Event Calendar Banner 2021

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

First Day Hike- Various Locations

January 1 @ 6:00 am - 8:30 pm


A First Day Hike is a great way to enter the new year. Engage your family in enjoying the outdoors and our natural resources together.

  • Celebrate with a 2024 first day hike around Fowler Lake in Oconomowoc with the Oconomowoc Rotary for the Oconomowoc Splash Pad.
      • Oconomowoc Rotarians invite walkers to join them and community members in a walk for giving. It’s the 2nd annual event to raise funds. Gather at the GREEN at 10 am on New Years Day. Warming bonfire and snacks follow the walk.
      • 10 am to 12 pm
      • More details to come HERE.
  • Celebrate with a first day hike at Lapham Peak.
      • Noon
        • Family Friendly 1 mile paved path
        • 2 mile wooded path
        • 3.5 mile mostly wooded path
  • Celebrate with a first day hike at Retzer Nature Center.
      • Open year-round from sunrise to 10:00 p.m.
      • Check out their variety of hiking trail experiences HERE.
  • Celebrate the first day of 2024 at the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit at the Scuppernong Trail Head. Choose between a 2.3, 4, or 5 mile loop and start the new year in nature!
  • Kick off the new year at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area for their annual First Day Hike.
      • Meet at Shelter 1, where hot cocoa and s’mores may be purchased
      • Trail is relatively flat, but may have steeper points along the way
      • 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
      • Find details HERE.
  • The DNR has self-guided First Day Hikes in lieu of a group hike.
      • Read the full press release here. An excerpt:

 Celebrate the new year by stepping into the outdoors with a First Day Hike. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will join in the annual adventure sponsored by America’s State Parks on New Year’s Day for the 11th year in a row.

Each year Wisconsinites join the thousands of people across the nation to kick off the new year by hiking at state parks, forests or trails on New Year’s Day. These hikes provide a way for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature. For many it has become a cherished tradition.

“Getting active outdoors through hiking or other forms of winter recreation is a great way to connect with family and friends in a healthy way. Start the year out right with a hike at a Wisconsin state park,” said Steve Schmelzer, DNR Park and Recreation Management Program Bureau Director.

With over 22 million visitors, Wisconsin state parks, forests and trails feature some of the Midwest’s best scenery. The change in seasons doesn’t mean an end to exploring the outdoors. Wisconsin’s beautiful state parks, forests and trails offer opportunities to get outdoors – even in winter.

Guided hikes will be available at several properties across the state including Newport, Roche-a-Cri, Buckhorn, Governor Thompson, Amnicon Falls and Mirror Lake state parks as well as at Richard Bong State Recreation Area and the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center.

Participants are also welcome to create their own first day hikes by exploring Wisconsin’s state parks open year-round, each offering a variety of scenic winter hiking opportunities to explore. Visit the DNR’s Find A Park webpage to locate a park near you.

First day hike participants are invited to share their adventures using the hashtags #OutWiGo and #FirstDayHike on Instagram.

Additional opportunities to hike by moonlight or candlelight trails will be held throughout the winter. For a complete listing of first day hikes and candlelight events, check out the DNR events calendar here.

Properties may have restroom facilities and warming shelters available during these events. To help slow the spread of COVID-19, visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing and wear a face covering if social distancing cannot be followed.

vehicle admission sticker is required to visit state park system properties. Stickers can be purchased online, at individual properties via self-registration stations, electronic kiosks or drive-up window service (select properties only).

Find more information about Wisconsin state parks, locate a park near you or find a map to plan your First Day Hike here.

  • Waukesha County Parks Department invites all to spend January 1 outdoors taking a hike at one of their county parks. This is also a self-guided hike with no formal event. Find the parks for hiking HERE.

Related Posts:

January in Lake Country

New Year’s Guide to Lake Country and Waukesha County


January 1
6:00 am - 8:30 pm
Event Categories:
, , , , , , , , , ,