Kick off 2021 on the right foot; First Day Hikes go virtual

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LANSING—Each year, thousands of people greet the first day of January by joining America’s State Parks First Day Hikes events. These hikes have become an annual tradition, letting people usher in the year by exercising and connecting with the outdoors.
In 2019, nearly 85,000 people from across the country rang in the new year by collectively hiking more than 176,366 miles on guided hikes. Michiganders contributed more than 3,000 of those miles.
Michigan is one of many states adapting its First Day Hikes to a virtual or self-guided format. First Day hikers can spread out in state parks or on nonmotorized trails. The goal is to have all Great Lakes State participants collectively hike, cross-county ski, ride (horse or bike) or snowshoe 2,021 miles or more New Year’s Day. Participants choose the route and distance, while setting the tone for a year of outdoor fitness and fun.
“Everyone could use a little more fresh air and one more reason to get out of the house,” said Elissa Buck, DNR Parks and Recreation Division event coordinator. “This is a great opportunity to get outdoors, start ticking a few items off your bucket list.”
Always dress appropriately for the weather. Although outdoors, please remember to stay at least 6 feet from people who don’t live in your household and wear a mask if you’re going to be near others.
To sign up, visit to RSVP. After you’ve hit the trails, you can log your miles on the same page.
Find more ways to enjoy Michigan’s winter wonderland, including snowshoeing, skiing, winter camping, ice fishing and more at
Questions? Contact Elissa Buck at 989-313-0000.