Free ‘First Day Hikes’ Kick Off 2018 in All 50 States

Ring in the new year with some quality and complimentary guided outdoor time.

group hike

On New Year’s Day, state parks across the nation will offer complimentary hikes. The First Day Hikes program aims to get people outside to exercise and connect with nature.

Most states boast multiple day hike opportunities at different state parks. Last year, more than 1,300 First Day Hikes helped ring in the New Year. From a cave hike in Idaho’s Craters of the Moon State Park to a snowshoe walk in Minnesota’s Jay Cooke State Park, this year’s options offer accessibility to the whole family.

The hikes are led by state park guides and volunteers. The distance and activities vary from park to park.

First Day Hikes State Park Map
Map of available First Day Hikes. Map data from 2017 Google

First Day Hikes

The First Day Hikes originated in 1992 at the Blue Hills Reservation State Park in Milton, Mass. The program launched to promote outdoor recreation opportunities across the state.

In 2012, the program expanded to national coverage, with all 50 states joining the event. Last year, the First Day Hikes program garnered 61,800 participants collectively hiking more than 111,850 miles from Alaska to Florida.

With the quantity of state parks participating in First Day Hikes, there’s likely a hike near you. Consult the America’s State Parks website and interactive map for more information.

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Midwest born, Nate Mitka started with Gearjunkie after a short stint as “intern”. An advocate of all outdoor activities he’s developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.

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