NORTH IOWA OUTDOORS: Join a First Day Hike on New Year’s Day

What’s the best way to spend New Year’s Day? Take a First Day Hike in one of 27 participating Iowa state parks! Hikers can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, and experience spectacular views, beautiful settings and the cultural treasures offered by Iowa’s state parks.

“We are excited to host First Day Hikes again as part of this effort to get people outdoors and into our parks,” said Todd Coffelt, chief of the Iowa DNR’s State Parks Bureau. “These hikes are a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.”

In past years, more than 1,200 people began the year in an Iowa state park, hiking more than 1,100 total miles.

Staff and volunteers will lead free, guided First Day Hikes in Iowa’s 27 participating state parks. Some hikes will include wildlife viewing and hot beverages. Hikes will average one to two miles or longer depending on the location. Details about the hikes can be found at To see a comprehensive national map of First Day Hikes, visit  Participants are encouraged to share their adventures on social media with #FirstDayHikes or #iowastateparks.

Iowa First Day Hikes will take place at the following state parks:


  • Big Creek State Park
  • Dolliver Memorial State Park
  • Gitchie Manitou State Preserve
  • Ledges State Park
  • Pilot Knob State Park
  • Prairie Rose State Park
  • Springbrook State Park
  • Stone State Park
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