DETROIT (WWJ) – For many people, a new year is the time for making resolutions. Frequently, those resolutions involve making a pledge to become healthier.
With that sentiment in mind, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources encourages residents to kick off 2017 by bringing Michigan’s great outdoors into the mix.
The DNR, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Recreation and Park Association are joining together to encourage residents to shift their New Year’s resolutions into high gear at “Shoe Year’s Day” hikes taking place Dec. 31-Jan. 8 at several Michigan state parks and recreation areas.
“There are countless benefits to using Michigan’s great outdoors as your gym,” Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief, said in a statement. “People tend to work out longer, enjoy their workout more, and burn more calories by exercising outside, while enjoying the beauty of our state.”
All “Shoe Year’s Day” hikes are free; however, a Recreation Passport ($11) is required for any vehicle entering a Michigan state park or recreation areas. Snowshoes will be available to rent at most locations.
The following Shoe Year’s guided hikes are scheduled:
• Maybury State Park (Wayne County) Dec. 31 at 10 a.m.
• Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County) Jan. 1 at 1 p.m.
• Waterloo Recreation Area (Jackson County) Jan. 1 at 11 a.m.
• Yankee Springs Recreation Area (Barry County) Jan. 1 at 1 p.m.
• Ludington State Park (Mason County) Jan. 7 at 6 p.m.
• Rockport Recreation Area (Alpena County) Jan. 7 at noon
• Sleeper State Park (Huron County) Jan. 7 at 6 p.m.
• Straits State Park (Cheboygan County) Jan. 7 at 5 p.m.
• Mitchell State Park (Wexford County) Jan. 8 at 1 p.m.
If you can’t make it to one of the events, you can still take advantage of Michigan’s parks, trails and waterways on your own time by visiting a Michigan state park or recreation area, the Iron Belle Trail or the more than 12,500 miles of state-designated trails.