Astronomer Bryant Grigsby hikes with his 7-month-old son Magnus on his back on a snowy afternoon at the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
This year, how about a New Year’s resolution that is not only easy to keep, but one that’s also fun and good for you? The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) would like to announce its schedule of Kansas State Park First Day Hikes. At select state parks across the state, guided First Day Hikes will be offered on Jan. 1, 2014. Individuals and families are encouraged to get out of the house, connect with nature and walk off some of the holiday dinner calories.
"First Day Hikes are a great way to start a new tradition that promotes a healthy beginning to a the New Year," said Linda Lanterman, KDWPT Parks Division Director. “While all of our state parks and trails are open on New Year’s Day, staff at select parks have guided hikes and special programs scheduled.”
Kansas state parks with First Day Hike events planned for Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 include:
Clinton State Park, near Lawrence, will host a nature walk on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. Hikers will meet at the Clinton State Park office at noon before embarking on a 1.5- to 2-mile hike on moderate trails. The hike is open to all ages and pets are welcome as long as they are under owner control at all times. For more information, contact the Clinton State Park office, (785-842-8562, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elk City State Park, near Independence, will host a hike, nature walk and 5K run/walk beginning at 1 p.m. Participants should meet at the park’s day-use area near the beach sign and parking lot. Trails are easy to moderate and open to all ages. Pets are not allowed. For more information contact the Elk City State Park office, 620-331-6295, email@example.com.
Kaw River State Park in Topeka will be the site of a nature walk scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Participants should meet at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Region 2 Office, 300 SW Wanamaker Road. The walk is open to all ages and trails are rated as easy to moderate. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Perry State Park near Topeka will host a Fitness Tour, beginning at 9 a.m. at the park office. The trail is open to all ages and the trail is rated as easy to moderate. Pets are welcome but must be on a leash less than 10 feet long. Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will be provided after the hike. For more information, contact park ranger Michelle Campbell, 785-246-3449, email@example.com.
A nature walk/run will be conducted at the Green Recreational Trail at 702 Country Club Rd., Pratt. The event will begin at 2 p.m. and is open to all ages. Trail is rated as easy to moderate. Pets must be on a leash. Participants will get t-shirts and be treated to hot chocolate after the hike. For more information, contact Cherie Riffey, Cherie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuttle Creek State Park, near Manhattan, will host a walk-through 3-D archery shoot starting at 1 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2014. The shooting event will be conducted at the River Pond Area near the Luke Nihart Family Archery Range, which is located just south of the park office at the east end of the park. The archery shoot is open to all ages able to draw and shoot a bow. The trail is about one-third of a mile long and rated as easy. Participants may bring their own archery equipment, but adult and youth bows will be available to check out. For more information, contact the park office, 785-539-7941, email@example.com.
Participants in all events should dress in layers appropriate for the weather and bring their own water. Daily or annual state park vehicle permits are required to enter state parks.
Ring in the New Year outdoors and experience a winter version of your favorite state park that many park patrons never see. There are actually hundreds of First Day Hikes scheduled across the nation, sponsored by the America’s State Parks and the American Hiking Society