It would be challenging to think of a more serene and inspirational way to start off 2018 than sitting on a mountain overlook watching the first sunrise of the new year.
That's just one in a variety of New Year's Day hikes being offered by state parks in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama on Monday, Jan. 1. There is also a nature hike on the grounds of Prater's Mill in Dalton, Ga.
Join one of these First Day Hikes to walk off holiday calories or reinforce a New Year's resolution to be more active and live a healthier lifestyle in 2018.
» BOOKER T. WASHINGTON STATE PARK — 5801 Champion Road, meet at pool parking lot, 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1. 423-894-4955.
» CLOUDLAND CANYON STATE PARK — Located near Trenton, Ga., 122 Cloudland Canyon Park Road, Rising Fawn, Ga., $5 parking. Hike along Overlook Trail to Bear Creek, 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1. 706-657-4050.
» DESOTO STATE PARK — 7104 DeSoto Parkway, Fort Payne, Ala. Hike along DeSoto Scout Trail, 1 p.m. CST, Monday, Jan. 1. 256-997-5025.
» FALL CREEK FALLS STATE PARK — 2009 Village Camp Road, Spencer, Tenn. Two hikes offered Monday, Jan. 1: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. CST hike to overlook on Caney Fork River Gorge. Hike is 5.5 miles round-trip, wear sturdy boots and warm clothes, pack a sack lunch and water. Also at 10 a.m. CST: Meet at main overlook of Fall Creek Falls for hike to base of falls; dress for weather, bring water and camera. 1-800-250-8610.
» FORT MOUNTAIN STATE PARK — Fort Mountain Park Road, Chatsworth, Ga. $5 admission, $5 parking. Hike to Stone Wall, historic fire tower and West Overlook to take in views. 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1. Register in advance: 706-422-1932.
» HARRISON BAY STATE PARK — 8411 Harrison Bay State Park, meet at the star walk across from the Interpretive Center at 11 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, for night hike into the new year on Harrison Bay Star Walk trail. Bring flashlight and come dressed for weather. 423-344-6214.
» JAMES H. FLOYD STATE PARK — 2800 Sloppy Floyd Lake Road, Summerville, Ga., meet in park office, $5 parking. Ranger-led 2-mile hike to Marble Mine, moderate difficulty; wear sturdy shoes. 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1. 706-857-0826.
» PRATER'S MILL — 5845 Highway 2, Dalton, Ga. Meet on the historic mill's porch for nature hike on Norma Gordon Nature Loop and Prater's Mill greenway led by Greg Bruner. Bring water and binoculars, wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1. 706-694-6455
» SOUTH CUMBERLAND STATE PARK — 11745 Highway 41, Monteagle, Tenn. Two hikes offered Monday, Jan. 1: 7-8 a.m. CST, two-mile hike to sit on Great Stone Door bluff and enjoy first sunrise of 2018; 9-10:30 a.m. CST, meet at Stone Door Ranger Station for 2-mile hike around Grundy Forest day loop; wear sturdy shoes. 931-924-2980.
— Compiled by Susan Pierce