advertisement

Hikers hit the trails on the first day of the new year

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 | 6:14 p.m. CST
About 80 people decided to bundle up Wednesday and explore the trails at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park as part of the nationwide First Day Hikes program.

COLUMBIA — Whether they wanted to walk a dog, learn about local history or to simply get outside, about 80 people decided to bundle up Wednesday and explore the trails at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

They joined the nationwide First Day Hikes program where citizens in all 50 states are encouraged to explore state parks on New Year's Day.

Hikes in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park have been scheduled on Jan. 1 for at least the past 10 years, but this year was only the second as part of the national movement of first-day hikes across the country.

"It's better than sitting around and watching TV all day," park volunteer Bill Pohlman said.

Fellow hiker Diane Privitt added, "I usually take my dog for a walk, so I thought I would go somewhere different."

The hikes were guided by Rock Bridge Park Naturalist Roxie Campbell and retired Park Superintendent Steve Schulte, who narrated the trek with stories about the trails.

John Klaas, his wife and their four children were on the hike for the second year in a row. The guided hikes are more informative than venturing out alone, Klaas said, in addition to the outdoor exercise. 

Schulte led a group on the Grassland Trail, where the land had been hog farms until the late 1970s. The two-mile trail, just off U.S. 163, meanders through tall prairie grass  and curves through a small wooded area at the end.

Hikers Amelia and Brian Cottle live right behind the park. Amelia Cottle said she was amazed to see to see old hog farms turned into beautiful grassland.

The two said they have done the first day hike for the past three years.

"I love seeing people come out and learn how it all happened," she said.

Schulte, the park superintendent from 1978 to 2004, said he has been guiding hikes since they started.

"It's too easy to sit at home and vegetate," he said, "so this is a good way to get out and still have time to do things later."

 


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements