First Day Hikes are a nationwide movement by state parks in all 50 United States to kick off each new year by exploring the great outdoors. Every year on January 1st, state parks from “California to the New York Island” host free ranger-guided and self-guided hikes on trails of all kinds. Terrain ranges from flat and easy to hilly and challenging, on both paved and rural trails. Most of the First Day Hikes are friendly to most anyone without hiking experience, featuring easy loops around 1 mile or so.

Here are some First Day Hikes happening across Texas this upcoming January 1:

First Day Hikes Near Dallas, TX

You can explore Cedar Hill State Park and Cleburne State Park with a guided hike, or explore the unique and amazing Dinosaur Track Site Hike at Dinosaur Valley State Park with a self-guided hike. Did you know that over a hundred new tracks were uncovered in the riverbed due to the drought this year?

First Day Hikes Near Austin, TX

You can experience hiking the Cedar Chopper Trail at Colorado Bend State Park with a guided hike, do a self-guided hike at Palmetto State Park, or take part in the Bike, Run and Paddle event at Inks Lake State Park around the Austin area.

First Day Hikes Near San Antonio, TX

Explore Choke Canyon State Park with a guided birdwatching hike on the lake, or take a self-guided hike at Guadalupe River State Park. You also can join in on a self-guided scavenger hunt at Lake Corpus Christi State Park.

First Day Hikes Near Houston, TX

Discover new sights and sounds around the famous Brazos River on a guided hike in Stephen F. Austin State Park, kick off the 100-year celebration at Huntsville State Park with a hike, or bring your fur baby along on the First Day Dog Walk at Sheldon Lake State Park.

Other First Day Hikes In Texas

You can kick off the new year in spooky style with a guided Midnight Hike at San Angelo State Park or Lake Mineral Wells State Park on New Year’s Eve. You can also go on a spectacular guided sunset hike at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, or go for a serious First Day Hike at Franklin Mountains State Park in West Texas.

You check out the Texas Parks & Wildlife event calendar for a full list of First Day events. Even if you don’t find an official First Day Hike near you, there are public trails all over the place. Check out your local lake, you’re sure to find a trailhead to get out and explore. The weather outlook is fantastic across most of the state, and you may even be hiking in your t-shirt this New Year’s Day – a rarity this time of year, so get outside and kick the new year off right!

Simon Trask
Author: Simon Trask

Simon loves Texas and the Great Outdoors. From East Texas pines to West Texas mountains, he calls North Texas home but is always ready to float a river in Hill Country or go fishing on the Gulf Coast. Simon loves camping and road trips as well, whether it's cruising Highway 287, 82, 69 or 281, that's the true way to see what Texas is all about!

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