Bid 2021 Adieu with a First Day Hike in 2022

Published 12:12 am Wednesday, December 29, 2021

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AUSTIN— Welcome 2022 with a First Day Hike at one of 89 Texas State Parks. Parks statewide will be hosting a variety of self-guided and guided events so visitors can walk, bike or paddle their way into the new year.

First Day Hikes at Texas’ state parks and natural areas aim to help visitors commit to their New Year’s resolutions to get healthy. Last year, 2,668 visitors ushered in 2021 by hiking, biking and riding a total of 8,173 miles statewide. Find a list of this year’s First Day Hikes on the TPWD calendar page.

Join park staff and the Sabine-Neches chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists for a hike on the beach to get the year started off on the right foot at Sea Rim State Park from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 1, 2022. When the hike is over, enjoy traditional cabbage, cornbread, and black-eyed peas for some New Year’s good luck.

“Each new year brings about new opportunities and a fresh start for a new adventure,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “Many first-time park users chose state parks last year and discovered the joys of getting outdoors.  We cannot wait to welcome those visitors back again in 2022.  I want to invite all visitors, new and returning, to join us in beginning 2022 with a First Day Hike at your favorite Texas State Park.”

Trails at Texas State Parks range in length and difficulty levels across the state. Some short, easy trails are perfect for family-friendly scenic strolls, while others are more strenuous for experienced hikers. Trail maps for all Texas State Parks can be found on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) website and individual park webpages.

Anyone planning a trip to a Texas State Park is encouraged to reserve a day pass in advance since some parks are expected to reach their capacity limit. Reserve day passes online through the TPWD reservation website or by calling (512) 389-8900.

Start the year off with a splash at the 6th annual Dino Dive from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Dinosaur Valley State Park. Plungers will meet at the Rock Beach by the Main Track Site and are encouraged to bring a towel, water, change of clothes, and a costume or fun outfit. Participants must register online to receive a medal for jumping into the frigid Paluxy River. All proceeds benefit Dinosaur Valley’s Friends group.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Fort Parker State Park with a late-night hike. The easy half-mile guided hike starts at 10:30 p.m., Dec. 31, exploring the Bur Oak Trail with black lights. The fun will continue with a “Riddle-Me-This” scavenger hunt until 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1, 2022. The night will conclude at a campfire with hot chocolate and cookies. Visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight, wear closed-toe shoes and dress for the weather.

Put the pedal to the metal for a First Day Bike Ride at San Angelo State Park. This guided bike ride begins at 2 p.m., Jan. 1, and visitors must bring their own bike and helmet to participate. Participants enter through the South Gatehouse located at 362 South FM 2288, San Angelo, TX, 76901, then meet at the Chaparral Pavilion.

For more information about hiking or other activities in Texas State Parks, visit