3 Louisiana state parks, 1 in Mississippi plan New Year's Day hikes in national program

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NEW ORLEANS - Three Louisiana state parks and one in Mississippi have scheduled New Year's Day hikes in a national program to start the year outdoors and active.

It's the second year every state has participated in the First Day Hikes program.

In northwest Mississippi, Tishomingo State Park has a two-mile hike along a ridge of huge rock outcroppings where Chickasaw Indians once sheltered in caves and overhangs. Rangers say it offers a splendid view of the valley that Bear Creek travels through. It will start at 10:00 a.m. at Loochapola Lodge.

At Lake Bistineau State Park in Doyline, the 3 p.m. hike is described as the last trek onto the lakebed before floodgates are closed to refill the lake. Rangers say it's a glimpse of what the area was like before the lake was built in the 1820s.

They also say hikers should bring a water bottle, bug repellant, waterproof shoes and a change of shoes, since parts of the lakebed are still soft.

Tickfaw State Park north of Lake Pontchartrain has a logging history trip at 1 p.m. After a short film and talk, a ranger will lead a 45-minute hike to spots that show some logging history. It is the only one of the four hikes to list a minimum age for children — 5 years old.

Lake D'Arbonne State Park in Farmerville has a 9 a.m. hike along the lake.

Geographic location: Mississippi, Louisiana, NEW ORLEANS Tishomingo State Park Bear Creek Lake Bistineau State Park Doyline Tickfaw State Park Lake Pontchartrain Lake D'Arbonne State Park Farmerville

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