Chadron State Park Offering “First Day Hike”


     Kick off the new year in the great outdoors Monday with a First Day Hike, an effort in all 50 states to get people outdoors and into state parks.

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

     Chadron State Park is offering a guided hike starting at 10:00 at the park playground, but the exact route won’t be determined until that morning and will depend in part on whether Tuesday’s snow has melted.  

     Options range from roughly a half-mile to one mile and are described as easy to moderate and lasting no more than about an hour. Dress for the weather and bring water, snacks and a camera. 

      The appropriate state park entry permit is needed at each of the 3 sites. Those taking one of the Nebraska hikes are encouraged to post pictures and comments with the tag @NEGameandParks. 

      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.