OutWiGo: Start 2022 by reconnecting with nature in DNR’s annual First Day Hike

Local News

Smiling young couple backpackers holding hands and walking on foothpath in the snow forest. Both with ski wear, scarfs and gloves. Looking away. Snow forest on background. Snowflakes in the air. Focus on foreground.

(WFRV) – Ready for your first adventure in 2022? The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature and start the new year by seeing all that the state has to offer.

Officials with the DNR are planning their 11th year of hiking on New Year’s Day for the annual First Day Hike (also known as OutWiGo), sponsored by America’s State Parks.

According to a release, thousands of people from across the nation choose to kick off the new year by taking a hike on state parks, forests, and trails. For many, DNR staff say it becomes a family tradition to get outdoors and reconnect with nature.

“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.

First Day hikers are invited to share their adventures using the hashtags #OutWiGo and #FirstDayHike on Instagram and Facebook.

Oppotunities near you

With over 22 million visitors, DNR staff says the Wisconsin state parks, forests, and trails feature some of the Midwest’s best scenery. 

Guided hikers will be available at several properties across the state. Below are a few examples:

Additional opportunities to hike by moonlight or candlelight trails will be held throughout the winter, explains the DNR. For a complete list of events, you can check out the DNR events calendar here.

Need to know for First Day Hike

The above properties may have restroom facilities and warming shelters available during events.

DNR personnel say, to help slow the spread of COVID-19, visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing and wear a mask if distancing is not a possibility.

vehicle admission sticker is required to visit state park system properties.

Stickers can be purchased online, in-person at individual state parks, by phone by calling a local state park property office directly during office hours (credit cards accepted), or in-person at DNR service centers.

Find a map to plan your First Day Hike here.

Explore year-round

DNR staff also welcomes Wisconsinites to create their own hikes by exploring Wisconsin’s state parks year-round. They say each park offers a variety of scenic winter hiking opportunities to explore.

Visit the DNR’s Find A Park webpage to find the best place for you to start your next/first outdoor adventure.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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