On January 1, 2022, five North Dakota state parks will be joining 23 other states hosting First Day Hikes! The five locations in North Dakota include Lake Metigoshe, Icelandic, Turtle River, Fort Stevenson and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Parks. Depending upon snow conditions, event opportunities in North Dakota may include hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, fat tire biking or even kick sledding! See details for each participating park below.
Parks and Recreation encourages everyone to head outdoors on New Year’s while taking part in any of the following events. Park maps are available for the following locations onsite or by visiting www.parkrec.nd.gov. Remember to dress appropriately for weather conditions.
Lake Metigoshe State Park – Bottineau, ND (701-263-4651): Get on the trails for a self-guided adventure at LMSP while taking in the Jackie Frost Escape Room Adventure on the Hemerick Point Trail, starting at the Warming House (approx. 2.25 miles round-trip). Jackie is responsible for making it snow this winter, but she won’t do it unless you solve her puzzles! This self-guided activity can be done throughout the month of January. Participants should dress for the weather conditions. Dressing in layers provides warmth and the option to layer up or down with changing conditions and level of physical activity. Pending snow conditions, this trail can be hiked, snowshoed, fat tire biked or skishoed. Snowshoe and xc skis are available for rent by stopping at the park’s main office during business hours (8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mon-Fri). On weekends, please contact the park at 701-263-4651 to arrange rentals with park staff. Participants can park and start their adventure at the Warming House, which is located adjacent to a large parking area and LMSP’s sledding hill. You’re welcome to bring your own sled and take a few runs down the sledding hill!
Icelandic State Park – Cavalier, ND (701-265-4561): Join Roscoe the raccoon for a self-guided, First Day Hike scavenger hunt! Roscoe wants to join you on the hike, but can’t seem to find the supplies he needs for the hike. Can you help him find his eight missing items? Each item you find will help decode a cypher to reveal a secret message Roscoe left behind for you. All information required for this activity can be found on site as you hike the Hillman Trail (approx. 0.75 miles); starting at the trailhead. Participants are recommended to dress appropriately for weather conditions and level of physical activity. The scavenger hunt will be available December 29 – January 4 for those unable to participate on January 1.
Turtle River State Park – Grand Forks, ND (701-795-3180):
Participants are invited to take on “Snowflake’s Wild Adventure” a social distance friendly scavenger hunt along the Whitetail Trail (1.5 miles). Participants can park and start their adventure from the Woodland Lodge parking lot. Feel free to bring cleats or snowshoes pending snow and ice conditions. This trail will be packed should there be snow. Those who might not participate on January 1 can do so throughout the first week of the New Year. Please remember to dress appropriately for weather conditions!
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park – Mandan, ND (701-667-6340): Take in the beauty of a winter’s afternoon and ring in the new year this January 1st beginning at 2 p.m. Participants can meet at the Visitor Center where the 1.25-mile roundtrip hike will begin. After the hike, a warm firepit and hot chocolate bar will await those who wish to warm up! We remind participants to dress appropriately for the weather conditions; layers are recommended! Start your new year at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park!
Fort Stevenson State Park – Garrison, ND (701-337-5576) Start 2022 by participating in a self-guided luminary hike along the Flicker Loop (approximately 1 mile). Luminaries will be lit from 6–7:30 p.m. Participants are invited to stop by the Visitor Center (open until 7:30 p.m.) to do some shopping, warm up in front of an outdoor fire, and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and smores. Pending snow conditions, participants may be able to cross country ski, snowshoe, fat tire bike or try out the most recent addition to the park, kicksledding. Equipment rentals are available, including cross country skis, snowshoes and kicksleds.
Contact locations directly for additional information prior to the events. For cancellation inquiries, please contact individual locations and/or check their Facebook pages for the most up-to-date information.
Outdoor enthusiasts looking for additional activities to do throughout 2022 should consider participating in the North Dakota Parks & Recreation 2022, 12 Months–12 Hikes Challenge, which also kicks off on January 1, 2022. Click here for complete details and other events.
All North Dakota state park users are subject to entrance fees in the amount of $7/vehicle. Park users can also purchase a 2022 annual pass for $35 or a 2-vehicle family pass for $55. Annuals may be purchased online or onsite via park staff or self-registration. Those purchasing annual permits online will obtain a permit via postal mail; please print the receipt for annual or daily permits to provide proof of purchase.