The new year is drawing near. In just a few days we will be saying goodby to 2017 and ringing in 2018. If you are looking for a way to start your year off right a First Day Hike with the Iowa DNR might be just the thing for you.

What is a First Day Hike?

On New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks have all 50 states offering free, guided First Day Hike Programs. These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature.

Pair of hiking bootsWho leads the Hike?

The guided First Day Hikes are led by knowledgeable state park staff and volunteers.The distance and rigor vary from park to park, but all hikes aim to create a fun experience for the whole family. People are invited to savor the beauty of the state park’s natural resources with the comfort of an experienced guide so they may be inspired to take advantage of these local treasures throughout the year.

What do I need to know about it?

The Iowa DNR suggests you dress for the weather. Wear layers of clothing and sturdy hiking boots or shoes, as well as hats and gloves. Binoculars and a camera always come in handy, and remember to bring water. Strollers are not recommended. Children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult. Some hikes may not be appropriate for children under 5 years. Dogs must be on a leash and are not allowed into indoor locations, such as lodges and visitor centers. Trail difficulty may depend on the amount of snow on the ground.

Why are First Day Hike held?

America’s State Parks have been entrusted to preserve a variety of magnificent places from California to Maine. Hikers can experience a plethora of outdoor recreation activities including mountain and hill climbing, walks along lakes and beaches, exploration of trails through great forests, wildlife expeditions, bird-watching and much more.

America’s State Park programs are committed to promoting outdoor recreation in hopes to help address obesity, especially in children. Furthermore, exercise and outdoor activities rejuvenate the mind and body, promoting overall mental and physical health and wellness. Many believe that time spent in nature enhances creativity and lifts our moods!

Where can I find a First Day Hike in my area?

The Iowa DNR website has a list of all of the Iowa State Parks who are participating in First Day Hikes as well as meeting time and locations. You can find that information by clicking here.

If you live outside of Iowa there are First Day Hikes happening at Parks across America and those can be located on the America’s State Parks website here.

Take advantage of the resources that America’s State Parks have to offer and get connected to our country’s shared resources by finding a First Day Hike near you. Let this mark the beginning of a healthy lifestyle for the whole family!

Here at Mossy Oak Properties we want to be sure we pass along information important to you in regards to outdoor recreation, agriculture and home. Check out more information on our Mossy Oak Properties Iowa Facebook page or on our Website found HERE. If you think you might be interested in joining the Mossy Oak Properties- Iowa team you can check out the opportunities available on our website.