Pratt, KS -(AmmoLand.com)- We’ve all made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat less, quit smoking or exercise more, and most of us find them hard to keep.
However, what if there was a New Year’s resolution that was not only easy to keep but was enjoyable and fun, as well? Impossible, you say? Not if you resolve to participate in a First Day Hike at a Kansas state park.
While the trails at Kansas state parks are open every day, many parks will host special events on Jan. 1, 2016 to promote the First Day Hike program. It’s a great way to spend quality time outdoors with family, exercise and burn off some holiday calories and enjoy an uncrowded state park experience. First Day Hike events will be conducted at the following locations on New Year’s Day, 2016. All hikers should wear warm clothing and good trail footwear and bring water, a camera and binoculars.
Pets are welcome, but must be leashed at all times. Don’t forget your favorite animal identification guides.
Clinton State Park
North Shores Trail. Meet at the Clinton State Park office at 1 p.m. The trail is moderate in difficulty and 2 miles long. Hikers must be at least five years old. For more information or cancellation notice, see Clinton State Park’s Facebook page or call the park office at (785) 842-8562.
Crawford State Park
This event will feature the Civilian Conservation Corps, Spiderleg Bridge, and Deer Run trails and include a 5K run. Pre-registration is required by calling Crawford State Park Office, 620-362-3671, before January 1. Hikers and runners will meet at the Beach Shelter at 11 a.m. Trails are moderate in difficulty and 2 miles long. For more information call the park office.
Cross Timbers State Park
Hikers should meet at the Turtle Run Trailhead at 2 p.m. Trail is rated easy and is 0.5 miles in length. Hot chocolate will be provided. Hikers may see winter waterfowl, eagles, and other Kansas wildlife on the tallgrass prairie. Check Cross Timbers State Park Facebook or call the park office, 620-637-2213, for more information or notice of cancellation.
El Dorado State Park
Walnut Ridge Trail – A Doggone Ruff Hike. Meet at the Walnut River Cabins at 4 p.m. Check the El Dorado State Park Facebook page or call the park office, 316-321-7180, for more information or cancellation notice.
Elk City State Park
South Squaw Trail – 5K Fun Run/ Walk (3.1 miles). Meet at the Day-use Beach Area at 1 p.m. Snacks, water and hot chocolate will be provided. Check the Elk City State Park Facebook page or phone the park 0ffice, 620-331-6295, for more information or cancellation notice.
Fall River State Park
Meet at the Casner Creek Trailhead at 1 p.m. Hot Chocolate will be provided. Check the Fall River State Park Facebook page or call the park office, 620-637-2213, for more information or cancellation notice.
Green Property – Pratt
Green Recreation Trail. Meet at the barn/shop at 10 a.m. Bring your own water and snacks.. Hot cider and hot chocolate will be provided after the hike. Call the KDWPT Operations Office, (620) 672-5911, for more information or cancellation notice.
Hillsdale State Park
Hidden Springs Nature Trail. Meet at the Hillsdale State Park office at 10 a.m. Contact the park office, 913-783-4507, for more information or cancellation notice.
Kanopolis State Park
Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail, 2 miles long. Meet at the park office at 10 a.m. Snacks, water and hot chocolate will be provided at the park office before and after the hike. Contact park office, 785-546-2565, for more information or cancellation notice.
Perry State Park
Mad Mile and Daisy Point trails. Meet at Perry State Park Biking/Hiking Trails on Kimberly Drive off West Lake Road at 10 a.m. Bring your own water and snacks. This is a mountain bike multi-use trail so the trail is dirt with tree roots and rocks on it. There are ravines. The entire trail is not wheelchair accessible. Call the park office, (785) 246-3449, for more information and cancellation notice.
Pomona State Park
White Feather Campground. Meet at the Pomona State Park office at 1 p.m. Refreshments will be provided after the hike. Visit the Pomona State Park Facebook page or call the park office, (785) 828-4933 for more information or cancellation notice.
Tuttle Creek State Park
Western Heritage Trail. Meet at the Tuttle Creek State Park office at 10 a.m. Snacks, water, hot chocolate and t-shirts will be provided. Visit the Tuttle Creek State Park Facebook page or call the park office, (785) 539-7941 for more information or cancellation notice.
Information on all First Day Hikes can be viewed at https://ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/Special-Events/First-Day-Hikes.
About the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism:
As a public steward of the Kansas natural resources, the mission of the Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is to: Conserve and enhance Kansas natural heritage, its wildlife and its habitats–to assure future generations the benefits of the state’s diverse, living resources; Provide the public with opportunities for the use and appreciation of the natural resources of Kansas, consistent with the conservation of those resources; Inform the public of the status of the natural resources of Kansas to promote understanding and gain assistance in achieving this mission.
For more information on KDWPT, please visit www.kdwpt.state.ks.us.