Day one hikes and runs take place across Indiana on January 1

Go to a state park, forest or recreation area to participate in a Day one hike or the untimed race is a New Year’s Day tradition for many. Events provide a chance to get out, enjoy nature, and maybe burn some calories while on vacation.

In Indiana, the hikes are organized by Indiana State Parks in cooperation with US state parks. Day one hikes will take place in all 50 states this year. They first appeared over 20 years ago in the Blue Hills Preserve, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts.

Two participants approach the bell at the end of the class after running in the 2021 day one run and walk in the Fairfax State Recreation Area at Lake Monroe.

While some hikes and runs have been canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19, the first day Trail Run and Walk at Fairfax State Recreation Area in Monroe Lake happened, with a few changes to keep people safe – no registration day, a staggered departure to reduce the number of people grouped together, and no post-hike buffet.

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This year there will be the advance as well as the day of registration and a fixed start time – 3:30 p.m. – but there will still be no seated appetizer buffet afterwards. Instead, packed lunches will be provided to all attendees, according to Jill Vance, the interpretive naturalist who coordinates the event.

Take-out will be available at Fourwinds Lakeside Inn.

While people who have participated for the past few years may miss the camaraderie that typically follows during the buffet, Vance said most of the fun will remain.

“We tried to bring everything else back,” she said. “The level of comfort of doing something outdoors is much better.”

Even registration and registration will be done outside for non-competitive running and walking. Anyone who’s a little worried that too many people will gather at once can wait a few minutes before starting any of the three options: 1.3, 2.9, and 3.7 miles.

A participant rings the bell after completing the 2021 day one run and walk at the Fairfax State Recreation Area in Lake Monroe.

Registration is $ 15 per person and includes take-out afterward. Each participant will receive a ticket for the draw. Those who register online in advance (available until December 30 at must use a credit card, while those registering on the day of the event (available from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. on January 1) must pay by cash or check.

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The first 300 people to register in advance will also receive a $ 15 Fourwinds Lakeside Inn restaurant gift certificate and an iron-embroidered commemorative patch. Maps of the three routes and additional information are available online at

A long line of hikers roam the trails of Brown County State Park while participating in a pre-COVID day one hike.

Other state parks and properties in south central Indiana that will offer day one hikes include:

This hike will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be self-guided with interpretive stops along the way, including a hot chocolate stop. Participants must start at the Nature Center. The hike is 2 miles and should take around 90 minutes.

Meet at the Canyon Inn at 1 p.m. to register for the Winter Magic Photo Contest hikes, which will begin at 2 p.m. Choose one of three different guided hikes. After the hikes, enter your photos and enjoy the refreshments offered by Canyon Inn.

Meet at the forestry office parking lot at 9 a.m. for this walk on an accessible trail.

Meet at the Owen-Putnam State Forest office at 9 a.m. for a guided hike on the Poplar Top Trail.

Two hikes will be offered to you. Meet at the Spring Mill Inn at 9:00 a.m. for a 90 minute moderate to difficult hike in the nature reserves along Trail 3. For an easier hike, meet at the Gus Grissom Memorial parking lot at 10:00 a.m. for a hike of 30 minutes along trail 6 which is paved and 0.25 mile long. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served in the hostel’s Lakeview room after the hikes.

Meet at the forestry office parking lot at 9 a.m. for a first day of hiking along the 1 mile resource management trail.

Contact Carol Kugler at [email protected], 812-331-4359 or @ckugler on Twitter.

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