Archive for the 'First Day Hikes' Category

2018 First Day Hikes in State Parks

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
Hiking Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

Hiking Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

This is Passport to Texas

When it comes to making New Year resolutions, success comes when you walk your talk. For the past few years, that’s meant busting a move on state park trails during First Day Hike events.

First Day Hikes is a nationwide initiative that Texas State Parks has been participating in for the last several years.

Thomas Wilhelm, with state parks, says most sites throughout Texas will host First Day Hikes.

Essentially, it’s the concept of getting outside on January first, and doing something to kick the year off right. So, almost all of our parks have some sort of first day hike. A few of our parks take it a unique way. For example, Balmorhea state park—the swimming pool in West Texas—they have a first day dive. So, everybody jumps into Balmorhea, which is a polar dive sort of thing, but that’s a unique experience. But many of our parks do have those first day hikes. And they’re, of course, guided hikes with a park ranger. And it’s just a way to start the year off right on the good foot. Literally.

Find all First Day Hike events at

That’s our show for today… We record our series at the Block House in Austin, Texas…Joel Block engineers our program.

Funding for Passport to Texas provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

More Outdoor Resolutions for the New Year

Friday, January 1st, 2016
Enjoying the great Texas outdoors.

Enjoying the great Texas outdoors.

This is Passport to Texas

Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to 52 weeks fresh possibilities. So, let’s consider how to make 2016 better for ourselves and our loved ones.

Of course, we could all get outside more because life’s better outside. But you knew that.

Time in nature has a way of resetting the brain. And researchers say children who spend time outdoors do better on exams and are less disruptive in the classroom. So, if we can’t give teachers pay raises, let’s at least give them kids that can concentrate class. Am I right?

And you. Bring a pair of walking shoes to the office; stroll outdoors in the fresh air during your breaks. It’s amazing how much nature actually exists in a concrete jungle.

We have 95 state parks, most of which are 90 minutes away, or less, from most of us. Grab family and friends and take a nature hike, ride a bike. Pitch a tent and sleep under the stars, or fish free in these natural playgrounds.

Commit to learning something new about Texas history, but not from a book. Visit one of the state’s incredible historic sites where it all went down.

There’s a world of wonder out there, and once you spend more time outdoors, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

That’s our show… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram.

From all of us at Passport to Texas, we wish you a New Year filled with outdoor adventure…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

First Day Hikes and More

Friday, December 18th, 2015
First Day Hike

First Day Hike at Pedernales Falls State Park.

This is Passport to Texas

Here we are again, straddling the threshold of a new year. How will you spend the first day? You could devote the first day of 2016 recovering from the last day of 2015. You might also decide to remain in your jammies, parked in front of the television for a day of football, movies, and snacking. There’s nothing wrong with that… in theory.

But before you settle into that well-worn groove in the sofa and start brushing potato chip crumbs from your loungewear, change into your street clothes, and head out the door for a little fresh air and sunshine.

People who spend time outdoors are healthier, happier, and smarter. And how we spend the first day of the year is often indicative of how we’ll spend the entire year. That’s research talking, I’m just the messenger.

Go to the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to find outdoor opportunities for the first day of the New Year, including: a List Birding Hike at Tyler State Park in East Texas; A First Day Mountain Bike Ride for beginners at Franklin Mountains SP near El Paso; how about a First Day Hike at the Hill Country State Natural Area; or the fifth annual Stuffed Turkey Hike at Bonham SP to help walk off some of those holiday treats.

Or, just go outside and take a walk around your neighborhood and appreciate where you live and with whom you share your life. The games and movies will be on…and the chips will be crisp when you get back.

Remember: Life’s Better Outside. Happy New Year.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Recreation: Resolve to go on a First Day Hike

Monday, December 29th, 2014


Hiking in Big Bend

Hiking in Big Bend

This is Passport to Texas

Whether you make official New Year’s resolutions or not, it never hurts to have a plan going into the next 365 days. Kevin Good with state parks has a few suggestions for your consideration.

21—Get outdoors more and take advantage of all of the opportunities that we have in Texas: from paddling trails to hiking trails to nature viewing…. It’s too easy to get stuck in your routine and not take advantage of those opportunities. And I’d suggest that folks start of their New year with a First Day Hike.

First Day Hikes take place throughout Texas and the US. Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to find a First Day Hike opportunity near you.

35—First Day Hikes vary between sites, but typically, they are guided hikes led by a staff member or knowledgeable volunteer that will point out some of the best recreational aspects of a particular park. They may involve hand-on experiences, as well as educational activities along with the hikes. So, you’ll have folks not only to show you where to go and lead you on the trail, but also point out some of the topics of interest that you might see on that hike. It’s a great way to start off your new year with a healthy habit.

That’s our show…for Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.