Texas State Park goers tell 2018 to take a hike

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department organized a statewide campaign to get Texans outdoors to hike off the bad in 2018. As part of a national campaign, officials hosted similar programs across the state. 

“Happy New Year. Yay! So glad to see you at our first hike of the year this year,” Kristen Williams, a Texas State Park Ranger, told a group before the planned First Day Hike at McKinney Falls State Park.

New Year’s resolutions have the habit of being simple but not easy. People looking to put down the phones and get outside this year visited state parks across Texas Tuesday.

“I really like to support the state parks, so that’s one thing. The second thing is to start out the year right. I’d rather be out in the fresh air with my kids rather than sitting on the couch,” said Diana Yens from Bastrop.

Yens brought Gavin and Teagan. Their goals for this year: get better at soccer and the Cello.  Yens’ goal is to get back to the basics.

“Getting more active outside. Trying to learn to relax more and be more peaceful,” Yens said.

“First Day Hikes at Texas’ state parks and natural areas aim to help visitors commit to their New Year’s resolutions to get healthy,” officials wrote in a press release. 

Last year, 51 state parks hosted First Day Hike events in the state and nearly 1,000 people participated. 

Austinite Krystal Frederick and her children, Zachary and Sabrina, knew these First Day Hikes were happening. McKinney Falls was the closest park one to them. 

“My kids spend time on video games like every kid, so getting them outside and getting them moving is really important,” Frederick said.

She’s one of many Texans looking to improve in the next 12 months.

“I’m most excited about graduating, finishing school and being done. It’s been a long road,” said Frederick.

On Wednesday at Bastrop State Park there’s a Fa La La Scavenger Hunt. The day after there are Summit Hikes at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

Then there are many more events on the state park website. 

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