Texas State Parks See Record Attendance at 2024 First Day Hikes

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AUSTIN— Texas State Parks kicked off 2024 in grand style by breaking not only its historical participation numbers but also by having the most events, participants and miles hiked of any state.

“What a pleasant surprise to hear that Texans came in droves to kick off the new year at a Texas State Park,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “We topped the record-setting centennial kickoff numbers of 2023, proving that Texas has made First Day Hikes a family tradition. Thanks to all who joined us, and we look forward to breaking records for a third straight year in 2025!”

On Jan. 1, 81 Texas State Parks hosted a total of 177 events where 8,729 participants hiked, biked, swam and paddled a record 17,284 miles. This breaks the statewide record set last year when nearly 8,000 folks reached a cumulative 17,190 miles.

Mother Neff State Park near Waco had the most participants on New Year’s Day with 597, followed closely behind by Dinosaur Valley State Park with 578.

Other parks that drew high visitation include Brazos Bend State Park with 544, Huntsville State Park with 444 and Cedar Hill State Park with 417 participants.

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

Outdoor fun doesn’t have to stop now that the new year has begun. There are a range of trails at Texas State Parks for everyone. Some short, easy trails are perfect for family-friendly scenic strolls, while more strenuous ones can challenge experienced hikers. Trail maps for all Texas State Parks can be found on TPWD’s website, the recently redesigned official Texas State Park app and individual park webpages.

Find more information about local Texas State Parks at http://texasstateparks.org