First day hikers ring in the new year

Dozens of hikers participated in "First Day Hikes" across the state.
Published: Jan. 1, 2023 at 11:11 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - It was about putting the best foot forward at the start of 2023.

“It’s a good time to kind of set the tone for a great year and a healthy year,” Kelly Ekue, the outdoor education specialist at Schramm State Park, said. “So it’s healthy to be out hiking. It’s healthy to get the fresh air, to spend time with family and friends, to listen to birds.”

About 50 visitors came out to Schramm State Park for the “First Day Hike” in the morning to get a breath of fresh air and trudge through the wet paths leading up the park’s hills.

Some were following the call of their New Year’s resolutions, while others were just having fun and staying healthy, like Terri Hensley and her husband.

“I don’t make resolutions anymore,” Hensley said. “We both just try to continue living well, being good to each other, eating right, getting our exercise because we both still have a lot of living to do.”

Or Erik Lilla, who’s set some new goals for himself this year. He calls himself a summit seeker, and he plans to climb to the highest points in several states in 2023.

“Your health is your number one thing,” Lilla said. “If you talk to people who are wealthy but unhealthy, they would trade all their wealth for their health in a moment.”

The event also featured an art project for kids.

And though the clouds grayed the morning sky, smiles and laughter made for a bright start to the year.

Several parks across the state and nation also held hikes on their trails.