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First Day Hikes in Texas


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Everybody hopes to start the New Year off on the “right foot.” For those wishing to do so both literally and figuratively, state parks across Texas are offering “First Day Hikes.” These New Year’s Day hikes offer Texans and visitors to Texas to spend some quality time outdoors on the very first day of the year. All told, around six dozen Texas State Parks will be offering some sort of First Day Hike on New Year’s Day, meaning any and every one spending New Year’s in the Lone Star State will be within driving distance of a state park hosting a New Year’s Day hike. And, considering the geographic disparity between these many parks, each First Day Hike will be a unique experience.

A handful of state parks will actually be hosting hikes which bridge the time span between 2015 and 2016. In Garner State Park, there will be a New Year’s Eve hike up to “Old Baldy,” the park’s popular signature peak. This hike will also explore parts of the Frio Canyon.

Fort Parker State Park, Guadalupe River State Park, Martin Creek Lake State Park and Inks Lake State Park will each also be hosting “midnight hikes,” allowing participants to truly usher in the New Year on the trail.
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[post_ads]Throughout the day on January 1, there will be hikes – both guided and unguided – at parks across the state. Several of these hikes combine other popular activities, such as birding, with hiking along popular park trails. Guadalupe River State Park, Tyler State Park, and Goose Island State Park all offer birding hikes on New Year’s Day. Both Inks Lake State Park and Galveston Island State Park will offer stargazing hikes on the evening of Jan.

1. During the daylight hours, Galveston Island SP will also host a beachcombing hike. Dog lovers should consider Pedernales Falls State Park’s “Fido Hike,” which designed for dogs and their owners. Kickapoo Canyon State Park will offer a New Year’s Day “Cave Hike,” while the San Jacinto State Historical Site will host a “In the Footsteps of Texians” event on the very ground where Texas won its independence in 1836.

Lockhart State Park will feature a “Wildlife Walk” and Cooper Lake State Park will offer geocaching to go along with its First Day Hike. Buescher State Park will be holding a scavenger-hunt style hike, while McKinney Falls State Park will be offering a night hike on the first night of 2016 (Jan 1).  

Other state parks will be combing physical activities such as mountain biking, jogging and running into their First Hike events. Government Canyon State Natural Area, Franklin Mountains State Park, Cooper Lake State Park, Sheldon Lake State Park, and Brazos Bend State Park are among the state parks offering mountain biking events on January 1.

Government Canyon State Natural Area, Galveston Island State Park, Cooper Lake State Park, and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area will each be hosting jogging and/or running events on New Year’s Day.
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A few Texas State Parks will be hosting additional “First Day” outdoor activities. Balmorhea State Park will be hosting a First Day Polar Plunge in the park’s spring-fed swimming area. Water will also be a key ingredient in the First Day activities at Ray Roberts State Park, which will be hosting a First Day Paddle for kayakers and canoers. 

Without a doubt, the variety of “First Day” outdoor activities offered by state parks will provide plenty of opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to spend some quality time outside on the first day of the year. Of course, Texas state parks offer many of these same style of activities throughout the year, so there’s no reason not to maintain any outdoor-related New Year’s Resolution in 2016.

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Travel Magazine: First Day Hikes in Texas
First Day Hikes in Texas
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