Muck, high water won't deter most New Year's hikes

Posted December 31, 2015 6:03 p.m. EST

— The state tradition of First Day Hikes on New Year's Day will continue for the most part on Friday, although officials did cancel a planned hike at Jordan Lake because of flooding from this week's heavy rains.

North Carolina has held First Day Hikes on Jan. 1 for about 40 years, and 46 are still planned for Friday, despite the muck left behind by the rain in many spots, such as Umstead State Park in Raleigh.

"When you go outside, you have the elements, and sometimes that includes rain," said Don Reuter, assistant director for the state's Division of Parks and Recreation. "These rangers know these parks backwards, forwards, sideways. So, they know the best places and the places prone to flooding and will try avoid that if they can."

Reuter suggested checking on a park's website Friday before heading out the door to ensure hikes are being held as scheduled and to dress appropriately and be prepared to get muddy.

"It might be a bit messy at times, but that's part of the experience," he said.

Meanwhile, other area trails have varying degrees of flooding.

The Neuse River practically swallowed up sections of Clayton's River Walk near the Covered Bridge Road bridge, so it's been closed until the water recedes.

In Raleigh, city crews worked Thursday to clear mud and debris from area greenways.