Usher in 2024 with other outdoor lovers at one of the many First Day Hikes offered Jan. 1 at Indiana’s state parks, forests, and lakes.

First Day Hikes are a healthy way to start 2024. They offer a chance to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature, and connect with friends. Nearly all state parks and lakes, as well as some state forests, will offer hikes.

The hikes are organized by Indiana State Parks in cooperation with America’s State Parks. They will take place in all 50 states. First Day Hikes originated more than 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. The program was launched to foster healthy lifestyles and promote year-round recreation at state parks.

First Day hikes near us will be held at the Indiana Dunes State Park.  Meet at the Nature Center for a hike along Trail 7 from 10 a.m. to noon CT. See the park landscapes and learn about park history. Enjoy snacks and a cozy campfire provided by Friends of the Indiana Dunes.

At Pokagon State Park meet at the CCC Shelter at 2 p.m. for a 2.5-mile hike. A bonfire and refreshments will be available afterward. Park in the main beach parking lot or the lot by the basketball courts.

To participate in the hike at Potato Creek State Park, meet at the Quaking Aspen parking lot at 2 p.m. for a 1-mile hike around Worster Lake. Bring binoculars to view eagles and other wildlife. 

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