fun and fresh

Not into toasting in the new year? Start 2013 outdoors with these refreshing hikes

Not into toasting in the new year? Start 2013 outdoors with these refreshing hikes

Enchanted Rock
Enchanted Rock Photo by Tian Rose Courtesy of Enchanted Rock/Facebook
Austin photo: Events_McKinley Falls_Old Baldy
McKinney Falls
Austin Photo Set: News_Peter Lewis_Swimming Holes_blanco state park_june 2011
Blanco State Park Courtesy of TPWD
Enchanted Rock
Austin photo: Events_McKinley Falls_Old Baldy
Austin Photo Set: News_Peter Lewis_Swimming Holes_blanco state park_june 2011
Some of us focus on the New Year's Eve experience, while others are more into New Year's day. 
 
If you prefer the latter, kick off 2013 by enjoying fresh air, scenery and exercise with expert guides and good company on one of these "first day hikes" at state parks near Austin.
 
McKinney Falls State Park 
Guided three-mile walk on paved terrain, pets welcome, at 10 a.m. Entrance fee $6. Children 12 and younger free at all parks.
 
Enchanted Rock
Two two-hour summit hikes, including information about geology, ecology and natural history. Meet at the gazebo at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m. Entrance fee $6.
 
Pedernales Falls
One-mile hike to the falls from the Falls parking lot, 10 a.m. Entrance fee $5 adults.
 
Blanco State Park
One-mile stroll along the Caswell Nature Trail, taking time to stop and discuss plants and animals. Entrance fee $4.
 
Bastrop State Park
Find out how the wildfires affected this park on a one-mile, easy hike. Meet at the Deer Run restrooms at 1 p.m. Entrance fee $4.
 
Inks Lake State Park
Meet naturalists at the Pecan Flats Trailhead at 1 PM for a scavenger-hunt hike around the lake, learning about the flora and fauna on the way. Hot chocolate and prizes behind the park store following the hike. Entrance fee $6.
 
Buescher State Park
Hike a new trail in the new year, a two-mile route through the pine woods. Meet at the trailhead at 3 p.m. Entrance fee $2.
 
Find park phone numbers and directions on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, and more events on the calendar page.
 
Here's to hoping the rest of your year follows suit.