It's been an incredibly mild Minnesota winter so far and that may make getting out in nature even easier for many people. Sure there are those that love winter and all the winter sports like ice skating, snowmobiling, ice fishing and more.  But for those that shy away from the winter temps, but love the outdoors, this could be perfect for you.

Photo by Dylan Freedom on Unsplash
Photo by Dylan Freedom on Unsplash
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There are 12 state parks that are offering free guided First Day hikes on New Years Day.  The locations for the First Day hikes are Afton, Blue Mounds, Forestville Mystery Cave, Fort Snelling, Frontenac, Lake Bemidji, Mille Lacs Kathio, Minneopa, Nerstrand-Big Woods, Tettegouche, Whitewater and Wild River state parks.

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash
Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash
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There is also one option on New Years Eve.  Jay Cook State Park is doing their free First Day hike on December 31st.  This is a great - and FREE - way to start your year off right.

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Want to get out in nature and walk off some of those holiday calories?  Plus, you'll be guided by a Minnesota state park naturalist that can answer questions and share information about our state parks.

According to the first day hikes website:

First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America's State Parks to get people outdoors, with over 400 hikes scheduled this year in all 50 states. Kids and adults all across America will be participating in First Day Hikes, getting their hearts pumping and enjoying the beauty of a state park.

Know before you go that the hike is free, but it does cost $7 to park.  You can also get an annual parking pass for $35.

Not ready to get active on New Year's Day?  There's still plenty to do all winter long.  Check out the winter activities guide.

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