Trail.
Lake Murray, Ardmore: Meet at the park office at 2 p.m. for an easy half-mile hike along the new Park Office Trail.
Lake Thunderbird, Norman: Meet at the park office at 10:30 a.m. for an easy to moderate hike along the Hog Creek Trail. The trail is divided into three separate sections that range from a half-mile, one-mile and two miles in length.