Starting the year outdoors

VENTURA,  Iowa- America’s State Parks across the nation participated in the First Day Hikes program on News Year’s Day Sunday.

In Minnesota, 9 state parks participated. In Iowa, 26 state parks took part in program, including McIntosh Woods State Park.

McIntosh Woods State Park manager Tammy Domonoske said the mile hike encourages people to get outdoors with their families and start the new year with exercise and enjoy nature.

“We’re going to be hitting some of the highlights,” said Domonoske. “Some of the history, why this park is here, when it was established, the scenery that overlooks, talk about what’s happening in our state park.”

Domonoske said the hike also allows people to see what the area has to offer, even during the middle of winter. “There’s cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing. We have a lake full of ice fisherman, the fish are biting. We got 500 miles of trails in Iowa for snowmobiling, skiing, horseback, all kinds of stuff.”

Rod Fisher of Charles City participated in the hike at McIntosh Woods State Park. He said he was looking forward to learning about nature and wildlife at the park, as well as using his snow shoes he bought last year.

Fisher said he doesn’t normally go for hikes, especially in the winter but with the help of his snowshoes, he said he’s not worried about sinking in the snow.

“These [snowshoes] keep you from doing that [sinking], plus like I say, they got some cleats on the bottom of it that grip the snow so you don’t slip and slide around as much either,” said Fisher.

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