First day hikes will take place at 14 Minnesota state parks on Monday, Jan. 1

This is part of a nationwide effort, led by America’s state parks, to promote starting the new year with fresh air and physical activity. More than 400 hikes are scheduled this year in all 50 states.

Minnesota’s events include:

  • Five daytime hikes
  • Four snowshoe hikes
  • Three full moon hikes
  • Guided Cave Tour

First day hikes are free.

This year, for the first time, there’s an underground option too: Guided tours of the cave at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park will take place hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Discovered in 1937, Mystery Cave is the longest cave in Minnesota, spanning more than 13 miles underground.  Typically, public cave tours are offered only between April and October. During the summer months, visitors often find the cave a cool and refreshing escape from the heat.

In the winter, it will be the opposite. People will be able to come in from the cold weather to warm up, because the air temperature in Mystery Cave stays at a constant 48 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

Reservations for the cave tours are recommended, but tours also will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, if space is available. For information about tour prices and to make reservations, visit or call 866-857-2757.

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People should dress for the weather, so ideally in layers that can be taken off  when they warm up as they get moving. One of the worst things to do in the cold weather is to sweat as this will bring down your overhall body temperature leaving you susceptible to hypothermia.

Things To Bring:

A vehicle permit ($7 for a one-day permit or $35 for a year-round permit) is also required to enter Minnesota state parks.

For a Full list of the First Day Hikes click here: First Day Hikes Event Calendar

For more information, contact the DNR Information Center at or
888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

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