Celebrate New Year’s Day At Chadron State Park With a “First Day Hike”


     Kick off the new year in the great outdoors with a First Day Hike, a national program intended to help get people outdoors and into state parks.

     New Year’s Day hikes are offered this year at 20 Nebraska sites including Chadron State Park and the Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area south of Gering.

     The Chadron State Park hike is this morning at 10:00 with Superintendent Gregg Galbraith welcoming visitors to come to the playground for a guided hike in the lower section of the park..

Galbraith says the hike options being considered today range from roughly a half-mile to full mile and are easy to moderate in difficulty..

Galbraith says dogs are also welcome to join the hike.

Galbraith doesn’t know how many hikers there will be, but thinks it might be on the higher end of the average with a forecast of sunshine and temperatures that should be in the 30s by 10:00.

Galbraith recommends dressing for the weather and bringing water, snacks and a camera. While the hike is free, you do need to have a 2024 Nebraska State Park Entry Pass.

      The First Day Hike program was begun more than 2 decades ago in Massachusetts with all 50 state park systems now taking part, offering more than 400 hikes nationwide.

     It’s described as a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature, and welcome the New Year with friends and family while promoting year-round recreation at the country’s state parks.