Start 2014 off with a hike through one of Maine's beautiful state parks. Free guided tours are being offered on New Year's Day at 5 Maine state parks and across the country as a part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative.

Park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the state park.

First Day Hikes will be offered at the following locations and times:

Lily Bay State Park, Beaver Cove – 12 noon – Leisurely 1-hour ranger led hike along the shore of Moosehead Lake to investigate the wonders of the season. Wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes or boots. Meet at the entry booth parking lot. FMI: (207) 695-2700

Popham Beach State Park, Phippsburg - 1:30 p.m. - Easy 1-mile hike on the Fox Island tombolo investigating tidal pools. Wear warm clothes and sturdy footwear. Meet at the West side parking lot. FMI: (207) 389-1335

Range Ponds State Park, Poland - 12:30 p.m. - 1.5 mile ranger lead hike on our interpretive trail and along the beach; the trail is easy with one short hill; visitors are encourage to bring warm clothes, boots or snowshoes if the snow is deep. Meet at flag pole in front of bathroom buildings. FMI: (207) 998-4104

Sebago Lake State Park, Casco - 10:30 a.m. - 1.5 mile woodlands hike. Snacks will be provided and hikers should wear warm clothes and sturdy foot wear. Snowshoes are a good idea if people have them. Meet at the day use area boat launch. FMI: (207) 693-6231

Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park - 10:00 a.m. – 0.3 mile guided walk to enjoy ‘Winter in the Woods’ and learn how plants and animals survive the cold winter months. The program length is approximately 1 hour in length; please dress for the weather. Meet at the Picnic shelter by second parking lot; dogs are not suitable for this hike. FMI: (207) 865-4465.

According to the National Association of State Parks Directors (NASPD), last year’s national event has 22,000 participants who hiked 43,911 miles in our state parks across the country.