Here's how you can celebrate the first day of the New Year outdoors
In what is becoming an increasingly popular New Year’s Day activity, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails provides “First Day Hikes” – a perfect way for Wyoming residents and out-of-state visitors to celebrate the New Year outdoors.
Sixteen New Year’s Day guided hikes and walks held at state park and historic site venues statewide will be held in conjunction with similar hikes held in all 50 states; a part of the America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative.
This is the seventh consecutive year Wyoming is offering free First Day Hikes. Last year, more than 500 people participated hiking more than 700 total miles.
“There is nothing more rejuvenating than sharing a brisk hike with Wyoming State Park staff in some of the most amazing parks and historic sites in the country,” State Parks Administrator Domenic Bravo said.
Park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the state park or historic site. Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on the America’s State Parks website. Visit www.naspd.org to find a First Day Hike nearest you.
In Wyoming, hikes will be offered at the following locations and times: Bear River State Park – Approx. 1-2 mile hike. Hike begins at City of Evanston Bear Community Center/Ice Ponds. Begin at 9 a.m. Snacks, warm drinks and door prizes available at Park Visitor Center.
Boysen State Park – Approx. 1 mile hike through moderate to difficult terrain. Hike begins and ends at Park Headquarters at 10 a.m. where hot chocolate and refreshments will be served. Dogs on leashes permitted.
Buffalo Bill State Park – Hiking trail is two miles one way. Hikes begins at Hayden Arch Bridge at 9 a.m. and expected to end at approx. 3 p.m. Camp fire (weather dependent) and hot drinks provided. Drawing for annual day use pass will be held. Dogs on leashes permitted. Curt Gowdy State Park – Two mile hike on Kate’s Trail. Meet at Curt Gowdy Visitor Center at 11 a.m. Moderate difficulty. Dogs on leashes permitted. Edness K. Wilkins State Park – Two mile hike on natural surface on the nature trail. Begin at 10 a.m. Meet at the park shop. Handicapped accessible hard-surfaced paths. Dogs allowed on leashes in designated areas. Fort Bridger State Historic Site – one mile hike/walk around the historic site. Hike begins at the Post Trader’s Store and laps around the site three times. Hike begins at 1 p.m. Dogs on leashes permitted.
Fort Fetterman State Historic Site – 1.2 mile hike from museum parking lot to the fort cemetery and back. Begins at 10 a.m. Coffee and hot chocolate provided. Dogs on leashes permitted.
Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site – one mile hike, meet at Post Trader’s house at 1 p.m. Dogs on leashes permitted.
Fort Phil Kearny – 2.5 mile strenuous hike beginning at 12 noon. Meet at Interpretive Center.
Guernsey State Park – Two trails, one a 2.5 mile hike along the CCC Trail, the second (shorter in length) along the Roadway Trail. Both start at 10 a.m. and end at the Castle. Meet at yurts. Hot chocolate and snacks available at the end of the hikes. Dogs on leashes permitted.
Hot Springs State Park – Two hikes, one ½-mile, second 1 mile along the Spirit Trail. Hikes begin at 11 a.m. Meet at Kiwanis Washakie Shelter. Coffee, hot chocolate and chili available after the hikes. Dogs on leashes permitted.
Keyhole State Park - 1.3 mile hike from park headquarters to the Tatanka shelter on the Marina Trail (concrete walking path). Starts at 10 a.m. and expected to last approx. 2 hours. Hot cocoa, tea, coffee and snacks provided. Dogs on leashes permitted. Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site - one mile hike on Nature Trail and park road. Meet in main parking area at 10 a.m. Ice skating after hike on new rink. Bring own skates or borrow ours (limited supply). Refreshments served after hike. Dogs on leashes permitted.
Sinks Canyon – Approx. 3 mile hike on the Canyon Loop Trail. Hikes begins at 1 p.m. at the Nature Trail parking lot in the Popo Agie Campground. Dogs on leashes permitted.
South Pass City State Historic Site – Two-mile hike beginning at 11 a.m. Meet at the Dance Hall. Dogs on leashes permitted.
Trail End – Gentle 2.5 mile hike through Sheridan’s historic Nielsen Heights neighborhood. Meet at Kendrick Mansion at 10 a.m. Hot chocolate, healthy snaks and raffle at end of the hike. Dogs on leashes permitted.
Participants of all hikes are urged to wear adequate clothing. These are kids and family friendly events.
WYOutside, a coalition of public and private organizations with a shared stake in promoting recreation to children and families, is a sponsor of the First Day Hikes.
For more information, check out the interview from the morning show or call the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails at 777-6323.