Texas Parks & Wildlife promotes ‘First Day Hikes’ to start the new year

Simple Health
FILE - The lower falls at McKinney Falls State Park_494865

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Many start the new year with resolutions, and many of those resolutions are health goals.

A top thought is to go to the gym, but the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wants you to consider trading treadmills for trails to start 2020.

Texas State Parks will host a variety of programs on New Year’s Day which range from scenic trails to midnight walks, bike rides and more.

Justin Rhodes, Deputy Director of Texas State Parks said in the department’s release:

This has become such a fun event for our teams in state parks and we are once again looking forward to starting off the new year with our visitors on the trail … Whether you are a novice hiker or seasoned pro, early riser or night owl, beach enthusiast or mountaineer, alone or with your family and friends, you are likely to find the perfect opportunity to start the year in a state park.


For Austinites, their “first day hike” starts the night before.

McKinney Falls State Park_88885

McKinney Falls State Park will host a New Year’s Eve Night Hike. Unfortunately, ticket reservations are already sold out.

For those who reserved, remember to bring:

  • A flashlight
  • Water
  • Close-toed shoes
  • Appropriate clothes for the weather

Park officials will meet everyone at the playground.

Pedernales Falls State Park, just west of Dripping Springs, is another park to consider that’s close to Austin.

Its “first day hike” is on Jan. 1. If you’re up late tonight, they have multiple hikes scheduled throughout the morning into early afternoon:

8:00 a.m. – Pedernales Falls Hike 

  • 1.5 Miles – Difficult terrain – rocky and steep
  • Meet up at the Falls parking lot

10:30 a.m. – Twin Falls Nature Trail Hike

  • .5 Miles – Moderate Terrain – rocky
  • Meet up at the Twin Falls trailhead

1:00 p.m. – Hackenberg Loop Trail

  • 1.5 Miles – Easy Terrain – sandy, rocky and uneven
  • Meet at the Falls parking lot

Visit the department’s website for the full list of state parks and natural areas.

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