CHAMPION — One Michigan agency is hoping to help residents see the state’s parks and trails while staying fit this New Year.

The Department of Natural Resources is calling 2016 “#MIShoeYear.” They will be kicking off the year with snowshoe hikes at parks across the state. The festivities start at downstate Yankee Springs Recreation Area on Friday morning, and lantern-lit evening hikes will arrive at Straits State Park in Saint Ignace and Van Riper State Park in Champion on January 9th.

“The DNR is promoting Mihcigan State Parks and recreation areas and trails as part of getting fit coming into the new year,” said DNR Deputy Public Information Officer John Pepin. “That’s an opportunity for people to get out and use snowshoes and enjoy the evening with a lantern-lit trail and a nice lodge environment to warm up and have some refreshments as well.”

Seven parks in total will be participating in the “Shoe Year’s Hike” events. Some will have snowshoes available to rent for those who want to venture out into the powder. It’s free to participate in the hikes, but you will need a Recreation Passport to drive into state parks.

Click here for more information on these events.