Bid 2021 Adieu with a First Day Hike in 2022

Welcome 2022 with a First Day Hike at one of 89 Texas State Parks. Parks statewide will be hosting a variety of self-guided and guided events so visitors can walk, bike, or paddle their way into the new year.

First Day Hikes at Texas’ state parks and natural areas aim to help visitors commit to their New Year’s resolutions to get healthy. Last year, 2,668 visitors ushered in 2021 by hiking, biking, and riding a total of 8,173 miles statewide. Find a list of this year’s First Day Hikes on the TPWD calendar page. 

 “Each new year brings about new opportunities and a fresh start for a new adventure,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “Many first-time park users chose state parks last year and discovered the joys of getting outdoors.  We cannot wait to welcome those visitors back again in 2022.  I want to invite all visitors, new and returning, to join us in beginning 2022 with a First Day Hike at your favorite Texas State Park.”

Trails at Texas State Parks range in length and difficulty levels across the state. Some short, easy trails are perfect for family-friendly scenic strolls, while others are more strenuous for experienced hikers. Trail maps for all Texas State Parks can be found on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) website and individual park webpages. 

Anyone planning a trip to a Texas State Park is encouraged to reserve a day pass in advance since some parks are expected to reach their capacity limit. Reserve day passes online through the TPWD reservation website or by calling (512) 389-8900. 

Start the year off with a splash at the 6th annual Dino Dive from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Dinosaur Valley State Park. Plungers will meet at the Rock Beach by the Main Track Site and are encouraged to bring a towel, water, change of clothes, and a costume or fun outfit. Participants must register online to receive a medal for jumping into the frigid Paluxy River. All proceeds benefit Dinosaur Valley’s Friends group.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Fort Parker State Park with a late-night hike. The easy half-mile guided hike starts at 10:30 p.m., Dec. 31, exploring the Bur Oak Trail with black lights. The fun will continue with a “Riddle-Me-This” scavenger hunt until 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1, 2022. The night will conclude at a campfire with hot chocolate and cookies. Visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight, wear closed-toe shoes and dress for the weather.

Put the pedal to the metal for a First Day Bike Ride at San Angelo State Park. This guided bike ride begins at 2 p.m., Jan. 1, and visitors must bring their own bike and helmet to participate. Participants enter through the South Gatehouse located at 362 South FM 2288, San Angelo, TX, 76901, then meet at the Chaparral Pavilion.

For more information about hiking or other activities in Texas State Parks, visit

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Joseph Menslage

As the President and Publisher of Katy and Fort Bend Christian Magazines, Joe Menslage is committed to covering social and political news from a Christian worldview. He founded Katy Christian Magazine in 2005, which swept the greater Houston and Katy areas like a storm. That’s when Joe realized the urgent need for publications willing to give voices to the voiceless, without political correctness or censorship. Joe Menslage founded sister-publication Fort Bend Christian Magazine in 2014. Prior to creating Katy Christian Magazine, Joe Menslage led a colorful life. He was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, spent a great deal of his childhood in Colorado, and lived in a couple of other states before he moved to Houston in 1981. Joe was God-gifted with an entrepreneurial mind, and self-started other business ventures before he found his calling. In Joe’s words, our innate talents are given by the Lord, and are meant to be used to serve the Lord. Aside from being a President and Publisher, Joe Menslage is also the co-founder of Katy Christian Chamber of Commerce, where Christians can network, build business connections, listen to passionate speakers, and enjoy monthly breakfasts and lunches. Joe Menslage also hosts a weekly political satire YouTube channel. Joe Menslage has four children. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, watching zombie movies and K dramas, ax-throwing and Krav Maga.