Start your 2019 with a state park hike

OKLAHOMA CITY - The calendar is about to turn to 2019 and many of us have losing weight and being more active on our resolution list.

Folks at the Oklahoma State Parks Department have a great way to get your resolution and new year off on the right foot on New Year's Day.

"This is just a good way to kick it off," said Keli Clark of the Oklahoma Tourism Department.

Officials from Oklahoma's state parks are inviting you to join them for their First Day Hikes. 20 parks across the state are putting on free guided hikes to get people moving to start 2019.

"Get out on the first day of the new year to start your new year out in a healthy way by getting outdoors, getting outside," said Clark.

Officials say instead of fighting the crowds at the gym, put on a coat and gloves and enjoy the natural beauty of Oklahoma's state parks.

"State parks are a great place to go, especially when it's cold outside," Clark said. "The trees are kind of bare which is OK because you can see the birds.  Sometimes you see a deer, some things you will see, things in the woods that you wouldn't not normally get to see if you are working out in the gym or you are walking on the treadmill in your house," said Clark.

Hike lengths vary from half a mile up to two miles, and the scenery varies, too. You can enjoy the open plains of Northern Oklahoma to the hills, pines and streams in the Southeast at Robber's Cave and Beaver's Bend, or, even the high desert landscapes of Roman Nose in Watonga. These are all on the list of hiking destinations.

Some hiking paths are paved perfect for children on bikes, strollers and those with mobility issues.

Winter is also the perfect time to see our national symbol, too, so bring your cameras and binoculars because bald eagles have been sighted on hikes at numerous state parks including Lake Thunderbird, just south of Norman.

"The eagles are great to see. They are so beautiful and I've caught a glimpse of eagles when I've been at the parks and they are really pretty," said Clark.

Two parks, Keystone and Osage Hills, are offering midnight hikes starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

"People love the midnight hikes. Oh, yeah. We've had people show up with it six degrees to go on a hike," said Clark.

Most of the hikes start between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Click here for a complete list of hikes.