Start Your Year With a Hike
It’s easy to get those “get healthier” resolutions off to a good start with a fun First Day Hike in a Texas state park. It’s the seventh year for Texas to participate in the growing program, a national effort to get more Americans outside.
Last year, 80 Texas state parks hosted a total of 116 First Day Hike events, with 3,048 participants covering more than 6,500 miles as they walked, ran, paddled, pedaled and swam across parks all over the state. Events include nature and history hikes, bike rides, runs, a Polar Plunge (at Balmorhea), midnight hikes on New Year’s Eve, night hikes, birding hikes, hikes for tots, hikes with dogs, scavenger hunt and geocache hikes and a trail ride.
“What a tremendous statement it was for folks all over to come forward and say with their actions that getting outside and using their parks is a priority for them,” says Brent Leisure, state parks director, of last year’s turnout. “First Day Hikes has solidified as a signature event that is gaining momentum as a New Year’s Day tradition in Texas.”
To find a First Day Hike near you, visit texasstateparks.org/firstdayhikes.
Better Fishing in Brazos Basins
Thanks to a collaboration between TPWD, Brazos River Authority and others, new enhancements to improve habitat for a variety of fish species are now in place at Lake Granbury, Possum Kingdom Lake and Proctor Lake. Improvements like “crappie condos” are designed to provide better fishing opportunities; artificial structures made of recycled plastics and natural structures made of recycled bamboo and Christmas trees have been put in place.
“These habitat enhancement projects will offer improved areas for spawning and feeding and provide cover from predators to help fish grow to maturity,” says Brian Van Zee of TPWD’s inland fisheries.
Anglers can find more information about these habitat projects, including GPS coordinates and maps depicting the locations of the projects, at www.tpwd.texas.gov/fishattractor.