Nancy Sepulvado kicked off the New Year by hiking Saturday at Martin Creek Lake State Park with her cat, Pan, by her side.
âWe usually do a day one hike every year,â said Sepulvado, of Laneville. “It’s a tradition for us.”
Sepulvado’s husband fished at Martin Creek while she went on the day one hike with her cat in a pet backpack. Day one hikes are part of a national program that many state parks in Texas participate in each year to encourage hiking and going outdoors to start the New Year.
Sepulvado said she has been on other day one hikes, including Tyler State Park and Mission Tejas State Park. She enjoys hiking in general and said she has hiked all the trails in Martin Creek Lake before.
âI like to find new things,â she said. âI love the exploration and adventure of it. You never know what you’re going to stumble upon.
Supulvado took part in the first of two hikes scheduled to start the New Year at Martin Creek Lake State Park. A second hike was supposed to start at 2 p.m.
She chose to go on the first day hike at Martin Creek this year because Jimmy Fitzgerald, whom she knows, was leading the hike.
Fitzgerald, from Henderson, volunteered to lead the day one hike on the Old Henderson Road Loop trail in Martin Creek.
âThis is a trail that was established many years ago by the early settlers, and it was what they used to come and go during their trade when they got their provisions, âFitzgerald said of the approximately 1 mile trail.
Like Sepulvado, Henderson said he also enjoys hiking throughout the year.
âI love to be outside and experience nature – the sounds, the smells, the sights,â he said. âYou can hike this trail everyday and there is something different every day. Although the path is the same, what you see and experience is different.
The hike, he said, is an opportunity for participants to focus on getting in shape, to think about the year ahead, and “to try and focus on something maybe different from this. than you did the previous year “.
For new hikers, Henderson offered a few tips.
âFirst of all, the advice I would give is to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back,â he said.
Also, be sure to wear comfortable shoes that cover the feet and support the ankle. He said to also wear appropriate clothing for the season, carry water and always bring some type of light, be it a flashlight or a headlamp.
âStay on the path. If you say I’m going to do the Henderson Road trail, stay on this trail, âhe added. “If you decide to go somewhere else, tell someone.”
To learn more about East Texas State Parks, visit tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/.