Need a way to cure cabin fever and burn off those holiday calories? First Day Hikes can help you do just that on Jan. 1.


First Day Hikes will take place at 13 Minnesota State Parks, including locally at Sakatah Lake State Park near Waterville. Those events around the state will include five daytime hikes, four snowshoe hikes and three full moon hikes.


And for some lucky souls, there will be a 48-degree option underground. The tours have sold out, but Mystery Cave in Fillmore County will provide cave tours between 10am and 4pm New Year’s Day for those that used the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website to book in advance.


Outdoor exercise has a number of physical and mental health benefits according to some health professionals. In fact, some physicians are now prescribing outdoor exercise for health and happiness.


The First Day Hikes program is part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to get people outdoors. There are 400 hikes scheduled across all 50 states.

In the KDHL POWER 96 listening area, there is a First Day Hike at Sakatah Lake State Park. Others of interest would include Minneopa State Park, just west of Mankato and Blue Mounds State Park , north of Luverne.

The hikes are free of charge, but a vehicle permit is necessary for entrance. Those permits are $7/day or $35/year.


You can find out more about winter activities, including an upcoming Candlelight Event at Rice Lake State Park near Owatonna, by visiting the Events Calendar page at the DNR’s website.


And of course, you can always learn more by tuning in every Friday approximately 12:40 p.m. during The Midday Report for our DNR segment sponsored by the Craig Keller Insurance Agency in Nerstrand and IBEW Local Union #110 Sportsman's Alliance..

If you dress properly you can enjoy the great outdoors even in these frigid temperatures.

Sakatah Lake State Park Entrance just east of Waterville. Photo from Minnesota DNR