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CPW News Release
CPW News Release
Start the new year off right with a First Day Hike at a Colorado state park on January 1

Joey Livingston
Statewide Public Information Officer
303-345-4658 /

Start the new year off right with a First Day Hike at a Colorado state park on January 1

DENVER –  First Day Hikes are a chance to get a jump start on your New Year’s resolutions by exercising in nature and experiencing the beautiful outdoor resources that Colorado has to offer. Participating state parks offer unique opportunities to get outdoors and learn about nature with guided hikes, scavenger hunts, prizes and more.

About First Day Hikes
  • Hikes ​​are free but park visitors must possess a valid state park pass. A daily vehicle parks pass will be $10 at all state parks beginning January 1. 
  • Guided hikes may require a reservation prior to the hike. Check the park’s webpage for additional details. ​
  • Dress appropriately! Wear warm clothes and dress in layers. If trails are icy or snowy consider bringing trekking poles, snowshoes or shoe spikes.
  • Hikes will vary in skill level and length depending on location and weather conditions.​​​​
  • Bring snacks, water, extra clothing, and hiking shoes with good traction.
  • Please pack out all your trash and leave no trace.
Find a 2023​ First Day Hike event near you

For a list of participating parks, visit the CPW Event Calendar, see the featured hikes below or check out specific park activities on each state park’s social media account. Links are listed on the social media page.  
Featured hikes for 2023

Arkansas Headwaters - North Fourmile Recreation Area
A short, fun guided hike will be conducted in the scenic northern Fourmile Recreation Area in the area of the Old Midland Railroad Grade. The loop will be designed so that hiking will be done on the existing roads, trails, and major washes in the area with little cross-country foot travel done in deep snow. The route will be adjusted to the snow conditions on the day of the event. We plan to hike out to the northeast on Forest Service Road #376A, with sweeping views of the southern Upper Arkansas Valley, the southern Sawatch Range, and into the heart of the North Fourmile Recreation Area and Big Sandy Wash. This hike is offered to you at no charge and will be led by AHRA Volunteer Naturalists Bob Hickey and Linda Julia.  

Registration is required at this link.

Mueller State Park
Elk Meadow Hike - Soak in the beauty of Pikes Peak as you hike in full view of this gorgeous mountain! Elk Meadow is two miles of rolling hills and deep forest. This guided hike will be led by our wonderful Volunteer Naturalist Rose. Be prepared for the weather by dressing warm and in layers! Bring water and a snack.

Wapiti Hike - Enjoy a natural history hike with Volunteer Naturalist Michael on this one mile trail. Explore Mueller in all its beauty and learn about its diversity of plants and animals.

Forest Bathing Hike - Let nature welcome you into the new year on the 4th Annual First Day Forest Bathing Walk! Immerse yourself in the wonder and healing that nature offers through this mindfulness practice that is gaining popularity worldwide. Join Forest Therapy Guide and Naturalist Jane on a one mile walk with activities to de-stress, quiet the mind, open the senses and get closer to the forest, yourself and others. This experience closes with a tea brewed from local plants. Bring a sit pad/stool if you have one, water and dress for changing weather (snow boots and waterproof pants suggested). This experience is available for a maximum of 14 people ages 12 and up. You must pre-register by calling the Mueller State Park visitors center at 719-687-2366 ext. 0. This event will be rescheduled if it’s below 28 degrees.

St. Vrain State Park          
St. Vrain State Park will be leading two guided hikes on New Year's Day! Both hikes will begin from the Blue Heron Reservoir parking lot. The first will begin at 9 a.m. and follow the two mile Pelican Pond Trail. The second will begin at 11 a.m. and follow the two mile Blue Heron Trail. Those that complete a hike will receive free snacks, drinks, and swag while sitting around a campfire.

Ridgway State Park          
Join us for a guided hike on Forest Discovery Trail right near the Ridgway State Park Visitor Center. Snowshoes are available to borrow for free. Hot drinks and a few giveaway items will be available in the Visitor Center before and after the hike. The hike is free, but a state parks pass is required to enter the park.

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park
Visit the Connected Lakes section of James M. Robb Colorado River State Park for a self-guided scavenger hunt on New Year's Day! Begin at Kingfisher Parking Lot and explore on your trail of choice. An information table and educational ‘skins & skulls display’ will be available along with giveaway items!

Steamboat Lake
Please join us and start the new year off on the right foot with a guided snowshoe hike of the one mile Tombstone Trail. Please dress for cold outdoor conditions and wear layers. If you have your own snowshoes please bring them. If you don't, we have some at the park for you to borrow. The hike begins at the Steamboat Lake visitor center at 10:30 a.m. There will be hot drinks on the back patio afterwards.

Barr Lake State Park        
Barr Lake State Park invites our community to bring in 2023 with a healthy start by heading outside to enjoy the trails in our Colorado State Park. First Day Hikes offer a chance to start the new year right by getting out for some exercise in nature.

State Forest State Park  
Hike or snowshoe the Gould Loop on a guided hike with a State Forest State Park ranger!

Yampa River and Elkhead State Parks
Yampa River and Elkhead Reservoir will host a self-guided scavenger hunt at both parks on January 1. Check the park's social media page for a list of scavenger hunt items to hike out, search for and photograph. Show your findings at the Yampa River Headquarters office to receive some First Day Hike swag.

First Day Hikes is a program of free, guided hikes offered by the fifty state park systems of the United States each year on New Year's Day. The program began locally in Massachusetts in 1992 and then went nationwide in 2012 under the guidance of the America's State Parks alliance.

The hikes are intended to promote an alternate way of celebrating the new year by going outside, getting some exercise, and experiencing local nature and history. In 2017, for instance, more than 62,000 people participated in First Day Hikes, covering over 110,000 miles (180,000 km) on some 1,300 hikes around the nation.

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CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 43 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.
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