Area residents can start 2017 in a healthy way by connecting with nature and hiking Sunday afternoon.
Tuttle Creek State Park is hosting a birdwatching hike along Eagle Pass Trail, which was recently mulched, said Amelia Staver, office assistant at the park. The hike will be almost a mile long. Park manager Todd Lovin will lead it.
Lovin studied wildlife biology and will be stopping along the trail periodically to tell hikers about the park’s history or identify birds and other wildlife they encounter along the walk, Staver said.
Staver reminded people to bundle up, wear sneakers or appropriate shoes, and bring a flashlight or binoculars if they have them.
“I think it’s good for people in the community to see what their park has to offer,” Staver said. “It’s always great to get people outdoors.”
The hike is free and is one of 19 statewide guided hikes on Jan. 1. “First day” hikes will be hosted at state parks across the U.S. to promote mental and physical health.
The hike starts at 4 p.m. at the park office, but Staver encouraged people to show up about 30 minutes early for snacks, water, hot chocolate and T-shirts, which the park will provide. Hikers can bring their pets as long as they’re on a leash.
Staver said the hike fulfills part of the park’s mission by providing outdoor opportunities for the community.
“People who haven’t done much outdoors or haven’t been exposed to the outdoors, it opens doors for them and gives them new outdoor rec opportunities,” Staver said.