MADISON, Wis. – Celebrate the new year by stepping into nature with a First Day Hike. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will join the adventure sponsored by America’s State Parks on New Year’s Day for the 10th year in a row.
Each year thousands of people across the nation kick off the new year by hiking at state parks, forests or trails on New Year’s Day. These hikes provide a way for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature. For many it has become a tradition.
“Hiking is a great way to explore the outdoors, remain physically fit and have a chance to relax and unwind. Start the year out right with a hike at a Wisconsin State Park,” said Diane Brusoe, DNR Fish, Wildlife and Parks Deputy Division Administrator.
With over 14 million visitors, Wisconsin state parks, forests and trails feature some of the Midwest’s best scenery. The change in seasons doesn’t mean an end to exploring the outdoors. Wisconsin’s beautiful state parks, forests and trails offer opportunities to get outdoors – even in winter.
The latest issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine highlights several state properties around Wisconsin that are perfect for winter hiking and snowshoeing. From Lake Superior to Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, bundle up and head out to find your seasonal adventures.
Due to COVID-19, First Day hikes will be a self-guided experience to help keep guides and park visitors healthy and safe. Share you adventure with us using the hashtags #OutWiGo and #FirstDayHike.
Looking to enjoy Wisconsin State Parks in a different light? The DNR encourages visitors to hike under a full moon or with a headlamp or flashlight instead of attending the annual candlelight events held at night, which have been canceled to avoid attracting crowds.
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, people are encouraged to hike at properties within their communities with people from their household and practice social distancing.
A vehicle admission sticker is required to visit state park system properties. Stickers can be purchased online, by calling 1-888-305-0398 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at individual properties via self-registration stations, electronic kiosks or drive-up window service (select properties only).
Learn more information about Wisconsin State Parks, locate a park near you or find a map to plan your First Day Hike here.