Feeling Adventurous? Start 2016 Off on the Right Foot With a First Day Hike!


We know your NYE will be full of confetti and your fave bubbly, and we have the best way to start anew on New Year’s Day. Get in touch with your wild side (and look totally appropriate with no makeup and a messy topknot) with a First Day Hike!

Started by the American Hiking Society, First Day Hikes encourage people of all ages to get outside on the first day of the year — and what better way to show your resolutions who’s boss than to climb to the top of Pinnacle Mountain? Your #2016goals won’t know what hit them. Last year, over 28,000 people participated in this New Year’s Day tradition, and Arkansas’ State Parks have you covered for exploring on the first with tons of guided tours and hiking opportunities.

“We are excited to host First Day Hikes as part of this national effort to get people outdoors and into our parks. First Day Hikes are a great way to start the new year with a guided hike with one of our knowledgeable interpreters, connect with your beautiful state parks and make lifetime memories,” said Arkansas State Parks Director Greg Butts.

“So many people start the year with new resolutions about improving health and fitness and seeking more authentic experiences. Our First Day Hikes offer you opportunities to put those good intentions right into action and turn goals into accomplishments on day one of 2016,” Arkansas State Parks Chief of Interpretation and Program Services Kelly Farrell said. “Whether you join one of our scheduled guided hikes, or take your own self-guided  trek on our 400+ miles of trails, we hope you enjoy being part of a nationwide celebration and that you’re inspired to make visiting state parks a year-round habit.”

Arkansas’ state parks boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation, and each First Day Hike will offer an opportunity to explore the unique natural and cultural treasures close to home. Visitors can listen to birds, breathe in the fresh air, discover wildlife tracks and experience spectacular views and vistas.

This year, the American Hiking Association is hosting a photo challenge using hashtags #FirstDayHikes and #coldweathergivesyoucharacter. Contestants have a chance to win prizes from Columbia, Brooks Range and Menasha Ridge Press. The contest runs until Jan. 1. Four winners will be announced Jan. 3. Visit the society’s Facebook page for details.

Arkansas’ 2015 First Day Hikes by the Numbers

  • 34 locations
  • 56 hikes offered
  • 290 hikers
  • 506.7 miles hiked

Want to join a First Day Hike? View Arkansas’ First Day Hikes lineup here.

Participating in a hike? Share your photos with #arstateparks and #FirstDayHikes!

Featured image courtesy of the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

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