ODNR Encourages New Year’s Resolutions with First Day Hikes

COLUMBUS, Ohio – As the New Year approaches, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) invites Ohioans to kick off 2024 with its annual First Day Hike events. Showcasing the beauty of Ohio’s diverse landscapes, this initiative encourages individuals and families to enjoy the great outdoors, fostering a healthy start to the year on January 1st.

“The First Day Hikes program is a wonderful opportunity to embrace the beauty of Ohio’s natural wonders and jumpstart the New Year with a commitment to health and wellness,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “Whether you’re an avid hiker or a newcomer to the trails, our state parks, forests and preserves offer a variety of scenic routes for everyone to enjoy.”

First Day Hikes are family-friendly events that cater to all ages and abilities. From wooded trails to lakefront paths, these hikes are an excellent way to reconnect with nature and spend quality time making lasting memories with family and friends. Some locations will feature naturalist-led guided tours, providing insights into the natural and cultural history of the area.

First Day Hikes will take place on January 1 at 13 locations—12 state parks and one state nature preserve. Start times vary by location, and participants are encouraged to check the ODNR website for specific details about the hike they plan to attend. See the full list of ODNR First Day Hikes 2024.

ODNR’s First Day Hikes are part of the Winter Hikes Series. Participants of First Day Hikes and Winter Hikes will receive a special sticker commemorating ODNR’s 75th anniversary and the 75th anniversary of Ohio State Parks while supplies last. Find the full list of winter hikes on the ODNR Events Calendar.

The Ohio First Day Hikes program is also part of the nationwide program of First Day Hikes in America’s State Parks as there will be more than 1,000 hikes across all 50 states this year. The First Day Hikes in America’s State Parks program began three decades ago with every state participating since 2012.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.