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Divisions of Boating and Waterways, Historic Preservation and Off-Highway Vehicles

News Release

For Immediate Release: 12/18/2014

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California State Parks Begin New Year With First Day Hikes

Vicky Waters,


SACRAMENTO, CA.—This New Year’s Day 2015, California State Parks will kick-off the 4th Annual First Day Hikes, planned at several parks across the state. Events will all take place on Thursday, January 1 in 37 state parks, which will offer at least 46 different activities, including hikes in the redwoods, the deserts and along the coast and beaches, as well as a paddle hike, and more. Distance and rigor will vary per hike/activity, so visitors are encouraged to check out details of start times and description of hikes.

First Day Hikes is a signature event designed to offer visitors the opportunity to connect to their parks and nature for recreation, and to promote a healthy lifestyle throughout the year. Events are guided by State Parks staff and volunteers. 

“California’s state parks are some of the most diverse in the world, and offer a variety of resources and activities for our visitors,” said California State Parks Acting Director, Lisa Mangat. “We are proud to participate in this nationwide activity that prompts people to begin their New Year exploring nature and connecting with their families and communities.”

This is the fourth year California has participated in the First Day Hikes Program. Last year, there were over 850 hikes across the nation, with more than 28,000 visitors participating, which represented a 6,000 increase over 2013. California offered the most hikes at 43, had the most participants at 3,329, and visitors hiked 9,600 miles, the most of any other state.

California State Park’s 2015 First Day Hikes include (weather permitting):

Butte County

Humboldt County

Kern County

Lake County

Los Angeles County

Marin County

Mendocino County

Monterey County

Orange County

Riverside County

Sacramento County

San Mateo County

Santa Barbara County

Santa Cruz County

San Diego County

San Luis Obispo County

Sonoma County

For a complete list and detailed information on First Day Hikes, visit California State Park’s website at: or call (916) 654-7538.

Responsible for almost one-third of California's scenic coastline, the California State Park system includes 280 parks, beaches, trails, wildlife areas, open spaces, off-highway vehicle areas, and historic sites. It consists of approximately 1.59 million acres, including over 339 miles of coastline, 974 miles of lake, reservoir and river frontage, approximately 15,000 campsites and alternative camping facilities, and 4,456 miles of non-motorized trails. State park units include parks, underwater preserves, and reserves; redwood, rhododendron, and wildlife reserves; state beaches, recreation areas, wilderness areas, and reservoirs; state historic parks, historic homes, Spanish era adobe buildings, including museums, visitor centers, cultural reserves; as well as lighthouses, ghost towns, waterslides, conference centers, and off-highway vehicle parks. 

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California State Parks Mission

To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.