WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Iowa - Despite the cold temperatures on New Year's Day, around 30 people braved the chill to hike public trails at Pilot Knob State Park.
Over 400 state parks across the country participated in the tradition on Tuesday, with 28 parks in Iowa and 9 in Minnesota taking part in it as well (11 were originally set to participate, but two cancelled due to frostbite concerns). People from all ages and even four-legged fur friends enjoyed a refreshing walk on the trails, as well as treats inside a warming house.
George Perdue of Britt was one such hiker, saying conditions are ideal despite the weather.
"Sun's shining, there's very little breeze, it's just a perfect day to be outside."
He appreciates getting people out to explore nature in their own backyards.
"A lot of times in the summer, I like to go to Yellow River Forest which is off in Northeast Iowa, and they're having a first day hike too. But that's a good three hour drive away, and I'm only 30 minutes away from here."
According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, more than 1,200 people began the new year by hiking more than 1,100 miles at Iowa state parks last year.