Ignore that hangover. And that urge to sit around all day watching football.
On New Year’s Day, you can start off 2017 in the outdoors by taking part in a First Day Hike at state parks throughout Missouri and Kansas.
When you do, you’ll be part of a growing national holiday tradition. Established by the America’s State Parks organization, all 50 states now offer free guided hikes on the first day of the year.
Last year almost 55,000 people participated in the First Day Hikes, and they covered 133,000 miles.
Hikes are led by state park staff and volunteers, and are geared toward family. They are designed to draw attention to the many hiking trails that cut through America’s state parks.
Missouri and Kansas will offer plenty of options. Hikers will hit the trails at 32 Missouri state parks and 19 parks in Kansas.
Among those in the Kansas City area:
- Watkins Mill State Park (Lawson, Mo.): 10 a.m. to noon; meet at the east dam parking lot, near the campground.
- Wallace State Park (Cameron, Mo.): 1 to 2 p.m.; meet at the campground shower house parking lot.
- Knob Noster State Park (Knob Noster, Mo.): two hikes, one from 11:30 p.m. Dec. 31 to midnight, the other from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 1; both meet at the visitor center.
- Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, (Columbia, Mo.): five hikes on different trails; 10 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Clinton State Park (Lawrence, Kan.): 1 p.m., meet at the state park office.
- Perry State Park (Ozawkie, Kan.)): Hikes on the Skyline, Mad Mile and Daisy Point trails; meet at 9 a.m. at the biking/hiking trailhead.
- Pomona State Park (Vassar, Kan.) Hikes on various trails; meet at 12:30 p.m. at the state park office.
- Eisenhower State Park (Melvern Lake, Kan.): Hikes on the archery, bike and scooter trails; meet at 10 a.m. at the Five Star and West Point campgrounds
For a full list of First Day Hikes in Missouri state parks, go to the website mostateparks.com. For a list of the Kansas hikes, go to ksoutdoors.com.