Friendly Competition Waged for the Armed Forces on New Year’s Day

December 5, 2016

Columbia – Dec. 5, 2016 – The State Park Service is inviting all military personnel to compete in First Day Hikes on New Year’s Day to see which branch of the Armed Forces can hike the most miles in a single day.  The winner will be announced on the Park Service’s Facebook page at

First Day Hikes are ranger-guided outings and special events held at more than 30 state parks across South Carolina on Jan. 1, to give people an invigorating start to the new year. A complete list of First Day Hike events for 2017 can be found here. Military personnel can opt to join scheduled hikes or do their own on a state park, as long as they check in with rangers first.

The parks are inviting members of the U.S. Army, the Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force to rack up miles for bragging rights. Park officials recommend finding state parks with significant trail systems like Kings Mountain in Blacksburg, Poinsett in Wedgefield or Edisto Beach in Colleton County, and by visiting more than one park. Officials also recommend hiking in large groups and reporting each member’s miles.

Military personnel should stop by the park office to pick up an Ultimate Outsider guide and tell the park ranger on duty which branch of service he or she represents. They can go on hikes and then report back the number of miles each person covers.

For more information about First Day Hikes and the special competition for the Armed Forces, contact Dawn Dawson-House at 803-734-1779 or at, or visit


Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| 803-734-1779
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