First Day Hikes have become signature events for many of America’s state parks.
The North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department has four state park locations participating in First Day events on Jan. 1. First Day opportunities include a geocaching adventure, hikes and snowshoeing or cross-country skiing activities, pending snow conditions. The events are free and open to the public; state entry fees apply in the amount of $7 per vehicle per day or a current annual pass.
• Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in Mandan will be the first hike associated with Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park’s 2018 12 Month/12 Hike Challenge. Participants should dress for the day’s weather and meet at the visitor center at 1 p.m., where the group will set off on a 2-mile adventure, pending snow conditions.
• Cross Ranch State Park in Center hosts its third annual First Find, First Day Hike at 1 p.m. and takes about an hour to complete. Participants should meet at the River People’s Visitor Center to start their geocaching adventure. To find the geocaches, visitors can use their smartphone or borrow GPS units from the park. Park staff will be available to guide visitors and assist with GPS units. The event’s difficulty level is a moderate level, and the distance will be about 1 mile.
• Turtle River State Park in Grand Forks offers a 1.5-mile hiking adventure along the Whitetail Trail. Meet at the park’s chalet at 1 p.m. Leashed dogs are permitted. Snowshoes are welcome, but will not be required.
• Fort Stevenson State Park in Garrison will host a First Day Hike from 5 to 7 p.m. Those interested in taking part should meet at the visitor center. Wear warm footwear and consider bringing snowshoes or skis, pending snow conditions. Park staff will provide candle luminaries to light the trail, creating a unique experience. Participants are invited to enjoy snacks and refreshments at the visitor center following the outdoor activities.
Check park Facebook pages for the most up-to-date information.