This Jan.1, Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites Coloradans to welcome 2017 by heading outside to a Colorado State Park. First Day Hikes are guided activities that offer a chance to start the new year right by getting people out for some exercise in nature. For the new year, 27 state parks are participating by hosting an organized hike on New Year's Day.
"Getting outside is the best way to bring in a new year and Colorado state parks showcase all the best things about the outdoors," said Crystal Dreiling, park manager at Trinidad Lake State Park, one of the participating parks. "We are thrilled to have the largest number of state parks hosting First Day Hikes in 2017 since we first started the program in 2012."
Many parks are also offering refreshments and free giveaways for this event, such as mugs and pens, thanks to a grant provided by the Colorado Parks Foundation.
The hikes are free but park visitors must possess a valid parks pass to participate. The daily pass for entry to most parks costs $7 per vehicle; annual passes are available for $70.
All First Day Hikes, which will be led by park rangers or volunteers, will vary in ability levels and length. Pets are welcome at many parks but visitors should first check the individual park's website. Bring snacks and water, dress in layers and be prepared for winter hiking in snow or on icy trails. If there is snow, consider bringing snowshoes. For more detailed information and a list of parks participating in First Day Hikes, visit the CPW website.