By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
Start the year off on the right foot — and the left, and the right, and the left again — with an invigorating winter hike with other members of your community. Each year on January 1, America’s State Parks and Virginia State Parks host First Day Hike programs to encourage people to get outside and on the trail. Last year thousands of people started the new year with a community hike, and now Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) is joining in on the fun: FCPA has announced that it is hosting local First Day Hikes as well. These will be self-guided hikes along easy paths.
The program, First Hike Fairfax, includes five family-friendly starter hikes at some great parks in Fairfax County. And you don’t need to “hike” necessarily” — on various paths you can walk, jog, bike, stroll, even horseback ride. The hikes will be at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield, Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station, Cub Run Stream Valley Trail in Chantilly, Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, and Riverbend Park in Great Falls.
Visit First Hike Fairfax to pick your hike and follow others on their hikes with the #FirstHikeFairfax hashtag. And just as the state park First Day Hike programs offer photo contests, FCPA is running a giveaway, too. To enter, take a photo with an identifiable landmark or sign on your hike, then email it with the name of the park where you hiked plus your name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone who does this will receive a free RECenter Guest Pass just for participating and be entered in the First Hike Fairfax photo contest on Facebook for a grand prize: a free four-month RECenter pass valued at up to $300. First Hike Fairfax kicks off the Park Authority’s Take 12 Steps for Health for 2017, a year of healthy living ideas for you and your family.