Wyo State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails Celebrate the New Year First Day Hikes Across the State

Rejuvenate by taking a family friendly trek through a state park close to home

Cheyenne – The Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trials will sponsor free, guided hikes in four state parks and historic sites 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 rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1, at a state park close to home. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.

“We are excited to host First Day Hikes as part of this national effort to get people outdoors and into our parks. First Day Hikes are a great way to cure cabin fever and burn off those extra holiday calories by starting off the New Year with an invigorating walk or hike in one of our beautiful state parks,”said State Parks Administrator Domenic Bravo.

“What better way to kick off the New Year than with a hike at a state park?” said Ruth Coleman, President of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD).  “Think of it as the start of a new and healthy lifestyle for the whole family. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling, join us at one of America’s State Parks on New Year’s Day.”

America’s State Parks boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation, and each First Day Hike will offer an opportunity to explore the unique natural and cultural treasures close to home. From California to Maine, hikers can climb hills and mountain tops, walk along ponds and beaches, and traverse trails through forests, fields and prairies.   Visitors can listen to birds, breathe in the fresh air, discover wildlife tracks, feel the wind and the warmth of the sun or the coldness of the snow. Visitors can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, experience spectacular views and vistas and benefit from the company of a knowledgeable state park guide.

“Studies have proven that getting outdoors is one good way to relax and recharge the body, mind and spirit.” stated Phil McNelly, NASPD’s Executive Director.  “We hope that hiking along a trail in a state park will become part of an individual’s or family’s regular exercise routine.”

First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts.  The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year round recreation at state parks.  Many other states have offered outdoor recreation programs on New Year’s Day, however, this is the first time all 50 state park systems have joined together to sponsor  First Day Hikes.

Park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the state park.  Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on the America’s State Parks website.  Visit www.americasstateparks.org to find a First Day Hike nearest you.

In Wyoming, hikes will be offered at the following locations and times:
Fort Bridger State Historic Site – one mile hike/walk around the historic site. Meet at entrance booth at 1 p.m.
Curt Gowdy State Park – Up to four mile hike on a trail to be determined. Meet at Aspen Grove Trail head at 1 p.m.
Guernsey State Park – Up to 2.5 mile hike on a trail to be determined. Meet at headquarters at 1 p.m.
Glendo State Park – Up to a four mile hike along a newly constructed Narrows Bluff Trail. Meet at the Dam overlook at 10 a.m.

Participants are urged to wear adequate clothing, coffee and hot chocolate will be provided, Bonn Fire at most locations, this is a kids and family friendly event, entry fee to participating parks will be waived.

RSVPs are requested but not required. Please RSVP by emailing Paul.Gritten@wyo.gov.

This event kicks off Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites 2012 75th Anniversary celebration.

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 creates a unique connection with nature that promotes physical and mental well-being and encourages creativity and stewardship of our shared resources.


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