Start the Year Off Right With a First Day Hike

Preparation Canyon State Park in Pisgah offers a perfect hiking spot through the Loess Hills. Other Iowa state parks offer guided treks through the DNR’s First Day Hikes initiative. Photo: Iowa DNR.

Looking for more fitness and ways to get out in 2023? Plan on a strong start with a First Day Hike at an Iowa park.

Seventeen parks throughout the state—including Backbone (Strawberry Point), Ledges (Madrid), Springbrook (Guthrie Center) and Stone Park (Sioux City)—offer guided hikes on Jan. 1. Times vary and some include snacks and beverages to enjoy after the trek.

“First Day Hikes are a popular tradition in state parks, and the Park Passport is a great way for people to enjoy winter hikes,” said Sherry Arntzen, chief of the Iowa DNR’s Parks, Forests and Preserves Bureau.

With the challenge, visitors can check into more than 50 participating state parks and forests on the Park Passport from Dec. 30 through Jan. 1. Every park check-in qualifies for a chance to win a two-night stay at a two-bedroom cabin at Pine Lake State Park in Eldora.

Find a list of guided hikes here.

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