Take a First Day Hike on New Year’s Day

INDIANA – Usher in 2022 with other outdoor lovers at one of the many First Day Hikes offered on January 1 at Indiana’s state parks, forests, and lakes.

First Day Hikes are a healthy way to start 2022 and a chance to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature, and connect with friends. Nearly all state parks and lakes, as well as some state forests, will offer hikes. Find a hike near you at on.IN.gov/INstateparkevents.

The guided hikes are organized by Indiana State Parks in cooperation with America’s State Parks. First Day Hikes will take place in all 50 states.

First Day Hikes originated more than 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. The program was launched to foster healthy lifestyles and promote year-round recreation at state parks.

For more information, visit America’s State Parks’ website (stateparks.org) or facebook.com/Americas-State-Parks-205324976548604.

Some of the First Day events are listed below. To see a full list click here.

Brown County State Park. This hike will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be self-guided with interpretive stops along the way, including a hot chocolate stop. Participants should start at the Nature Center. The hike is 2 miles and should take about 90 minutes.

Charlestown State Park. Meet at the Trail 3 and 4 parking lot at 10 a.m. for a 2.5-mile, two-hour hike to Rose Island. The hike is considered moderately rugged.

Ferdinand State Forest. Meet at the Sycamore Shelter at 9 a.m. to hike about 1.7 miles along a section of the Twin Lake trail with a brief stop to warm by a fire and have hot chocolate.

Greene-Sullivan State Forest. Take a self-guided 1-mile hike around Reservoir 26, where you’ll find a series of questions and answers related to natural resources. 

Hardy Lake. Meet at the Main Trailhead across from the beach access road at 9 a.m. for a 2.75- mile, one-hour hike.

Jackson-Washington State Forest. Meet at the parking lot below the CCC playground at noon at the start of Trail 1, just before the Pinnacle Shelter, for a 2-mile, one-hour hike to Pinnacle Peak.

Martin State Forest. Meet at the Hardwood Lake parking area at 10 a.m. for a half-mile guided hike.

McCormick’s Creek State Park. Meet at Canyon Inn at 1 p.m. for registration for Winter Magic Photo Contest Hikes, which will begin at 2 p.m. Pick one of three different guided hikes. After the hikes, enter your photos and enjoy refreshments courtesy of Canyon Inn.

Monroe Lake. The ninth annual First Day Trail Run/Walk will take place at Fairfax State Recreation Area. Registration is from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. at Bay View Shelter and the untimed event starts at 3:30 p.m. Participants can choose from a 1.3-, 2.9-, or 3.7-mile course. The cost is $15 and includes a grab-n-go box meal, event patch, gift certificate, and an entry for a prize drawing. Advance registration is required by Dec. 30.

Morgan-Monroe State Forest. Meet at the forest office parking lot at 9 a.m. for this walk on an accessible trail.

Owen-Putnam State Forest. Meet at the Owen Putnam State Forest office at 9 a.m. for a guided hike on Poplar Top Trail.

Patoka Lake. Meet at the Nature Center at noon and grab a challenge sheet about Patoka history that participants can fill in during the hike. The winner will receive a 2022 Annual Entrance Pass. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served.

Spring Mill State Park. Two hikes will be offered. Meet at the Spring Mill Inn at 9 a.m. for a 90-minute moderate to difficult Nature Preserves Hike along Trail 3. For an easier hike, meet at the Gus Grissom Memorial parking lot at 10 a.m. for a 30-minute hike along Trail 6, which is paved and .25 miles long. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served in the Lakeview Room at the Inn after the hikes.

Yellowwood State Forest. Meet at the forest office parking lot at 9 a.m. for a first-day hike along the 1-mile Resource Management Trail.

To view more DNR news releases see dnr.IN.gov.