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First Day Hikes in New Mexico State Parks Offer Invigorating Start to the New Year

Take a Polar Bear Plunge into the Lake!

By New Mexico State Parks
Santa Fe, NM – Make a New Year’s resolution to your health and happiness by kicking off 2018 with a First Day Hike or a Polar Bear Plunge into the lake at a state park near you. On January 1, New Mexico State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes in 13 state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes. Polar Bear Plunges will also be held at three parks this year.
“We are excited to host First Day Hikes as part of this national effort to get people outdoors and into our parks. First Day Hikes are a great way to cure cabin fever and burn off those extra holiday calories by starting off the New Year with an invigorating walk or hike in one of your beautiful state parks,” said Christy Tafoya, NM State Parks Director. She added, “On New Year’s Day, the Polar Bear Plunge has been a long-standing tradition at Storrie Lake State Park in Las Vegas, NM for the past twenty-two years.”
New Mexico State Parks boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation, and each First Day Hike will offer an opportunity to explore unique natural and cultural treasures. From Carlsbad to Raton, hikers can climb hills and mountain tops, walk along lakes, and traverse trails through forests and prairies.
In New Mexico, hikes and plunges will be offered at the following locations and times:
First Day Hikes:
1.      Bottomless Lakes State Park – Roswell – 2 – 3 p.m.
2.      Cerrillos Hills State Park – Cerrillos – 1 p.m.
3.      City of Rocks State Park – Fayewood – 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
4.      Elephant Butte Lake State Park – Elephant Butte – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
5.      Hyde Memorial State Park – Santa Fe – 9 a.m.
6.      Leasburg Dam State Park – Radium Springs – 10 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
7.      Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park – Carlsbad – 10 a.m.
8.      Oasis State Park – Portales – 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
9.      Rockhound State Park – Deming – 10 a.m.
10. Ute Lake State Park – Logan -1 p.m.
11. Sugarite Canyon State Park – Raton – 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
12.  Eagle Nest Lake State Park- Eagle Nest- Polar Bear Stomp (Hike) 11 a.m.
Polar Bear Plunges:
1.      Eagle Nest Lake State Park – Eagle Nest – “Polar Bear Challenge” Registration at 9 a.m., Challenge at 10 a.m.
2.      Storrie Lake State Park- Las Vegas – Polar Bear Plunge 12 p.m.
3.      Sugarite Canyon State Park – Raton – Polar Bear Plunge 1 p.m.
Park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the
scheduled hike. Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing
are listed on the America’s State Parks website. Visit or to find a
First Day Hike nearest you.
First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago, at a state park in Milton, Massachusetts.
America’s State Parks is committed to promoting outdoor recreation in state parks to address obesity,
especially among children. Getting kids outside and unplugged from video games and other electronic media
creates a unique connection with nature that promotes physical and mental well-being and encourages creativity
and stewardship of our shared resources. Log onto for more information.

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