New Year’s Eve Hikers brave the cold at Ft. Parker State Park
It was a chilly night for 23 hikers who braved the below freezing temperatures to participate in a New Year’s Eve Hike at Ft. Parker State Park. This is the third year for the park to host the New Year’s Eve Hike. Texas Parks and Wildlife has several such sponsored events across the state of Texas on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.
Participants gathered at the Activity Center at 11 p.m. and were given a short program on Night Creatures by interim Park Superintendent Mike Loftice. Loftice stressed that due to the cold night air many of those creatures would not be out and about, however, the staff prepared some surprises so these animals would be spotted along the trail.
Sherrie Price, one of park rangers, led the participants on a short hike. The hikers used special black light flashlights to help spot the “night creatures” which were actually pictures highlighted with florescent colors. The pictures were strategically placed in the woods along the trail so they could be seen. When they located an animal with their flashlights, the creatures would glow in the dark.
The participants were treated with hot chocolate and snacks to warm up after the hike. The New Year was counted down and everyone celebrated with musical entertainment by one of the Park Hosts, Mr. Blair from Missouri. Flashlights and refreshments were provided by the Friends of Ft. Parker State Park.
(photos also by Liz McDaniel)