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Hikers brave the freezing cold for trails and views at Hanging Rock State Park on New Year’s Day afternoon

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. – Darrell Dietz and his son Darren heard a lot about Hanging Rock State Park. So, while they are in the Piedmont, they want to check out the park for themselves.

"We are originally from Michigan and we were in Tennessee," said Darrell Dietz. "But they don`t have the view and drop off like Hanging Rock, we saw a lot about it."

And as father and son make their way down the trail, they pass a group that`s going up again.

Seems there’s something about the view from Hanging Rock on a sunny, but very cold afternoon.

"Oh, it was gorgeous, you can see for a really long way," said Greta Jones. "You can see Mount Rogers."

Greta's husband Phil added, "I'm not sure. But you can see for a long way."

North Carolina state parks are offering First Day Hikes. Park rangers are leading groups or encouraging folks to enjoy the sights on their own. Proving that just because it's freezing cold outside, doesn't mean you have to stay inside.

"So, we want to get people away, they are indoors in the winter, we want to get them away from all of that and take in the sights from the top of a mountain or from a waterfall," said Hanging Rock State Park Ranger Jason Anthony.

Plus, the First Day Hikes are growing in popularity.

"We try to change things up at Hanging Rock," Anthony said, "every year we go to a different attraction and this year we went to House Rock, which is a part of Cooks Wall which is another peak.”