Virginia State Parks will offer free parking January 1, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy special hikes or self-guided hikes on more than 500 miles of trails across 37 state parks.
For added fun, Virginia State Parks will hold the First Day Hikes Photo Contest (vspfdh2018.hscampaigns.com) and the New Year Challenge (dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/other/1st-day-hikes). Each contest has a $500 gift certificate as the top prize, as well as other prizes.
Other parks with multiple hikes and difficulties include Pocahontas, Bear Creek Lake, Holliday Lake and TwinLakes state parks.
Some of the more unique hikes include Grayson Highlands State Park, with the possibility of seeing wild ponies.
New River Trail State Park will feature a hike and bike on the new mountain biking trail. At False Cape State Park, hikers will take the Terragator, the beach transport vehicle, down the beach and then hike to the North Carolina border.
Hikers can see bison at Wilderness Road State Park and amazing geological formations at Natural Tunnel and Natural Bridge state parks. The hike at Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park includes a tour of the historic town of Big Stone Gap.
Virginia State Parks welcomes bikes and horseback riders at parks with those facilities. Leashed dogs are welcome everywhere except False Cape State Park.
For details about Virginia State Parks activities and amenities or to make a reservation, call 800/933-7275 or visit virginiastateparks.gov.
–Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries