In what is becoming an increasingly popular New Year’s Day activity, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails provides “First Day Hikes” – a perfect way for Wyoming residents to celebrate the New Year outdoors.
Eleven New Year’s Day guided hikes held at state park and historic site venues statewide will be held in conjunction with similar hikes held in all 50 states; a part of the America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative. Also, this year, First Day Hikes is a nationwide kickoff to the National Park Service’s 100 year anniversary. As part of that partnership, uniformed National Park Service staff will participate in some of the First Day Hike events.
This is the fifth consecutive year Wyoming is offering the First Day Hikes program. Last year, 327 people participated hiking more than 460 total miles.
Park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the state park or historic site. Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on the America’s State Parks website. Visit www.naspd.org to find a First Day Hike nearest you.
In Wyoming, hikes will be offered at the following locations and times:
Bear River State Park - Short 2.5 mile nature hike along the Bear River. Hike distance will vary upon participant’s abilities. Meet at the Visitor Center. Begin at 10 a.m.
Curt Gowdy State Park – Up to four mile hike on a trail to be determined. Meet at Aspen Grove Trail head at 1 p.m.
Edness K. Wilkins State Park – There will be two walks. One will be wheelchair accessible and the other will be on natural surface on the nature trail. Each 2 miles. Begin at 10 a.m.
Fort Bridger State Historic Site – one mile hike/walk around the historic site. Meet at entrance booth at 1 p.m. The hike is mostly level with no inclines.
Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site – up to two-mile hike, meet at bridge tender’s house parking lot at 10 a.m.
Glendo – Two mile hike beginning at the Dam Overlook Trail Head. Meet at 10 a.m.
Guernsey State Park – 1.5 – 2 mile hike, start at 10 a.m.
Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site - 1.25 mile hike on Nature Trail and park road. Meet in main parking area at 10 a.m. Sneak peak at new visitor center displays and exhibits.
Keyhole State Park - starting at the Headquarters building and hiking to the Tatanka group shelter and back (approximately 1 mile) 10 a.m.
Sinks Canyon - Sinks Canyon hike will start at the Nature Trail Parking Lot in the Popo Agie Campground and proceed approximately 2 miles along the Canyon Loop trail. The start time will 10 a.m. Refreshments will be served in the Sage Yurt in Popo Agie Campground upon completion.
Trail End –Visitors and their leashed pets are invited to meet at the East Entrance to the Kendrick Mansion (400 Clarendon Avenue) for a brisk urban hike through Sheridan's historic Nielsen Heights neighborhood. The hike should take about an hour and will end at the Kendrick Mansion for hot beverages and light snacks.
Participants of all hikes are urged to wear adequate clothing, coffee and hot chocolate will be provided, Bonn Fire at most locations, this is a kids and family friendly event, entry fee to participating parks will be waived. Leashed dogs are welcome. All events are subject to change. RSVPs are requested but not required. Please RSVP by emailing Paul.Gritten@wyo.gov.
WYOutside, a coalition of public and private organizations with a shared stake in promoting recreation to children and families, is a sponsor of the First Day Hikes.
For more information, please call the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails at 307-777-6323.