Outdoor enthusiasts kick off New Year’s resolutions with chilly walk at state park

NORMAN, Okla. - Losing weight and exercising more is, of course, one of the top New Year's resolutions, but when we think of a new workout routine we often think of the gym.

To kick off 2019, 20 parks across the state of Oklahoma put on free guided hikes and News 4 caught up with one group at Lake Thunderbird on the 24-degree morning.

So what drives a group of folks from all ages and backgrounds to bundle up and brave the cold?
Perhaps it`s the beauty and mystery that lies ahead -

Lizzy Stegemann says her favorite part is seeing the animals.

For some it takes a bit of peer pressure. The Stegemann family has been hitting the trail for the last few New Year`s days. They say this is the coldest one they`ve faced yet - but it`s worth it.

"It`s fun, entertaining," said Dani Stegemann.

The hike is guided by naturalist Ernie Martin and Assistant Park Manager Sherman Johnson. Johnson says they`ve been putting on these 2-3 mile walks for nearly a decade, while offering a shorter one for folks of all capabilities. Through the miles they see lots of wildlife but -

"The biggest deal is getting everybody out and getting them going for the year, you know first day," Johnson said. "That`s what it`s all about."j

Most of the wildlife they see along the trail are deer.
The more creepy critters are spotted inside the nature center where snakes, mice and fish can be found.

The cold weather kept most creatures in hiding - making for a peaceful yet teeth-chattering time for dozens.

"I think it was 24 this morning in my truck coming in so this is pretty cold," Johnson said.

For more information on hiking at state parks visit TravelOK.com.

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