(Anchorage, AK) – Alaska State Parks is sponsoring a staff-led "First Day" family classic skiing event at Independence Mine State Historical Park on New Year's Day, to connect families with their local State Park areas during the winter, and to start the year with a fun and healthy activity.

This event is inspired by a national "First Day Hike" initiative to connect people to their State Parks in all 50 states.

This guided event will be two to three miles starting at the Independence Bowl parking area at noon on Jan. 1, 2013. It is appropriate for all skiers capable of controlling their classic skis using snowplow and herringbone techniques on gentle inclines.

"Our First Day Hike in 2012 was a great success! It was a fun way to start the New Year, and the families who joined us to play in the snow had a wonderful time," said Darcy Harris, State Trails Program Coordinator.

The $5 parking fee at Independence Mine State Historical Park will be waived on New Year's Day.

For directions to the park, please visit http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/ and to find out more about Independence Mine State Historical Park, please visit http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/indmine.htm. In the event of extreme or inclement weather, (high winds, blizzard, or rain storm) please call 907-269-8698 after 10 a.m. on Jan. 1, for a cancellation notification. Please leave your four-legged buddies at home.

Press release from AK State Parks