Many Texas state parks, including Inks Lake State Park, shown here, are offering First Day activities. Photo by Mauri Elbel


The best way to start the new year?

With a hike, of course. Or a paddle, swim, bike or run.

A slew of Texas state parks are offering First Day events on New Year’s Day.

“This program has proven itself as an ideal way for people to begin a more active lifestyle in the New Year and Texas State Parks are a perfect place to achieve that goal and enjoy nature simultaneously,” said Brent Leisure, director of Texas State Parks.

The idea is to help visitors jump start their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get fit. The activities are part of a national initiative to encourage people to get outdoors on Jan. 1. Texas events range from hikes to polar plunges, bike rides, short treks with adoptable pups and meditation walks.

Pedernales Falls State Park and PAWS Shelter of Central Texas will team up for an afternoon stroll. Visitors can bring their own pets or walk with one of the dogs available for adoption. Meet at the day use picnic area at 2 p.m.

Guadalupe River State Park will host a midnight hike to Honey Creek and a First Day Big Year Bird Hike. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area will host guided hikes to the summit of the granite dome. Hill Country State Natural Area will host a First Day Hike for energetic seniors. Buescher State Park will host a hike to explore the park’s history. Mother Neff State Park, Lost Maples State Park, Palmetto State Park, Colorado Bend State Park and Inks Lake State Park will host a First Day Hikes.

For a complete list, go here.