Across West Virginia, state parks invited the public to start the new year off right by taking the time to get back to nature.
For dozens of hikers at Blackwater Falls State Park, there was no better way to spend the first day of 2019, than on the trails.
According to seasonal park naturalist Jenna Hughes, this year’s hike is more challenging than previous ones.
“It leads out to a great overlook, it’s actually one of my favorite trails here on the park,” Hughes said. “It’s a decently long hike. A lot of our trails here on the park are a little bit shorter, so it’s one of them that you can get a little bit more distance, a little bit longer of a hike, get out in nature.”
Despite Hughes’ outdoor experience, the 2.5 mile hike offers her a chance to get on track for 2019.
“I just had a baby in October so this is going to be my very first hike,” Hughes said. “It’s a great long one to do for a first hike back, right?”
And whether you’re a seasoned outdoors-person, or working on achieving a personal goal, for these hikers, getting out in the woods of West Virginia is the right way to ring in the new year.
“It’s just an activity to get people out to the right start,” park naturalist Paulita Cousin said. “I love the outdoors. Being outdoors in nature is the best feeling you can get. It’s a relaxing feeling. It’s a de-stressor, and to be able to do it with a group of people is fun.”