First Day Hike at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park well attended | TheUnion.com

First Day Hike at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park well attended

Submitted to The Union

Nearly 200 hikers made good on their New Year's resolutions and showed up Monday afternoon at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park to join in Nevada County's only official First Day Hike.

Led by Syd Brown (retired State Park Geologist and Executive Committee member, Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins), the crowd was treated to a short introduction to the park and the official First Day Hike message: "All 50 states offered First Day Hikes in state parks across the country as a way to promote healthy lifestyles and year-round recreation at America's State Parks."

Hikes occurred from Alaska to Florida to ring in the New Year and connect individuals and families to nature fostering physical and mental well-being and shared stewardship of our natural, cultural and recreational resources.

Each year, over 730 million people visit America's State Parks and contribute over $23 billion to the economy. State Parks are a "close to home" resource and an important part of our country's fabric, enhancing our quality of life.

The weather was an unseasonably warm 66-plus degrees, with crystal blue skies and clear views.

A family came to earn a Boy Scout badge — the scout had to do a hike and prepare two meals for his family. They came early and used the picnic area for their gathering and feasting before and after the hike.

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Not all hiked, and not all hikers completed the 7-mile loop. They were encouraged to self-select their distance, and opt for an "out and back" option if 7 miles was too much. One enthusiastic participant acknowledged if she'd planned on the 7-mile loop, she would have opted out, thinking it was too far. Nevertheless, she persisted, and took enormous pride in accomplishing a hike she didn't believe she could do. The Friends of North Bloomfield and Malakoff Diggins provided home-baked cookies and trail bars, organic local mandarins, and waters.

A short detour was added to take advantage of the expansive overlook at the Chute Hill Campground, and were treated to a treatise on the history of the Diggins from Mark Selverston, archeologist and Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins executive committee member.

Participants came from as far away as Ohio.

If Monday's crowd is any indication, there are plenty more memories in store for Malakoff Diggins. The Friends of North Bloomfield and Malakoff Diggins hope to encourage year-round use of the park, which is open every day of the year from sunrise to sunset. During this "off season," day use fees at Malakoff Diggins are a discounted $5 per car.

For more information go to http://malakoffdigginsstatepark.org or call 530-265-2740.

Source: Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park

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