Stride into 2020 with a First Day Hike

DENVER — Colorado Parks & Wildlife is ringing in the new year by again participating in America’s State Parks First Day Hikes on Wednesday, Jan. 1.

More than 30 events have been slated at state parks across Colorado, with opportunities for people of all ages.

Dan Prenzlow, director of Parks & Wildlife, said the First Day Hikes have become increasingly popular as a way to spend time in nature with friends and family.

“What better way to celebrate than with a nice park stroll and a hot cup of cocoa?” he said. “We’ll see you out there!”

Coloradans can find First Day Hikes of varying distances and levels of difficulty by visiting cpw.state.co.us. The choices include organized hikes with experienced naturalists as well as self-led walks. Bikers and horseback riders can also participate, and visitors can also anticipate sledding, snowshoeing, ice skating and cross-country skiing opportunities. Snowshoes, fat bikes and ice fishing equipment are available at certain parks.

 

Locally, hikes are planned at both Cherry Creek and Barr Lake state parks. Barr Lake will offer an easy, three-mile hike from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Many species of birds including bald eagles can be observed on the hike and spotting scopes will be available. Dogs are welcome.

Participants should meet at the Barr Lake Nature Center, 13401 Picadilly Road, Brighton. For more information, call (303)659-6005 or e-mail to .

Cherry Creek State Park will host a guided hike from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. starting at the Campground Office, 4201 S. Parker Road, Aurora. No dogs are allowed at Cherry Creek.

For more information, call (303)766-6562.

All hikes are free of charge but a valid park pass is required.

First Day Hikes is a national program created more than 25 years ago to encourage healthy lifestyles and stewardship of natural resources through outdoor recreation. According to the National Association of State Park Directors, more than 72,700 people across the nation joined guided First Day Hikes in 2019, collectively hiking more than 150,000 miles.

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