Wednesday, January 01, 2020

First Day Hikes

Lake Fort Smith State Park

What to know

We are pleased that so many people have made First Day Hikes an annual tradition! It is exciting for Arkansas to be such a strong participant in this nationwide event occurring in all 50 state park systems. First Day Hikes are focused on healthy habits and lifelong memories.

This year for First Day Hikes we will not offer guided hikes at any Arkansas State Park locations. However, we know the outdoors and healthy habits are more important than ever during this time, so we are encouraging self-guided walks and hikes on the "First Weekend," January 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

(Note: A few park locations are closed on the Jan. 1 holiday but will be open for Jan. 2-3. Visit the online calendar for specific parks to find out more about each park’s detailed plans.)

Hikers are encouraged to log their completed hikes and miles (that take place in State Parks on those days) at https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/first-day-hikes.We are excited to discover how many hikers cover how many miles in our State Parks that weekend! And, we will send a free Arkansas State Park hiking sticker to each person in your group!

Please note, a number of State Parks have experienced high volumes of hikers on weekends since the onset of COVID-19. Please plan to recreate responsibly using the following reminders:

· When the parking lot is full, the park is full. We encourage you to consider planning your hikes on less-visited trails or off-peak times of day. Consider having a Plan B in place.

· Practice physical distancing. Keep 6’ distance from hikers who don’t live in your immediate household.

· Have masks with you and be prepared to wear them if you need to enter a park facility.

· Stay on designated trails. Shortcuts cause damage and are unsafe.

· Practice Leave No Trace principles.

What better way to celebrate the new year than with nature! You'll be joining thousands of people nation wide with an adventurous First Day Hike! Several self-guided hikes are offered within the park. Take a stroll along the Boston Mountain Trail, or hike out to the waterfall. Be sure to pick up a trail map at the front of the visitor center and snap a selfie at the overlook! #FirstDayHikes #ARStateParks

15458 Shepard Springs Road
Mountainburg, AR 72946-0004