MONETA, Va. (WFXR) — Looking for a unique way to bring in the New Year and feed your passion for the outdoors?

Virginia State Parks may have the answer.

All 41 state parks will be open on New Year’s Day and parking will be free for the First Day Hike program. The program encourages people to start the year off with a hike.

There are trails of varying difficulty at Virginia State Parks, and every park has a trail suitable for beginners.

Before hiking in the winter, outdoors experts have a few tips:

  • Dress for the weather. That means dress for the cold, dress in layers, and wear a hat.
  • Hiking boots are not required, but make sure your shoes are comfortable and suitable for trail walking
  • Bring along some water. Even in the winter you can become dehydrated.

Medical experts say hiking, or just spending time in a forest environment, can have health benefits. Taking a walk in the woods has been shown to reduce stress, drop blood pressure, and improve mood.