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First day of the New Year means "First Day Hike" for many

Posted at 5:22 PM, Jan 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-01 18:22:58-05
  • Wisconsin DNR is making a push to get more people outside in 2024 by their "First Day Hike" program.
  • State parks had hot chocolate and warming fires on New Year's Day.
  • Park Ranger Quinn Henesler said that Wisconsin DNR has put on the promotion for a few years and people are starting to make it a tradition.

A new year can bring new activities, maybe even hiking. Wisconsin DNR is continuing a program to try to get more people outside at the beginning of 2024.
Adam Bruce and Brooke Buege are out with their two dogs at Point Beach State Forest in Manitowoc County on this New Year's Day.

"I feel like there's a lot of hustle and bustle around the holidays,” Buege said. “Sometimes it can be nice to just get away from that for a moment."

They are taking part in Wisconsin DNR's "first day hike program" which promotes being outside on New Year's Day through providing warming fires and hot chocolate at the end of the trails.

"It's a great way to get people involved,” Bruce said. “It is a good reminder in this part of Wisconsin, we have so many good parks."

Park Ranger, Quinn Henseler says Wisconsin DNR has done the program for a few years and some people are starting a tradition of hiking on New Year's Day

"Starting memories with families and friends, getting outdoors,” she said. “That's the main part of the incentive is just to get outside and enjoy the outdoors."

It's a new year, but Bruce says it's the same chance to discover Wisconsin’s beauty in a healthy way.

"It's a good way to mentally prepare what you want to do that upcoming year,” said Bruce. “I think the promotion really helps in getting more people enjoying what's in their backyards."

Wisconsin DNR tells me that the "first day hike" also gives people the chance to stop out and get their annual vehicle permission pass which allows you to park at every state park in Wisconsin.