Kansas State Parks to Offer New Year’s Day Hikes

Kansas State Parks to Offer New Year’s Day Hikes

For Immediate Release:
December 27, 2023

Nadia Marji CMP®, Chief of Public Affairs

Jessica Ward, Communications Manager


Kansas State Parks to Offer New Year’s Day Hikes

SHAWNEE – Celebrate the New Year with fun, fresh air, and scenic views by participating in a First Day Hike at a Kansas State Park. These self-led and guided hikes are organized annually by parks staff to encourage individuals and families to start the year on the right foot – by getting outside and connecting with nature.

This year, more than 1,000 hikes will be available in state parks around the country, including 33 First Day Hike events hosted by Kansas State Parks. While the distance and rigor of the hikes will vary at each state park, all aim to create a fun experience for all. Savor the beauty of the natural, cultural, and historical resources our state parks offer, and be inspired to continue taking advantage of these local treasures throughout calendar year 2024.

“This will be our 13th year to offer First Day Hikes in Kansas’ state parks and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Linda Lanterman, Kansas State Parks director. “Each year, these events grow more and more popular because they’re a fun and healthy way to start the New Year, they’re a great cure for cabin fever, and they’re held in some of the prettiest parts of our state.”

Where to Participate
For a complete list of First Day Hike events in Kansas on January 1, 2024, visit https://ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/Special-Events/First-Day-Hikes.

What To Expect
Hikers can choose guided hikes that fit their comfort levels including walks along lakes, exploring trails, and options best for wildlife viewing. Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash. And, if hiking isn’t in your interest or ability, Kansas State Parks invite you to explore other fun offerings, from boating to fishing and horseback riding, or simply enjoying a peaceful moment from a park picnic table or bench.

What To Bring
Kansas State Park staff recommend coming prepared for a First Day Hike with the following, if possible:

  • Water
  • Snacks
    Weather appropriate clothing (hat, gloves, heavy coat)
  • Hiking shoes
  • Binoculars
  • Hiking stick
  • Camera

NOTE: LIMITED First Day Hike T-Shirts will be available for participants on a first-come, first-served basis. And, a vehicle permit may be required ($5.00 at the state park entrance).

First Day Hikes began more than three decades ago at the Blue Hills Reservation state park in Massachusetts in 1992. Since 2012, all 50 states have participated. America’s State Parks hopes to make 2024 a record-breaking year as the annual event approaches major milestones, including inching closer to 1 million miles hiked and 500,000 participants in the program’s history.

For information on First Day Hikes across the nation, visit stateparks.org/special-programs/first-day-hikes/. And don’t forget to share your January 1 hiking story on social media with #FirstDayHikes and #MyKSStatePark.

Click HERE to find a Kansas State Park nearest you.