The new year is right around the corner! Is 2015 the year you plan on getting in shape and living a healthier lifestyle?  If so, I have the perfect solution to work toward your goal. Why not go hiking? On January 1, celebrate the new year with a first day hike! Take your family and friends to Daisy State Park to get started on your resolutions for a healthy lifestyle. You can explore nature and engage in physical activity while taking a family-friendly excursion. Just make sure to dress for the weather and bring plenty of water with you. The hiking excursion is just short of a mile in length and begins at 1 p.m. at the visitor information center.

Admission is free. (Hike will last approx.1 hour) Call 870-398-4487 for more information.

There is nothing like taking in the beauty of the natural state with all the great parks in Arkansas. Daisy State Park is located at 103 East Park in Kirby, Ark.

Here are some other nearby participating state parks.

• Crater of Diamond State Park (Murfreesboro)—Little Missouri River Trail from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Meet at the trailhead. The trail over level terrain winds its way through the woods from the park campground to the scenic Little Missouri River and loops back to the trailhead. Half of the trail has paved barrier-free access. It is the longest wheelchair-accessible trail in southwest Arkansas. The unpaved section of the trail is an easy walk.

• DeGray Lake Resort State Park (Bismarck)—Island Trail from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Meet in the lobby of DeGray Lodge. This trail stretches along the west shoreline of the island for about a mile, and loops back to the lodge. Green Heron Trail from 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Meet at the park visitor center for this guided hike.

• Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area (Wickes)—Harris Creek Trail from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Meet at the trailhead. The trail is located off of U.S. 278, approximately nine miles east of Wickes [NOTE: Call the park at 870-385-2201 by December 22 to register for this guided hike.] This easy-to-moderate trail passes through six different habitats that range from a dry open shale pit to a mature shortleaf pine/hardwood forest. Halfway through the trail there is an overlook that offers a wonderful view of the Cossatot River as it winds its way through the Ouachita Mountains.

• Lake Catherine State Park (Hot Springs)—Falls Branch Trail from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Meet at the trailhead located in Camping Area “C.” The trail winds through the pine/hardwood forest of the park, crossing Little Canyon Creek several times. It passes a scenic, seasonal waterfall on Falls Creek and leads back to the trailhead.

For more information go to Arkansas State Parks.

(Source:Patricia Thomas,Daisy State Park)

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