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Posted on Dec 12, 2017 in Latest Department News

(HONOLULU) – Make a New Year’s resolution to your health and happiness by kicking off 2018 with an invigorating First Day Hike at Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline. On January 1, all 50 states will participate in the seventh annual national event that encourages everyone to celebrate the New Year with a guided outdoor exploration. Of special note this year, the Ontario Provincial Parks have joined the movement in providing First Day Hikes uniting with America’s State Parks, and a number of staff from the National Park Service and local parks departments are also participating.

DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell has taken a leadership position and personal interest in the annual hike to the top of the famed Makapu‘u Lighthouse lookout in east O‘ahu. “Our hike is perhaps the best attended in the country,” Cottrell said, with upwards of 700 people making the short two-mile round-trip trek to the top. He added, “Sunrise will be greeted and heralded in with a pu (blowing of a conch shell) in the four cardinal directions, followed by an oli and then Taiko drummers. We are hoping to also have bagpipers to round off what has become a cross cultural celebration of the New Year.” In addition hikers will enjoy one of the most spectacular views in Hawai‘i, might catch Humpback whales breaching and frolicking in the waters below, and weather permitting, be the last to see the sunrise in America on New Year’s Day.

“America’s State Parks provide havens for young and old alike to discover the tranquility and beauty of nature through outdoor recreation,” National Association of State Park Directors Executive Director, Lewis Ledford said. “Hiking offers inspiring ways to improve your physical and mental health, while exploring beautiful public lands in every state.”

Join the fun! During the event, park rangers, naturalists and volunteers will share their knowledge of each state’s unique natural and cultural features. You are encouraged to share your adventures on social media with #FirstDayHikes.

The First, First Day Hike
First Day Hikes originated more than 25 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation – a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. Last year, more than 62,000 people took part in guided hikes that covered over 114,165 miles (183,730 km) on 1,300 different hikes across the country.
Hike Safe and Hawai‘i First Day Hike Essentials
Just a few simple essentials include dressing in layers, having raingear, a hat and appropriate footwear and carrying food and water. Reef-safe sunscreen and sunglasses are encouraged. If you’re bringing your dog, it must stay leashed at all times and please pick up after your pet and properly dispose of waste and other rubbish. The gate at Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline opens at 5:30 a.m. and sunrise is at 7:09 a.m. The trail to the top is paved and handicapped accessible.

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The National Association of State Park Directors promotes and advocates for the state park systems across America in providing for conservation and management of natural and cultural resources, quality outdoor recreation experiences, connecting children and families to nature and the outdoors, and more. With more than 10,200 park areas and visitation of 760 million annually, the economic impact to local communities is estimated to exceed $20 billion each year. America’s State Parks is an alliance of state park systems in all 50 states.

(All images courtesy: DLNR)

HD video and sound: (2017 First Day Hike)

Photographs: (2017 First Day Hike)

Media coverage is welcome. Please contact Dan Dennison for additional information. Video, soundbites and photographs will be distributed to the media, post-hike.

Media Contact:
Dan Dennison
Senior Communications Manager
Hawai‘i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
(808) 587-0407