Recreation

Iowa DNR offers winter hikes to start off the new year

49 parks planning 'first-day' events across state Jan. 1

The frozen Bridal Veil Falls can be seen Feb. 9 along Bridal Veil Trail at Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor. Iowa is offering a series of first-day hikes Jan. 1 at parks across the state. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
The frozen Bridal Veil Falls can be seen Feb. 9 along Bridal Veil Trail at Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor. Iowa is offering a series of first-day hikes Jan. 1 at parks across the state. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Looking for a way to ring in the new year? Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources suggest first-day hikes Jan. 1.

Iowa state parks will launch the new year, which also is the start of the state park centennial year with outdoor hikes across Iowa. First Day Hikes are being organized at 49 parks, according to DNR officials, the most to participate since the statewide event began nine years ago.

In Eastern Iowa, state parks offering hikes include Backbone, Palisades-Kepler, Lake Macbride and Pikes Peak.

“First Day Hikes are the inaugural events of the centennial celebration, and we are so excited to spend this time outdoors with park visitors,” said Todd Coffelt, DNR parks, forests and preserves bureau chief. “Even if you have never been on a winter hike or visited a state park, we invite you to join us for this special opportunity to exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.”

Last year, he said, more than 1,400 people participated in hikes on New Year’s Day across Iowa — hiking more than 1,100 total miles at dozens of state parks.

For a complete listing of First Day Hikes, visit iowadnr.gov/firstdayhikes.

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