submitted by Jeff Monroe
A small crew of PATC hikers determined to start the New Year off right with a hike got together to explore trails in Douthat State Park. Virginia State Parks were sponsoring a "1st Day Hike New Year Challenge" and parking in all state parks that day was free. The group hiked in the eastern portion of the park and despite the “Challenge,” only saw two other hikers on the trails that day. The group hiked 7 miles that had them passing over mountains and next to the lake, through a sandy beach and past picnic areas and playgrounds. Douthat is a wonderful place to hike!