First Day Hikes

Celebrate the beginning of 2021 by taking the First Day Hikes Challenge in a Missouri state park or historic site from Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, to Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Start a new tradition as you get some healthy exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.

In response to COVID-19 and to encourage social distancing and keep you safe, this year’s First Day Hikes are slightly different than years past. We’re challenging you to embark on a self-guided hike at a nearby state park or historic site. See our trails map for self-guided hiking opportunities at a park near you.

Share your participation in the challenge by capturing your adventure with a selfie or photo at the trailhead and posting your photos or videos on social media using #MOFirstDayHikes. Once you have completed your hike, come back to this page and enter into a daily drawing for a chance to win a $25 Missouri State Parks gift card.

While participating in a First Day Hike, you’re strongly encouraged to follow social-distancing guidelines and be proactive in protecting yourself and others amid ongoing public health concerns. Come prepared with hand sanitizer and bottled water, avoid large and congested crowds, consider hiking at less populated parks and sites, and please stay home if sick. Face coverings are encouraged when social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain, and may be required by local orders.

In addition to our Missouri State Parks First Day Hikes Challenge, several parks and sites are hosting special self-guided challenges or virtual hikes on their Facebook pages. See the list below for the additional opportunities to participate in the First Day Hikes Challenge.

First Day Hikes are promoted by America’s State Parks. For more information on the national initiative, click here.

Park/Historic Site

Meeting Location


Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park, Wildwood First Day Hike Challenge: Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park
Virtual hike: park Facebook page

Challenge: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Virtual hike: 11 a.m.

Current River State Park, Salem, and Echo Bluff State Park, Eminence Maps and stamps available at Round Spring, Current River State Park and Echo Bluff State Park 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hawn State Park, Ste. Genevieve Hawn State Park 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Katy Trail State Park, Rocheport Rocheport Trailhead Sunrise to sunset
Montauk State Park, Salem Pine Ridge Trail 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park -- Devil's Icebox Trail, Columbia Devil's Icebox Trailhead Sunrise to sunset
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park -- Sinkhole Trail, Columbia Sinkhole Trailhead Sunrise to sunset
Robertsville State Park, Robertsville Robertsville State Park 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
St. Francois State Park, Bonne Terre St. Francois State Park 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.