If you're looking for a refreshing and memorable way to welcome in the New Year, we recommend a First Day Hike (Jan 1st) at one of Kansas' State Parks. Every year state parks invite visitors to explore and enjoy park staff guided trail-hikes for free. This year 19 state parks are hosting First Day Hike events (see full list below) and each hiker will also receive a free "Hike Local" long-sleeved t-shirt. 
 
Here are a few tips to fully enjoy a First Day Hike:
  1. Before you head out be sure to check the weather. If you having any questions about the hike call the state park office.
  2. Most hikes are generally a mile or two on family-friendly terrain, remember to wear comfortable and stable socks and shoes.
  3. Remember to bring a full water bottle and have a snack full of healthy carbs and protein available.
  4. Take only memories, leave only footprints. Keep our state parks clean and healthy by treating the trails and outdoors with respect.
  5. Make sure you wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
First Day Hiking State Park Information 
  • Cheney State Park – Meet at the park office at 2 p.m. for the three-quarter-mile West Side Nature Trail hike; easy to moderate terrain. All ages welcome.

  • Clinton State Park – Meet at the park office at 1 p.m. to hike on the North Shore Trail. The two-mile route is moderate terrain ideal for hikers age five and older.

  • Crawford State Park – Meet at the beach shelter house at 10 a.m. to hike the two-mile Spider Leg Bridge Trail, which includes moderate terrain suited for all ages.

  • Cross Timbers State Park – Meet at the Chautauqua Hills Trail trailhead at 2 p.m. to hike 1.5 miles over moderate terrain. Hikers of all ages are welcome.

  • El Dorado State Park – Meet at the Walnut River Cabins at 1 p.m. for a two-mile Walnut River Trail hike. The easy to moderate terrain is perfect for hikers of all ages.

  • Elk City State Park – Meet at 8 a.m. at the Green Thumb Trail trailhead for a 3-mile hike over moderate terrain open to hikers of all ages.

  • Fall River State Park – Meet at the Quarry Bay maintenance shop at 2 p.m. to hike the three-quarter-mile Post Oak Trail. The moderate terrain is ideal for all ages of hikers.

  • Glen Elder State Park – Meet at the historic church at 9 a.m. to hike the 4-mile Waconda Trail. Hikers of all ages will enjoy this easy trail.

  • Hillsdale State Park – Meet at the park office at 10:30 a.m. to hike on the Hidden Springs Nature Trail. The 1.5 miles of easy terrain is recommended for hikers age six and up.

  • Kanopolis State Park – Meet at the park office at 10 a.m. to hike the Split Boulder Trail. The 1.6-mile trail can be negotiated by all ages of hikers.

  • Meade State Park – Meet at the park office at 2 p.m. for the Eagle Trail hike. All ages are welcome for the 1.25-mile trail of easy terrain.

  • Milford State Park – Meet at the group shelter parking at 1 p.m. to hike on the Eagle Ridge Trail. The 2.75-mile trail includes easy to moderate terrain and is open to hikers of all ages.

  • Perry State Park – Meet at the Lake View parking lot at10 a.m. to hike the 2.5-mile Nature Trail. The easy to moderate terrain is recommended for hikers age eight and older.

  • Pomona State Park – Meet at the park office at 2 p.m. for a 1.5-mile hike around several campgrounds. All ages of hikers are welcome to enjoy the easy to moderate terrain.

  • Prairie Dog State Park – Meet at the Nature Trail parking lot at 9 a.m. for a 1.25-mile hike over easy terrain open to all ages.

  • Sand Hills State Park – Meet at the park office/cabin at 10 a.m. to hike the 1-mile Dune and Prairie trails, which include easy to moderate terrain.

  • Tuttle Creek State Park – Meet at the park office at 10:30 a.m. to hike the Western Heritage Trail. This hike is open to hikers of all ages and includes easy terrain over 1 to 1.5 miles.

  • Wilson State Park – Meet at the Cedar Trail parking lot at 1 p.m. to hike over easy terrain.