Start Your New Year with a Hike- Wednesday, January 1

Body: 

Start your New Year off  right with some fun and exercise by joining the High Peaks Trail Association for a hike on Jan. 1. The club is sponsoring the outing as part of the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation’s “First Day Hike” program, which encourages the public to reconnect with nature by taking a hike in a state park on the first day of the year.
 
“As the holiday season draws to a close, First Day Hikes are an excellent way to relax, lose the stress and connect with the outdoors and the rich natural resources that distinguish North Carolina,” said Brad Ives, assistant secretary for Natural Resources at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 
 
Hikers should meet at the Burnsville Town Square at 12 noon. We will carpool to Black Mountain Campground at the base of Mt. Mitchell and hike about 3 miles along the Mountains-to-Sea trail. The hike will be moderate with only about 300 feet of elevation change, but the group will venture off the trail a bit to explore a proposed re-route of a portion of the trail that the club will construct this summer.
 
High Peaks is sponsoring the hike in its role as the official “Friends of Mt. Mitchell State Park” organization. While most First Day hikes around the state will be held at state parks, this hike will remain at the foot of Mt. Mitchell and the state park because of the threat of cold and icy conditions at the mountain’s summit.
 
For more information about the hike, contact hike leader Jake Blood at nchighpeaks@gmail.com or 284-6878.