OUTDOORS: TPWD plans first-day hikes

Wildlife Department urges Texas residents to begin 2017 with a walk at a Texas state park.
The First Day Hikes initiative is a statewide event.
“Last year, 80 parks had 116 First Day Hikes across Texas,” said Texas state parks director Brent Leisure. “More than 3,000 participants covered more than 6,500 miles as they walked, ran, paddled, peddled and swam at First Day Hikes events.”
State parks traditionally have these hikes to help visitors commit to their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get healthy. There are First Day Hikes events in all 50 states on Jan. 1, 2017.
There will be brisk strolls, polar plunges, bike rides, short walks with pets and meditation.
The PAWS Shelter of Central Texas will have a walk at Pedernales Falls State Park down in the Hill Country.
Bring your own pets or walk with a dog available for adoption. Participants will meet at the day use picnic area at 2 p.m.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park in rural Sanger will have a First Day Paddle at 1 p.m. around the lake.
The paddle is free with paid entrance to the park. Participants may bring their own kayak, or borrow one from the park. Paddlers will meet at the boat ramp parking lot.
To reserve a kayak, call 1-940-637-2636. Read more on first-day hikes in the Dec. 28 Bowie News.

First-day hikers prepare for a stroll with the assistance of a Texas game warden at Pedernales State Park located in Johnson City. There will be first-day hikes across the region from Wichita Falls to Jacksboro to Glen Rose. (Courtesy photo by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)