First day hikes gaining popularity in the Hills

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Custer State Park, SD It's a brand new year so why not celebrate while getting exercise and enjoying the Black Hills.

First Day Hikes are gaining popularity.

Katie Halter, Custer State Park Winter Naturalist says, "This is a super cool thing we've done for about 7 years now and actually states across the country do first day hikes."

Sunday hikers gathered at the Peter Norbeck Visitor in Custer State Park to give the year a fresh start while enjoying some fresh air.

Halter says, "My supervisor tells me that it's one of the most popular hikes we have during the year and usually there's a crowd of about 40 to 50 and it looks like today we have at least that many."

And hikers of any experience level can enjoy Custer State park on the first of the year.

Halter says, "We try to make this hike as family friendly as possible so it's along the Creekside Trail it's only 2 miles. The trail is paved, it's easy, it's flat, and when we don't have a lot of snow, usually a lot of strollers come, dogs will come, so this one is kind of to get the whole family out."

Everyone has a different reason for spending their Sunday in the Hills.

Emily Raymond, hiker says, "We are all from kind of all around and came to our grandparents house for Christmas and New Year's so we're just out here getting a little exercise all the kids."

Ben Paepke, Hiker says, "I like being outside and having fun for exercise and like Olivia said it's it's a good way to start the new year."

Joey Kuecker, Hiker says, "Because my parents forced me to."

And some use this as an opportunity to kick start to their goals on the first day of the year.

Halter says, "A lot of people are making New Year's resolutions, maybe get outside, maybe lose weight, that sort of thing, so it's kind of a cool way to get outside kick off the new year the right way."

But no matter the reason for the hike, getting outside in Custer State Park brings a smile to everyone.

Halter says, "It's kind of at our backyard a lot of the surrounding communities so I think it's really important to really utilize this place."