Minnesota state parks will host four hiking or snowshoe hiking events on the first day of 2013, including an event at Lake Carlos State Park on Tuesday, January 1 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The naturalist-guided snowshoe hike will leave from the Lake View Warming Shelter at 1 p.m. The naturalist will talk about the park and its history, natural resources and cultural significance. Bring snowshoes or call ahead to use a pair, free of charge, at (320) 852-7200.

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First-Day Hikes are free with valid state park vehicle permits ($5/daily or $25/year-round). The new 2013 Minnesota State Park vehicle permit will be available for purchase January 1 at state park offices.

If you'd rather freely explore, visit www.mndnr.gov/winterguide. The Great Minnesota Ski Pass ($6/daily, $20/one-season, $55/three-season) allows cross-country skiers age 16 or older to access state parks or forests or Grant-in-Aid trails. Daily ski passes can be purchased at the park.

The hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America's state parks to get people outdoors.

The event may be changed or cancelled in the event of inclement weather. For information, visit www.

mndnrgov or call the DNR Information Center at 1-888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.