NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — It’s a little before the new year, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start planning your fitness journey.

Starting on January 1, three North Dakota state parks will be joining other state parks across the country to host First Day Hikes.

The three participating state parks are Cross Ranch, Fort Stevenson, and Fort Abraham Lincoln.

The goal is to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors and kick off the new year in a healthy way.

“Even though it’s a hiking program, there’s nothing to say that you couldn’t go out and cross-country ski, or snowshoe a trail as well. And so, if that’s kind of in your repertoire of activities that you want to try out, a number of our state parks do offer ski or snowshoe rentals, if you don’t have your own. And so we encourage people to go out and just enjoy our state park trails,” said Josh Steffan, the education and programs division chief for North Dakota Parks and Recreation.

Outdoor enthusiasts also have the option to participate in the 12 Months – 12 Hikes challenge.

Participants are challenged to hike one state park hiking trail a month.

This year’s challenge includes bonus trails with the Bismarck, Minot, Dickinson, Williston, Grand Forks, and Fargo park districts.

“We ask that you first register for the program so we have your name and mailing address and all that. And then when you get to a participating state park trail or a participating park district trail, they’ll be a sign there with a QR code. And so you just take your smartphone, hover your camera over it. It’ll take you to a three-question form, your name, your phone number, how many people are hiking with you. And that gets recorded and that’s really all you have to do,” said Steffan.

North Dakota state park users have to pay an entrance fee of $7 per vehicle.

Other options include purchasing a $35 2023 annual permit or a $55 family permit.