Kick Off New Year With First Day Hikes

Kick off the new year in the great outdoors by participating in First Day Hikes at Nebraska’s state parks Jan. 1.

Join in one of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s planned hikes and enjoy the activities that go along with it, or create your own adventure by exploring trails, watching wildlife, or snapping photos at any state park.

Activities include a fruitcake fling and gnome hunt at Ponca State Park, snowball toss at Indian Cave State Park, sledding at Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area, or a scavenger hunt at Red Willow SRA, among others. Bring your dog, but be sure to keep him or her on a leash.

Hikes are planned at:

  • Buffalo Bill State Historical Park
  • Calamus SRA
  • Chadron SP
  • Fort Kearny SRA
  • Indian Cave SP
  • Johnson Lake SRA
  • Lake Ogallala SRA
  • Louisville SRA
  • Mormon Island SRA
  • Platte River SP
  • Ponca SP
  • Red Willow SRA
  • Rock Creek Station SHP
  • Schramm Education Center
  • Sherman Reservoir SRA
  • Wagon Train SRA
  • Wildcat Hills SRA
  • Windmill SRA

Branched Oak Lake SRA also will be hosting a horse trail ride. For more details, including start times for all First Day Hikes, visit

A valid Nebraska state park permit is required for all vehicles entering park areas; 2022 permits are available for purchase at park offices or at

Those participating in the hikes are encouraged to tag @NEGameandParks in their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram posts for a chance to be featured on the agency’s social streams.