Start the Year in the Great Outdoors

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First Day Hikes have become popular at Arkansas State Parks as part of an annual initiative in all 50 states. The free, guided hikes on New Year’s Day are designed to help people rejuvenate and connect with the outdoors through a healthy activity.

You can participate in the fun on Thursday, Jan. 1 at Petit Jean State Park near Morrilton and Lake Dardanelle State Park in Russellville.

At Petit Jean, you can participate from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the First Day Hikes – Caring for the Trail to the Natural Bridge program. This hike begins at the Seven Hollows Trailhead. Meet park interpreters to hike to Petit Jean’s Natural Bridge and assist with some light trail maintenance on the way, if you would like. The hike does not cover the entire Seven Hollows Trail, but is about 2.5 miles long. For more information, call 501-727-5441, email [email protected], or visit www.petitjeanstatepark.com.

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The First Day Hike at Lake Dardanelle is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The trek will be just short of a mile. Park interpreters will lead the excursion starting at Meadowbrook Trailhead. For more information, call 479-967-5516, email [email protected], or visit www.arkansasstateparks.com.

For any hike, don’t forget to wear sturdy shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and take some water along. For information on other State Park First Day Hikes, visit www.ArkansasStateParks.com.