Overindulged during the holidays? Get 2012 off to a less-horrifying start than the other day when you ate a gingerbread house for breakfast.
First Day hikes are scheduled at 17 state parks in Maryland, including Greenbrier State Park and Fort Frederick State Park.
At Greenbrier State Park (21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, Md. -- about 65 miles northwest of downtown D.C.), Ranger Gleason-Smuck guides a Walking in a Winter Wonderland hike around the lake, with a discussion on the survival methods of wildlife during the winter. Leashed dogs are welcome, and "bring a thermos of your favorite hot beverage for after the hike," they say. Degree of Difficulty: Easy for all ages. Distance: 1.5 miles. Call 301-791-4767 for more info.
If you want a more challenging hike at Greenbrier, consider picking up a portion of the Appalachian Trail, which enters the eastern edge of the park on Bartman's Hill.
At Fort Frederick State Park (11100 Fort Frederick Rd, Big Pool, Md. -- about 90 miles northwest of downtown D.C.), meet at 11 a.m. at the Beaver Pond Trail, approximately half a mile past the fort. You'll also learn about wildlife's adaptation to winter on this one-hour hike. Degree of Difficulty: Easy for all ages. Distance: 0.75 mile. Call 301-842-2155 for more info.
If you want a more challenging hike in Fort Frederick, check out options here.
Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the weather, and don't forget your water. Leave the cookies at home -- just trust us on this one.