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First Day Hikes chance to explore outdoors at your own pace

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska’s annual First Day Hikes are a chance to explore trails, watch wildlife, snap photos and create a lifetime of memories. This year, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission encourages families to take self-guided hikes between Jan. 1 and 3 at a Nebraska state park, state historical park, or state recreation area.

Though parks usually offer guided tours, hot chocolate and more, this year’s First Day Hikes have been adjusted to account for the current public health situation. Select parks are planning on giving the event their own unique spin, including a treasure hunt, selfie station and more on popular trails.

“First Day Hikes will be a self-guided activity to kick off the New Year and the 100th anniversary of Nebraska state parks,” said Bob Hanover, Parks Division assistant administrator. “State parks offer a place to engage in healthy outdoor activities, and we encourage everyone to start their year off right with a First Day Hike.”

To find the most up-to-date information on First Day Hikes, visit outdoornebraska.org/FirstDayHikes. Details will be added as they become available.

Those participating in First Day Hikes are encouraged to tag @NEGameandParks in their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts or by using the hashtag #NEParks100 for a chance to be featured on the agency’s social streams.

Game and Parks also recommends these tips for safe hiking during the winter season:

  • Check the weather before leaving home
  • Wear clothing appropriate for the weather
  • Dress in layers
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks
  • Don’t hike alone

People also should honor local, regional and state public health recommendations, including choosing a park close to home, only hiking with members of the same household, and staying 6 feet away from other hikers.

Nebraska’s 76 state parks, state historical parks and state recreation areas offer a variety of other opportunities for hikers and walkers to be active. Find a park to explore at outdoornebraska.org/parks or a trail to hike at outdoornebraska.org/hikingtrails.

About shawna richter-ryerson

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