PIERRE, S.D. (KELO- M) – South Dakota state parks will sponsor free, guided hikes in 12 state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.
America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year by rejuvenating and enjoying nature at a state park close to home.
“We are excited to host First Day Hikes as part of this national effort to get people outdoors and into our parks,” said State Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hofer. “Starting off the new year with a hike in one of our beautiful state parks is a great way to cure cabin fever and burn off extra holiday calories.”
First Day Hikes originated more than two decades ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Mass. The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year-round recreation at state parks.
In South Dakota, hikes will be offered at the following locations:
- Riddle Hike, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, sunrise to sunset, info: 605-987-2263
- Creekside Stroll, Custer State Park, 10 a.m. MST, info: 605-255-4515
- Winter Wonderland Nature Hike, Good Earth State Park near Harrisburg, 11 a.m. CST, info: 605-987-2263
- First Day Snowshoe Hike, George S. Mickelson Trail, 1 p.m. MST, pre-registration required, info/register: 605-584-3896
- First Day Snowshoe Hike, Lake Herman State Park near Madison, 1 and 3 p.m. CST, info: 605-256-5003
- First Day Hike, Adams Homestead Nature Area near North Sioux City, 2 p.m. CST, info: 605-232-0873
- First Day Hike, Oakwood Lakes State Park near Bruce, 2 p.m. CST, info: 605-627-5441
- First Day Hike, Lake Thompson Recreation Area near Lake Preston, 2 p.m. CST, info: 605-847-4893
- Winter Hike Along Splitrock Creek, Palisades State Park near Garretson, 3 p.m. CST, info: 605-594-3824
All participants are encouraged to log their First Day Hike adventures on social media with #firstdayhikes.
America's State Parks is committed to promoting outdoor recreation in state parks as a way to address obesity, especially among children. Getting kids outside and unplugged from video games and other electronic media fosters a connection with nature , promotes physical and mental well-being, and encourages creativity and stewardship of our shared resources.
The mission of the NASPD and America's State Parks is to promote and advance the state park systems of America for their own significance, as well as for their important contributions to the nation’s environment, heritage, health and economy.