“First Day Hikes” Self-Guided And Offered Jan 1-3 This Year Courtesy Of COVID

       Nebraska Game and Parks is offering a revamped version of its annual First Day Hikes program this year, reflecting the COVID-19 pandemic.

       Instead of the usual single guided hike at various parks on New Year’s Day – many ending with hot chocolate – this year’s First Day Hikes are self-guided and are offered on the 2nd and 3rd as well as the 1st.

        Parks Division assistant administrator Bob Hanover says some state parks, state historical parks, and state recreation areas are giving the self-guided hikes their own unique spin such as a treasure hunt and selfie station.

      Hanover says the basic idea remains the same – a chance to start the New Year off right by engaging in a health outdoor activity while exploring trails, watching wildlife, snapping photos, and creating a lifetime of memories.

        He also thinks it’s the perfect way for everyone to kick off the 100th anniversary of the Nebraska state park system, which began in 1921 with the opening of Chadron State Park.

      Various centennial events are planned at Chadron State Park and other Game and Parks sites around Nebraska over the next year. 

      For the most up-to-date information, visit outdoornebraska.org/FirstDayHikes. Those taking part also have a chance to be featured on the agency’s social streams.

      Just tag @NEGameandParks in your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts or by using the hashtag #NEParks100.