Texas State Parks Welcomes 4,440 Hikers New Year’s Day for First Day Hikes

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AUSTIN— Across the state, 4,440 Texans laced up their hiking shoes and hit the trail on New Year’s Day for a First Day Hike at a Texas State Park. They hiked, biked and paddled 8,764 miles to commemorate the start of 2022. Throughout the day, 69 Texas State Parks hosted 128 self-guided and guided hikes.

“It was great to hear that so many families chose state parks to start the new year once again,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “First Day Hikes has truly become a tradition in Texas, and I enjoy reading the stories shared by our guests.  I look forward to setting a new record for hikers and miles to kick off 2023 when we celebrate 100 years of Texas State Parks. Make plans to join us throughout 2022 and make new memories, everyone!”

Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, about an hour southwest of Fort Worth, had the most participants for the third year in a row with 582 visitors. In addition to a traditional hike, they also hosted a midnight hike and a “First Day Dino Dive.”

Below are some highlights from the field for this year’s First Day Hike events:

  • At Caprock Canyons State Park, it was a chilly 25 degrees but overall, the weather cooperated, and everyone enjoyed their First Day Hikes.  In total, 33 people joined the guided hike and some continued hiking after finishing the guided portion.

  • A first grader at Colorado Bend State Park recorded 14,456 steps on his Fitbit.

  • A hiker at Guadalupe River State Park shared photos from her hike with park staff. She said her son, who recently passed away, sends her hearts. During her hike she saw a heart-shaped rock.  She thanked the staff for recommending the trail. 
  • Even with the threat of bad weather and the busy-ness of the holidays, attendance was good for the First Day Hike at Village Creek State Park. A steady stream of people signed up and reported hiked miles. 

For more information about hiking or other activities in Texas State Parks, visit http://www.texasstateparks.org.

Photos of First Day Hikes at Texas State Parks can be found on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Flickr page.