Arizona is all over the news this week, with more exciting outdoors news coming from the Grand Canyon State. That’s because on January 1st, snowbirds and locals alike are lacing up their hiking boots to kick off 2016 with eighteen free “First Day” guided hikes offered at different Arizona state parks.
All 50 state parks around America are hosting these January 1 guided trail hikes to encourage health and fitness in the new year, but Arizona is one of the few states in the nation where hikers are most likely to enjoy the warmest temperatures in the country.
All Hikers Welcome to Participate
You don’t have to be a fitness freak to enjoy these free guided trail hikes. Rangers are leading walks for all levels of participants, from easy two hour interpretive hikes to seven mile trips into some of Arizona’s best desert scenery. As a bonus, leashed dogs are welcome at many of these hikes, such as Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park in the city of Superior.
The Arboretum allows leashed dogs – if you’re looking for a nearby eatery afterwards to get a late lunch with your canine compadre after enjoying the gardens and trails, Porter’s Café in the nearby town of Superior has great burgers, cold beer, healthy salads – and is Superior’s lone “dog-friendly” restaurant, in fact the café earned a coveted 5-bone rating from Bringfido.com
After the hike, participants are encouraged to stick around and enjoy a Native American style Sage Smoke blessing and concert by Arvel Bird, a recording artist with roots in both Paiute culture and Celtic music who plays celtic fiddle and flute.
The popular snowbird enclaves of Tucson, Lake Havasu and Parker are also holding guided First Day Hikes, including:
Tucson: Catalina State Park
8am. Meet at the Equestrian Center parking area. Join Volunteer Gaston Meloche for a hike on