Jumpstart your new year on a First Day Hike - MetroFamily Magazine
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Jumpstart your new year on a First Day Hike

First Day Walk at Scissortail Park

by Lindsay Cuomo

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

If you’re resolving to move or spend more time as a family, you are in luck! State and city parks around the nation are once again hosting First Day Hikes as part of an initiative to encourage families to be active outdoors. Whether your family explores a metro park or travels to one of the 20-plus hikes planned around the state, First Day Hikes are a fun way to kick off the new year and explore the natural beauty of the winter season.

Fun facts about First Day Hikes – In 2020, participants hiked enough miles to make seven trips around the equator and burned enough calories to equal an estimated 41,348 fast-food burgers!!

In 2021, First Day Hikes, like many other events in our communities, had a different look with self-guided options and trail challenges that encouraged social distancing. To kick off 2022, Oklahoma park staff are inviting families to join in on guided hikes that explore popular hiking trails. The hikes are offered on a few different days in early January at varying times with options for distance and degree of difficulty to match ranging skill levels.

Here are 6 hikes within two hours of the OKC metro:

Fort Cobb State Park – Fort Cobb

  • When: Jan. 8 @ 10 a.m.
  • Where: Eagle’s Nest Pavilion
  •  Who: All ages and leashed pets welcome
  •  Distance: Western Oaks Heart Healthy Trail (3 miles)

Roman Nose State Park – Watonga

  • When: Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m.
  • Where: Park lodge
  • Who: All ages and leashed pets welcome
  • Distance: Canyon Spur (1.5 mile)

Keystone State Park – Sand Springs

  • When: Jan. 1 @ 10:30 a.m.
  • Where: Park office
  • Who: All ages and leashed pets welcome
  • Distance: Rangers Pass Trail ((1.25 mile)

Lake Murray State Park – Ardmore

  • When: Jan. 1 @ 10 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
  • Where: Lake Murray Nature Center
  • Who: All ages and leashed pets welcome
  • Distance: 1 mile

Foss State Park – Foss

  • When: Jan. 1 @ 2 p.m.
  • Where: Cedar Point shelter above the marina
  • Who: All ages and leashed pets welcome
  • Distance: Great Western Heart Healthy Trail (2 miles)

Great Plains State Park – Mountain Park

  • When: Jan. 2 @ 10 a.m.
  • Where: Park office
  • Who: All ages and leashed pets welcome
  • Distance: Two options – Upper Mountain entrance (2 miles), Dam round trip (5-6 miles)

Close to home options

Scissortail Park – Oklahoma City

  • When: Jan. 1 @ 9 a.m.
  • Where:
  • Who: All ages and leashed pets are welcome
  • Distance:

Lake Thunderbird State Park – Norman

  • When: Jan. 1 @ 10 a.m.
  • Where: Meet at the Discovery Cove Nature Center
  • Who: All ages and leashed pets are welcome
  • Distance: Two options (easy to moderate) – Fawns Rest Accessible Trail (0.5 miles) or Nature Center Trail (2 miles)

If your family participates in a First Day Hike, whether at one of these events or if you simply head out on your own, tag us in your photos on social media using the hashtag #okcfamilyfun and @metrofamilyokc! We’d love to see your family out and about having fun together making memories.

Safety tips to cold-weather hiking from the American Hiking Society

  • Dress in layers with a moisture-wicking base layer
  • Wear a hat
  • Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Don’t skip the sunscreen
  • If you journey out on your own, be sure to prepare for shorter days with less usable daylight.
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