Take a hike on the first day of 2019 to start your new year off right.
Several Kansas State Parks – and one Wichita city park – are offering FREE First Day Hikes, which are guided hikes on New Year’s Day, January 1.
Bring the family – bundled up, of course, and wearing comfortable, sturdy hiking boots or shoes – and bring your camera for wildlife photos or a pair of binoculars.
At some parks, you can bring your dog as long as it’s on a leash.
The Wichita hike is free.
Wichita-area First Day Hikes
Of all the parks that will have first-day hikes, the ones closest to Wichita are, of course, Pawnee Prairie Park (which is actually in Wichita), El Dorado, and Cheney.
Pawnee Prairie First Day Hike
January 1, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. to noon along the Pawnee Prairie Park trails. Meet at the Nature Center at 2625 S. Tyler Rd., Wichita, KS 67215 dressed warm with comfortable and warm hiking shoes/boots.
You can bring your pet on a leash. The hike will be held rain or shine. Plan to take a group photo before the hike at 9:45 a.m. For more information and updates, check facebook.com/WichitaParkandRec.
El Dorado State Park First Day Hike
On January 1, 2019 at 1 p.m. meet at the Walnut River Cabins for a hike along the Walnut River Trail. Dress warm and bring a camera for wildlife pictures. This will be an easy-to-moderate two-mile hike. It is pet-friendly as long as your pet is on a leash. Hot chocolate and coffee will be provided. For more info on this hike, call the park office at (316) 321-7180 or check out the park’s Facebook page.
Cheney State Park First Day Hike
Also on January 1, 2019, but at 2 p.m., meet at the Cheney Park Office for a hike along the West Side Trail. Meet at the park office. Bring water, snacks, binoculars and camera and wear weather-appropriate clothing (including hiking boots) for this one-mile hike. You can bring your pet on a leash. For more information about the Cheney First Day Hike, call the park office at (316) 542-3664 or visit the Cheney State Park Facebook page.
After you’ve finished your trek, be sure to share your photos with staff and fellow hikers by using the hashtags #FirstDayHikes and #MyKSStatePark.
More Kansas State Parks First Day Hikes
For the state park hikes, you’ll just need a state park vehicle license. (It’s generally only $5 for a day-pass if you don’t already have the State Park Passport.)
According to KansasOutdoors.com, these other Kansas parks are also participating in First Day Hikes. Each may have its own start/end times and specific instructions, so be sure to call or check the link above for event details for your nearest state park First Day Hike.
- Clinton State Park
- Crawford State Park
- Cross Timbers State Park
- Wilson State Park
- Fall River State Park
- Green Property – Pratt, KS
- Kanopolis State Park
- Glen Elder State Park
- Perry State Park
- Pomona State Park
- Tuttle Creek State Park
- Milford State Park
- Meade State Park
- Sand Hills State Park
- Flint Hills Nature Trail
- Elk City State Park
- Hillsdale State Park
- Prairie Dog State Park