For the tenth year, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails is offering a series of free guided hikes at locations around the state on New Year’s Day, including Curt Gowdy State Park.
The 11 outings are part of a national initiative called America’s State Parks First Day Hikes, which are set to take place in all 50 states.
At Curt Gowdy, a two-mile hike is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday on a trail that offers easy to moderate terrain. Dogs on leashes are permitted, and daily-use fees will be waived. Hikers should meet at the park’s visitor center.
Non-motorized trails coordinator Paul Gritten said First Day Hikes are a popular event around the state that attract hundreds of participants no matter the weather.
“It’s aimed at getting people out on the very first day of the year to get a little exercise and see the parks in the off-season,” he said.
Gritten said guided outings are a low-risk way for people to try a new activity even when wintery conditions seem daunting.
“As long as you’re dressed properly and moving, you’ll be generating heat,” he said.
This year, participants should bring their own snacks and hot beverages to enjoy during and after the hike.
Gritten said the State Parks department looks forward to the hikes and showing off the parks during a time of year when many don’t think to visit, even though they’re open year-round.
“It’s bittersweet to cross another year off the list, but it is always a good way to kick off our season,” he said.
Hikes ranging from a half-mile to 3.5 miles are also scheduled for Bear River State Park, Boysen State Park, Buffalo Bill State Park, Fort Bridger State Historic Site, Guernsey State Park, Hot Springs State Park, Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site, Pioneer Museum, Sinks Canyon State Park and South Pass City State Historic Site.
Nationwide, almost 55,000 people hiked more than 133,000 miles on New Year’s Day last year.