On Jan.1, annual First Day Hikes will take place at 31 state parks and historic sites across Missouri.

Participants can choose from 34 free, guided hikes that range in difficulty from easy to moderate, cover distances up to seven and a half miles and use a variety of trails in every region of the state.

In its eighth year, the annual event is part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes effort, which gives people the opportunity to start the year off right with an outdoor hike at a state park. A list of state parks with guided First Day Hikes and other related activities is available at mostateparks.com/FirstDayHikes.

“First Day Hikes is a national event encouraging friends and families to push back from the dinner table, turn off the television and take a hike in their favorite state park,” said Ben Ellis, director of the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks. “What better way to start off a new year than fresh air, friends and the beauty of nature. Hope to see you on the trail New Year’s Day!”

Nationwide last year, almost 55,000 people took part in guided hikes that covered more than 133,000 miles for the First Day Hikes in state parks in all 50 states. Details on every state’s 2018 hikes are located at naspd.org. As in the past, participants are encouraged to log their adventures on social media with #FirstDayHikes.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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