Take a hike

Texas State Parks offer New Year’s Day programs

From Press Reports
Posted 12/31/19

Texas State Parks are offering a variety of programs to encourage Texas families to start the 2010 with a hiking adventure.

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Take a hike

Texas State Parks offer New Year’s Day programs


Texas State Parks are offering a variety of programs to encourage Texas families to start the 2010 with a hiking adventure.

In a press release earlier this month, Texas Parks and Wildlife said the program, titled First Day Hikes, will help visitors commit to their New Year’s resolutions to get healthy.

“This has become such a fun event for our teams in state parks and we are once again looking forward to starting off the new year with our visitors on the trail.,” says Justin Rhodes, Deputy Director of Texas State Parks. “Whether you are a novice hiker or seasoned pro, early riser or night owl, beach enthusiast or mountaineer, alone or with your family and friends, you are likely to find the perfect opportunity to start the year in a state park.”

In Huntsville State Park, hikers will meet up at 1 p.m. behind the nature center for a three-mile guided tour of the Piney Woods. Children age 1 and up are welcome, as are dogs.

In Mission Tejas State Park, northeast of Crockett, the park will offer two-mile treks through the other side of the Piney Woods, at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., originating from park headquarters.

Lake Livingston State Park held their First Day Hike early this morning, after celebrating the new year by roasting marshmallows, drinking hot chocolate, and watching fireworks on the shore of Lake Livingston.

First Day Hikes events range from strolls on scenic trails, midnight walks, polar plunges, bike rides, and short treks with four-legged family members to more strenuous hikes for experienced visitors. Parks around the state will host events.

Join a park ranger from Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park on a 2.5-mile hike to and from the Resaca Vieja Trail starting at 9 a.m. Participants will meet at the park headquarters and are encouraged to bring sunscreen, a hat, water and comfortable shoes.

Fort Parker State Park will host a black light hike and scavenger hunt at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Beginning at 10:30 p.m., a park ranger will lead a half-mile hike and uncover the hidden treasures on the trail with a blacklight. The fun will continue with a “riddle-me-this” scavenger hunt. Then, the new year will be welcomed in around a campfire with hot chocolate and cookies.

In West Texas, visitors can work up a sweat and burn some calories while taking in the splendors of the mountains at Franklin Mountains State Park. Park rangers are hosting a 5.5-mile, moderate hike from 9 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. along the scenic trail up to Mundy’s Gap. Hikers will meet at the West Cottonwood Springs trailhead in the Tom Mays Unit and should come equipped with water, snacks and sturdy hiking shoes.

Hike with dogs looking for their “fur-ever” homes at Lake Brownwood State Park from 11 a.m.- 12 p.m. New Year’s Day. Pups from NaNook & NaKoda’s Big Paws Rescue will be at the park and visitors will have a chance to meet and hike with the dogs and even start adoption paperwork if interested. Anyone wanting to participate in the short, easy hike should meet the ranger at the Texas Oak trailhead.

At Sea Rim State Park, visitors can begin their year with a hike on the beach. Texas Master Naturalists will be serving up some luck with black-eyed peas and cornbread snacks. The event begins at 9 a.m. and is set to run until 11 a.m.

Last year, 77 state parks hosted First Day Hike events across Texas. More than 3,900 participants walked, paddled and biked 7,086 miles at a Texas State Park. Find a complete list of this year’s First Day Hike events on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s calendar page.