Arkansas State Parks to celebrate the new year with First Day Hikes

December 20, 2022                                              
Contact: Chief of Communications Jeff LeMaster
501-324-9611 | [email protected]

First Day Hike image of the sticker that is green and white, has two hikers and says Hike Arkansas State Parks

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) – Arkansas State Parks encourages Arkansans to start the new year on the right foot with First Day Hikes on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. Led by America’s State Parks, First Day Hikes encourage everyone to celebrate the new year with time spent outdoors, focusing on healthy habits and lifelong memories.
“Visiting a state park is a great way to get outside, enjoy nature and welcome the new year with family and friends,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.
This nationwide annual tradition targets the first of January and the start of a new year to promote year-round recreation and healthy lifestyles that can be experienced locally in state parks.
“First Day Hikes have become a family tradition for many Arkansans,” said Shea Lewis, director of Arkansas State Parks. “Some families visit the same park every year while others pick a new park to visit each year. We applaud their efforts and challenge all Arkansans to join in and start a First Day Hikes tradition of their own.”
Visitors to Arkansas State Parks can participate in the initiative by taking a self-guided hike or going on a ranger-led hike on the first day of the year or “First Weekend” (Dec. 31- Jan.2). Participants can get a free sticker commemorating Arkansas State Parks’ centennial this year in one of two ways: going on a guided hike at a state park on Jan. 1 and receiving the sticker from the park or completing a self-guided hike at a state park and logging their miles at
“Whether visitors explore on their own or go on a guided hike, guests will have the opportunity to help us celebrate our centennial year,” said Kelly Farrell, chief of interpretation. “Our hope is that 2023 is a year of discovery and exploration and our guests’ curiosity fuels their connection to state parks and their lifelong memories.”
Visitors can find scheduled guided hikes, tips to recreate responsibly, what to bring and how to share your First Day Hike photos and/or videos at Participants can also use #ARStateParks and #FirstDayHikes to share on social media. Please note, a few park locations are closed on the Jan. 1 holiday but will reopen on Jan. 2.

Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism

The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism protects and promotes our state’s natural, cultural and historic assets, contributing to a thriving economy and high quality of life. It is made up of three divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Tourism. Stacy Hurst serves as the cabinet secretary for the department.


About Arkansas State Parks

Arkansas State Parks is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism. Arkansas state parks and museums cover 55,006 acres of forest, wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation facilities, and unique historic and cultural resources. Established in 1923, Arkansas State Parks preserve special places for future generations, provide quality recreation and education opportunities, enhance the state’s economy through tourism, and provide leadership in resource conservation. Arkansas State Parks serves more than 9 million visitors annually. Connect with ASP on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and visit and to learn more.