New Year's Day hikes planned

Lake Wister // Photo by Amanda Corbin
News Reporter

First Day Hikes will be held at Oklahoma State Parks to start off 2019 on the right foot.

These hikes are part of the America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative that takes place in all 50 states and encourages individuals and families to stay active with a hike outdoors. Whatever your motivation, an Oklahoma hike makes for a New Year’s Day you won’t regret. 

“Our Oklahoma State Parks are the perfect resource for outdoor recreation for visitors of all ages,” said Kris Marek, director of state parks.

“And for 2019, we’re excited to have designated Heart Healthy Trails at some of the state parks for our New Year’s Day hikes.  We encourage guests to visit a state park year-round for not only physical, but mental health and wellness.”

Twenty state parks will host hikes on New Year’s Day. Park staff and volunteers will lead the free hikes.Embark on a simple walk close to geological wonders at Alabaster Caverns, encounter wildlife and waterside views on the trails near Grand Lake and everything in between on one of these invigorating excursions. With 20 participating parks across the state, there’s sure to be a hike happening near you. Dress warm, wear sturdy shoes and get ready to develop a healthy habit while discovering Oklahoma’s abundant nature.

The Lake Wister State Park walk begins at 1 p.m. New Year's Day.

Walkers will meet at the Wards Landing campground. It is a walk for all ages and will last a mile. The degree of difficulty is listed as moderate. Pets on leash will be allowed. Organizers encourage walkers to bring a water bottle, camera, binoculars and to wear weather-appropriate clothing.

Other walks in the Southeast portion of the state will be held at Robbers Cave State Park, Lake Eufaula State Park, Beavers Bend State Park and McGee Creek State Park.

The Robbers Cave hikes will start at 9:30 a.m. with walkers meeting in Community Room 1. There will be two hikes — an easy hike and strenuous hike. It is for all ages and pets on a leash are allowed. The first hike is one mile and the second is three miles. Food and refreshments will be provided. There will also be a drawing for a hiking stick and a Robbers Cave State Park medallion. Walkers are encouraged to bring a camera, binoculars and hiking stick.

The Lake Eufaula State Park hike begins at 10 a.m. with walkers meeting in the Arrowhead Park Office. They will hike the Trivia Trail, which is of moderate degree of difficulty. It is all ages and pets on a leash are allowed. It will travel a half of a mile. Walkers are encouraged to bring a water bottle, binoculars, camera and hiking stick.

The Beavers Bend State Park hike begins at 11 a.m. with walkers meeting in the Forest Heritage Center. They will travel along the Tree Trail, which is a mile long. It is easy walking with all ages welcome. Pets on a leash will be allowed. Walkers are encouraged to bring water, snacks, binoculars and a cameron. Following the hike, they will meet at the pavilion fireplace next to the Heritage Center for hot dogs, chips, cookies and drinks. A hay ride will occur after lunch.

The McGee Creek STate Park will start at 1 p.m. with walkers meeting in the Potapo Campground at T-Hill. They will walk the T-Hill Loop, a trail of one and four tenths of a mile. It is easy to moderate walking, open to all ages and pets on a leash are allowed. Water, hot chocolate and snacks will be served before and after the hike.

For more First Day Hikes information, visit