Start a new tradition with a first day hike at Kansas state parks

PRATT, Kan. – We start each year with a sense of optimism – new year, new day, new beginning. So how about starting a new tradition that’s not only fun but healthy – start 2017 with a First Day Hike at one of Kansas’ 26 state parks. Kansas state parks and trails are open year-round, and winter can be a fantastic time to visit; the winter landscape is beautiful, quiet and peaceful, wildlife species are visible as they busily search for food, and summer crowds are a distant memory.

If you’re not familiar with Kansas’ state park trails but would like to learn, you’ll find just what you’re looking for at a First Day Hike event, Jan. 1, 2017. First Day Hike events will include guided hikes, educational programs and refreshments. Hikers should wear warm clothing and good trail footwear and bring water, a camera and binoculars. Pets are welcome, but must be leashed at all times. Don’t forget your favorite animal identification guides, too. Events in and near Osage County include:

Pomona State Park – This hike will feature multiple areas. Hikers should meet at the Pomona State Park office at 12:30 p.m. Trails are rated as easy and are 4.5-5 miles long. Call the park office at 785-828-4933 for more information.

Eisenhower State Park – This hike will feature the archery, bike and scooter trails, which are rated easy to moderate and are 1 to 2 miles long. Hikers should meet at Five Star and West Point campgrounds at 10 a.m. Coffee will be provided. Call the park office at 785-528-4102 for more information.

Prairie Spirit Trail State Park – This event will feature the Prairie Spirit Trail and Flint Hills Nature Trail. Hikers should meet at the Garnett Trailhead at 11 a.m. for the Prairie Spirit Trail hike, which is rated as easy. Hikers should meet at the large shelter in Ottawa’s Forest Park at 2 p.m. for the Flint Hills Nature Trail hike. Call the Prairie Spirit Trail park office at 785-448-2627 for more information.

Perry State Park – This hike will feature Skyline, Mad Mile and Daisy Point trails. Hikers will meet at Perry State Park biking and hiking trailhead at 9 a.m. Trails are rated as easy to moderate and are 2.5-5.5 miles long. Leashed pets are welcome. Call the park office at 785-246-3449 for more information.


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