First Day Hikes are a great way to begin the new year, but you need to plan ahead if you want to start on the right foot.
Thirty of South Carolina’s state parks offer First Day Hikes on Jan. 1, ranging from short strolls to long treks. For some, you need to register ahead of time.
Here’s a list of some of the best hikes:
Tough mountain trips: Guides will help you discover two of the classic S.C. hikes – to Raven Cliff Falls at Caesars Head and to the top of Table Rock Mountain. The trip to Raven Cliff starts at 10 a.m. and takes about 2½ hours. Call (864) 836-6115 to reserve a spot. The Table Rock hike starts at 9 a.m. and takes about six hours. Call (843) 878-9813 to reserve a spot.
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Just a little exercise in the Midlands: Try the two-mile trail around the lake at Sesquicentennial, starting at 1 p.m., (803) 788-2706; a 2.5 mile hike on the Little Gap Trail at Dreher Island, starting at 8:30 a.m.; or a 1.5-mile hike on the Coquina Trail at Poinsett, starting at 9 a.m. The Sesqui folks ask that you call ahead to reserve a spot. Just show up at the other two.
Stroll along the beach: Look for shells and learn about shorebirds in a three-mile walk at Edisto Beach, starting at 10 a.m.
Take in a little history: Just short of 150 years after the Civil War battle at Rivers Bridge, you can walk in the footsteps of those soldiers at Rivers Bridge State Park. It’s a two-mile hike, starting at 10 a.m.
Go faster: First Day running events are scheduled at 8:30 a.m. at Charles Towne Landing. (843) 852-4200 and at 10 a.m. atDevils Fork. (864) 944-2639. Call the parks for more details on registration.