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Contact: Fordyce Visitor Center, 501 620-6715
National Parks in Arkansas to Kick Off Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge
Hot Springs, AR –
January 1 marks the beginning of the National Park Service [NPS] Centennial celebration, and the seven National Park Service sites in Arkansas will kick off the celebration by launching the Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge; a year-long program to encourage visitors to "Find Your Park" and improve their health and fitness by completing 100 miles of physical activity over the course of the year. Participants may choose to hike, bike, paddle, walk, run, or roll 100 miles in any of the national parks in Arkansas. Visitors who complete 100 miles of activity will receive a certificate and a commemorative patch to recognize their accomplishment, but the real reward will be experiencing the parks and the many benefits of physical recreation.
Participating Arkansas national park sites include: Arkansas Post National Memorial, Buffalo National River, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Hot Springs National Park, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Pea Ridge National Military Park, and President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site.
At Hot Springs National Park in central Arkansas, the Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge will kick off on January 2, with a ranger-guided hike on Hot Springs and North Mountains. This moderately strenuous hike is approximately 3 miles, round trip, and includes a spectacular view of Gulpha Gorge from Goat Rock. No pre-registration is necessary. Hikers will be met by a ranger at the porch of the Fordyce Bathhouse, 369 Central Avenue, at 10:00 a.m.
During 2016, rangers will be leading Iron Ranger Challenge hikes the first Saturday of each month, and will provide instruction on how to hike safely within the national park.
"Did you know that Hot Springs National Park is America’s Health and Wellness Park," said Josie Fernandez, Park Superintendent. "Children and adults can participate in fun and healthy activities throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you."
Visitors of all ages and fitness levels are encouraged to participate in the Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge. The National Parks in Arkansas have so much to offer. Visitors can hike in the Ouachita Mountains and then relax with a thermal bath at Hot Springs National Park, see spectacular views paddling the Buffalo River, take a bicycle tour of President Clinton’s hometown at the Clinton Birthplace Home, and see places where history was made from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. There are so many great options in Arkansas, so get out and have fun.
For more information and to register for the Centennial Iron Ranger Challenge of 2016 go to www.ironranger2016ar.org or the Iron Ranger Challenge facebook page.
For more information please call Hot Springs National Park at (501) 620-6715, or visit www.nps.gov/hosp and the park's Facebook page.