December 20, 2017

Contact: Communications Office

First Day Hikes on Jan. 1 are fun, healthy way to start 2018 in Missouri State Parks

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 20, 2017 – On Jan.1, the annual First Day Hikes event will take place at 36 state parks and historic sites across Missouri. Participants can choose from more than 40 free, guided hikes that range in difficulty from easy to moderate, cover distances up to 4 miles and use a variety of trails in every region of the state.

In its seventh year, the annual event is part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes effort, which gives people the opportunity to start the year off right with an outdoor hike at a state park. A list of state parks with guided First Day Hikes and other related activities is available at

“Anyone who wants to kick off 2018 in a fun, healthy way outdoors can do so with a First Day Hike at one of our 36 hosting parks,” said Ben Ellis, director of Missouri State Parks. “We encourage everyone to join us in this growing annual tradition of getting a head start on a year of outdoor adventures.”

Nationwide last year, more than 62,000 people took part in guided hikes that covered more than 114,165 miles on 1,300 different First Day Hikes in state parks across the country. Details on every state’s 2017 hikes are located at As in the past, participants are encouraged to log their adventures on social media with #FirstDayHikes.

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