Vermonters head out to welcome in the New Year - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermonters head out to welcome in the New Year

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BARNARD, Vt. -

Strapped in and ready to hike, about 30 snowshoers set off for Silver Lake.

"For me sometimes I need someone to push me along to get me going, so it's a good reason to get out here," said Elaine Meyers of North Chittenden.

For some celebrating the New Year is about popping Champagne. For this group, it's about laying fresh tracks through powder.

"This is gorgeous with the sun coming down and it turns the snow blue and everybody just gets out and feels the wonderful briskness and the fresh air in their lungs," Scott Davison said.

The guided hike is led by Davison, a 16-year veteran of the National Parks system and a volunteer at the Silver Lake State Park in Barnard.

"Lots of people have celebrations on New Year's, but how many people actually get outdoors and enjoy the environment they are in. Winter can be sometimes harsh and keeps people in, but this is an opportunity to learn how to enjoy it," Davison said.

State parks throughout Vermont organize First Day Hikes to celebrate the outdoors and to encourage people to visit parks. And it seems to be catching on.

"We went to Gifford Woods the first year, last year Quechee and here this year," Meyers said.

Along the way, Davison stops and explains about the various animal tracks that cross their paths. Jane Stout, 6, is getting some exercise with her dad.

"Like seeing nature a lot and it is kind of fun to look up and see the clouds," she said.

"I think that the more people who spend time outside, generally the happier they are going to be," said Matt Stout of Woodstock.

And as we all contemplate what we want to accomplish during the next year, this group is also looking to the future.

"Hopefully we will do it again next year," Meyer said. "It is getting to be a tradition."

A nice New Year's resolution for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

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