Oklahoma outdoors: Bundle up and go on a hike New Year's Day
Oklahoma State Parks once again will be hosting "First Day Hikes" on New Year's Day.
The free, guided hikes will be held in 22 state parks around the states. Fort Cobb State Park will hold its organized hike on Jan. 2 while the Great Plains State Park will hold its on Jan. 3.
Some of the hikes require reservations in advance while others just require showing at the appointed time and meeting place. Parking will be free for hikers at all state parks on New Years Day.
The hikes will be led by park staff and volunteers. Hikers should remember to practice safe social distancing and wear face coverings or masks. Parks officials recommend bringing water and snacks. Cameras and binoculars are suggested for wildlife viewing.
Pets on leash are welcome at most hikes, but check with the park first. Some parks are offering hot chocolate and coffee after completion of the hikes.
"First Day Hikes" are being held in the following state parks:
• Arrowhead State Park on Lake Eufaula, Canadian: The park will host two separate hikes. Meet at the park office at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. for a moderate 1.3-mile hike on the Trivia Trail. (918-339-2204)
• Beavers Bend State Park, Broken Bow: Meet at 11 a.m. at the Forest Heritage Center for an easy, 1-mile hike along the Forest Heritage Center Tree Trail. (580-494-6300)
• Lake Eufaula State Park, Eufaula: Meet at 10 a.m. at the Visitor Center for an easy, 1.5-mile hike on the Chinkapin Trail. (918-689-5311)
• Lake Wister State Park, Wister: Meet at 1 p.m. at the Ward’s Landing Shelter for a moderate, 1-mile hike along the Ward’s Landing Heart Healthy Trail. (918-655-7212)
• McGee Creek State Park, Atoka: Meet at 1 p.m. at T-Hill in the park for an easy, 1.4-mile walk through the Potapo Campground. (580-889-5822)
• Robbers Cave State Park, Wilburton: Two separate hikes will be held simultaneously, every 3 hours. Meet at the nature center at 9:30 a.m. and choose your hike. The Mountain Trail hike is a moderate-to-strenuous trail that is 3 miles long and will take approximately 2 hours to complete. The Outdoor Classroom hike is 1 mile in length and will take approximately 45 minutes. Each hike will be capped at 20 persons per hike. (918-465-25650)
• Lake Murray State Park, Ardmore: Meet at the Nature Center for two separate hikes. The first hike is at 10 a.m., and the second is at 1:30 p.m. Hikes are limited to 25 to 30 persons per hike. RSVP by email in advance to Bonnie.Farris@TravelOK.com. Reservations will be taken until hikes are full.
• Lake Thunderbird State Park, Norman: Meet at 11 a.m. at the Discovery Cove Nature Center for two different hikes. The first will take guests on the Nature Trail, while the second will take guests on a paved, accessible trail. (405-360-3572)
• Alabaster Caverns State Park, Freedom: Meet at the park office at 2 p.m. for an easy, ½-mile hike on the Cavern Trail. (580-621-3381)
• Boiling Springs State Park, Woodward: Meet at the park office at 2 p.m. for an easy, 1-mile hike on the River Trail. (580-256-7664)
• Foss State Park, Foss: Meet at the Cedar Point shelter at 2 p.m. for a moderate, 2-mile hike on the Great Western Trail. (580-592-4433)
• Quartz Mountain State Park, Lone Wolf: Two hikes are planned. For the first hike, meet at the park office at 6:15 a.m. for the sunrise hike. A car caravan will travel to the main boat ramp where hikers will amble down the beach and watch the sunrise over Lake Altus-Lugert. For the second hike, meet at the park office at 9 a.m. A car caravan will take hikers to Cedar Valley for a stroll. The hike will be approximately a mile over generally level terrain. Both hikes will be limited to the first 15 people who sign up. (580-305-1964)
• Keystone State Park, Mannford: Meet at the park office. The first hike begins at 12:01 a.m. and the second begins at 10:30 a.m. The moderate, 1.25-mile hike will be held on the Rangers Pass Trail. (918-865-4991)
• Osage Hills State Park, Pawhuska: Meet at the ball field at midnight for the first hike. A second hike will be held at 1 p.m. The easy, 1-mile hikes will be along the Creek Loop Trail. (918-336-5635)
• Grand Lake State Park, Bernice: Meet at 11 a.m. at the nature center for an easy, 1-mile hike along the paved Heart Healthy Trail. (918-257-8330)
• Greenleaf State Park, Braggs: There will be three separate hikes. Meet at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. at the park office for an easy, 1-mile hike along the paved Family Fun Trail. The 1 p.m. hike will be dog-friendly. (918-487-5196)
• Sequoyah State Park, Hulbert/Sequoyah Bay State Park, Wagoner: A full day of hikes beginning at 6:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. are planned at Sequoyah and Sequoyah Bay state parks. All participants must register for each hike. Sign up on Facebook or e-mail Angelina.Stancampiano@TravelOK.com. (918-772-2108)
• Jan. 2 at Fort Cobb State Park, Fort Cobb: Meet at 10 a.m. at the Eagles’ Nest Pavilion, CS2530 and Eagle View Road for a moderate, 3-mile hike on the Western Oaks Heart Healthy Trail. Call the park to sign up for the hike. (405-643-2249)
• Jan. 3 at Great Plains State Park, Mountain Park: Meet at 10 a.m. at the park office gift shop for a guided hike. It will start out easy on the Healthy Heart and Mountain Shade Campground Nature Trails (3/4 mile) then go through the Granite Hills Hiking Trail, a moderate trail up to 5 miles. Pets on leash are welcome.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/OklahomaStateParks or TravelOK.com.
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