Release Date

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 21, 2023 – Start a new tradition with your friends and family. Join team members at northeast Missouri state parks and historic sites on guided hikes Jan. 1 as you get some healthy exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.

  • Crowder State Park, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
    Meet at the Shelter 3 parking lot at 10 a.m. for this 3.2-mile hike that showcases habitat diversity at Crowder State Park. This is a moderately difficult hike. Crowder State Park is located at 76 NW Highway 128 in Trenton. At 1 p.m., there will be a 3.8-mile hike on Thompson River Trail’s North Loop. Meet at the equestrian parking lot for this hike with moderately difficult hills. Visitors will pass the Thompson Cemetery, Thompson House and Thompson River. The equestrian parking lot can be reached by traveling west on Highway 146 from the park entrance for 1.3 miles. Turn right onto Northwest 52nd Avenue and continue for 2.1 miles. Turn right onto Dove Lane. Dove Lane ends in the equestrian parking lot. Registration is required for both hikes and can be submitted by visiting and using the “Choose Date” box to find the listing. For more information, call 660-359-6473.
  • Graham Cave State Park, 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 
    Ring in the new year with a 1.5-mile guided hike. Participants will see two of the park’s unique glade communities. Glades are home to many uncommon plants and animals. Due to the warm, dry environment created by sunlight passing through the sparse tree canopy to the exposed rocks below, visitors will see a variety of plants, including the prickly pear cactus. This hike begins at the Visitor Center and will use Fern Ridge, Graham Cave and Indian Glade trails. There will also be some off-trail hiking. Hikers can expect to traverse rocky terrain with steep inclines. Registration for the hike is required and can be submitted by visiting For more information, call 573-564-3476. Graham Cave State Park is located at 217 Highway TT in Danville.
  • Thousand Hills State Park, 10 – 11 a.m.
    Ring in 2024 with this 2-mile guided hike on Red Bud Trail. The hike starts at the trailhead by Forest Lake and will go along the lake, through woodlands and across rugged terrain. For more information, call 660-665-6995. Registration is required and can be submitted by visiting Thousand Hills State Park is located 2 miles west of Kirksville on Highway 157.
  • Wakonda State Park, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
    Join Ranger Fohey for a 1.9-mile guided hike on Jasper Lake Trail. This moderately difficult trail allows visitors the change to see bald eagles and a variety of waterfowl. Meet at the Jasper Lake parking lot at 10 a.m. For more information, call 573-655-2280. Registration is required and can be submitted at Wakonda State Park is located at 32836 State Park Road in La Grange.

For information on First Day Hikes at your nearest state park or historic site, go to Share your Jan. 1 hiking story on social media with #FirstDayHikes. For detailed information on any of these activities, please visit

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Group of hikers standing near a road listening to an interpreter present a program.

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