Start your new year off with a trek through the beautiful landscape of one of Southeast Arkansas’ three state parks. Cane Creek, Lake Chicot, and Moro Bay state parks along with other Arkansas state parks will join America’s State Parks’ nationwide invitation to enjoy First Day Hikes by offering individuals and families the opportunity to begin the new year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1.
• Lake Chicot State Park in Lake Village
Delta Woodlands Hike from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Meet at the Visitor Center. Admission is free. Join a park interpreter for a guided hike along the Delta Woodlands Nature Trail. Visitors can experience the sights and sounds of nature while making memories. Visitors will also learn about the positive and negative effects we have on nature. Cameras, field guides, and binoculars are welcome as we experience the nature at Lake Chicot State Park while enjoying a leisurely walk along the trail.
Lakeshore Hike from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m., Meet behind Campsite 127
Join a park interpreter as we take a leisurely stroll along the lakeshore in search of birds and other wildlife. This is a good time for picture taking and wildlife viewing; so field guides, binoculars, and cameras are welcome.
• Cane Creek State Park in Star City – Delta View Hike from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Meet at the Visitor Center. Admission is free. There’s nothing like a fun and refreshing hike through a serene forest to start your year off right! Join Park Interpreter Austin for this lovely stroll down our Delta View Trail that ends with a warm campfire and delicious hot chocolate and coffee. Warm clothes and comfortable hiking shoes are recommended. Binoculars and field guides will be provided, but feel free to bring your own.
• Moro Bay State Park in Jersey – Deer Run Hike from 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. or 1 p.m. until 2 p.m.
Join park staff on a leisurely stroll along the Deer Run Trail. This 1/4-mile trail is rated easy to moderate and takes you on a short loop through the mixed hardwood forest found along the banks of the Ouachita River.
“So many people start the year with resolutions about seeking more authentic experiences, as well as taking control of their own health and fitness,” said Arkansas State Parks Chief of Interpretation and Program Services Kelly Farrell. “With our First Day Hikes, you can put those good intentions right into action. We hope our visitors will take advantage of our programs so they can turn goals into accomplishments on day one of 2020. Whether our guests join a scheduled guided hike or take a self-guided trek on our 400+ miles of trails, we hope everyone enjoys being part of a nationwide celebration and become inspired to make visiting state parks a year-round habit.”
Most state parks in Arkansas are participating. Arkansas State Parks staff and volunteers will lead hikers along trails that will showcase the beauty of Arkansas. The distance and the difficulty of the trails vary from park to park, but the hikes are designed to benefit the entire family. You are encouraged to share your adventures on social media with #FirstDayHikes.
Hikers can choose guided hikes that fit their comfort levels including mountain and hill-climbing, walks along lakes, exploring trails that wind through forests, and wildlife expeditions. For more information about other opportunities to participate in an Arkansas State Park First Day Hike, go to arkansasstateparks.com for a listing of locations and times. Visitors can also receive information regarding the difficulty of trails, mileage, and proper attire.