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Contact(s): Brigit Brown - 608-219-1295 or Paul Holtan, 608-267-7517 or 608-235-2126
December 22, 2015

EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been updated with the addition of a First Day Hike to be held at the Stowers Seven Lake Trail.

MADISON -- Anyone looking to start their New Year's resolution for better health can start the year off on the right foot by participating in any of 10 First Day Hikes that will be held at Wisconsin State Park properties on January 1.

On a First Day Hike, visitors can enjoy walks through diverse, beautiful natural areas, led by park rangers or volunteers. Most hikes include additional activities such as campfires, naturalist guides, wildlife tracking, and hot beverages after the hike.

Hikers gather for a group photo at a 2014 First Day Hike at the Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.
Hikers gather for a group photo at a 2014 First Day Hike at the Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.
Photo Credit: WDNR

All 50 states are participating in the fifth annual event that invites families and friends to celebrate the New Year amid the sights, sounds and wonder of our natural world with fun, guided hikes.

On Jan. 1, 2015, 507 participants hiked 1,191 miles at 10 different Wisconsin state park properties, up from the 190 participants who hiked a total of 605.7 miles in 2014. Nationwide, 41,000 people rang in the New Year with a First Day Hike at a state park, participating in more than 990 hikes throughout the country, according to the National Association of State Park Directors.

In Wisconsin, First Day Hikes will be held at the following properties:

For helpful cold weather hiking tips, visit the American Hiking Society's website at (both links exit DNR). For a complete listing of all State Park events, including First Day Hikes, search the DNR website,, for keywords "get outdoors."  For a listing of properties, search "find a park."

All participants are encouraged to log their First Day Hike adventures on social media with the hash tag "#firstdayhikes."

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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