News release: Some Minnesota state parks to host First Day Hikes Jan. 1

December 23, 2022

First Day Hikes will take place at 11 Minnesota state parks on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, as part of a nationwide effort to connect people with the outdoors.

In an initiative spearheaded by the America’s State Parks organization, people in all 50 states will have an opportunity to take guided walks on New Year’s Day.

The specifics for Minnesota’s First Day Hike events vary among the participating state parks. For example, First Day Hikes at Wild River, Mille Lacs Kathio and Lake Bemidji state parks will be snowshoe hikes, while Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park will offer a First Day Hike candlelight event. At Whitewater State Park, visitors can celebrate the first day of the year with a winter mindfulness walk. For a list of all First Day Hike events in state parks, visit the First Day Hikes page on the DNR website.

Hikers are advised to wear boots and dress in layers, such as a non-cotton shirt under a sweater plus a jacket, hat, gloves or mittens. As hikers get moving and warm up, they might want to shed some of those layers.  

Park naturalists encourage anyone unable to attend a guided hike to get out with friends and family on New Year’s Day for their own self-guided hike. Recommended routes can be found online using the DNR’s HikeFinder.

First Day Hikes are free but a vehicle permit ($7 for a one-day permit or $35 for an annual permit) is required to enter Minnesota state parks. Permits can be purchased at the park or visitors can save time and purchase permits online in advance on the DNR’s permits page. Please note that registration is required for some First Day Hikes.

For a complete schedule of the First Day Hikes at Minnesota state parks, including applicable registration requirements, visit the First Day Hikes page on the DNR website or contact the DNR Information Center at [email protected] or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

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