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First Day Hike set for Sunday at Tuttle Creek

By The Mercury

From 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Tuttle Creek State Park will join state parks nationwide in a program designed to encourage people to begin the new year with a walk.

Todd Lovin, park manager, said the event, called First Day Hike, is part of a program sponsored by America’s State Parks. Each state’s park system sponsors free, guided First Day Hike events on New Year’s Day.

“The goal of it nationally is to start the new year right,” Lovin said. “Get people out.”

Aside from facilitating fitness resolutions, he said it’s also a great way for families to spend time together on New Year’s Day.

Tuttle Creek’s event will take participants on short hikes for guided bird watching. Lovin said the length of the tours will be partly dependent on the weather but noted the area had seen good weather lately.

“People don’t have to know anything about birds,” Lovin said.

He said people can expect to see a variety of waterfowl, including ducks and geese, and added there might even be some eagles around the lake.

“Birdwatching can be really good around the lake this time of year,” Lovin said.

The event is free to the public, participants meet at the Tuttle Creek State Park office.  A parking permit is required, and they can be obtained at the park office from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Sunday. A daily permit is $3.70 and an annual permit is $19.70.

Lovin discouraged participants from bringing pets on the tours because they might disrupt the bird watching.

For more information, people can contact the Tuttle Creek State Park Office, 785-539-7941.

Lovin said he’s not sure how many people will participate but hopes for a good turnout and a chance for Tuttle Creek to participate again in the future.

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