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Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites hosted a record number of people at the annual First Day Hikes

A line of people stand in front of a reddish rock wall.
Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation
Hikers at Medicine Lodge State Archaeologcial Site

Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites hosted a record number of participants during their annual first day hikes. 1,132 people hiked more than 2,000 miles on January 1st. That was a 206 percent increase of participation from last year.

The hikes are organized by the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation. Outreach coordinator Laurel Stephens said this is the 13th year Wyoming parks and historic sites participated in the nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outside and to promote the overall mental and physical health benefits that outdoor recreation provides.

“We really want to empower and inspire people to get out and to get involved, and to explore these local treasures,” said Stephens. “I think a lot of our park staff use this as an opportunity to meet and visit with folks, whether they're local to the area, to Wyoming or visiting from out of state about the many and diverse programs and events that they host.”

The numbers reflect a boom in the state’s outdoor industry overall. A recent report that showed Wyoming's outdoor recreation economy is booming.

“Participation in various recreation activities and events, such as this, continued to see growth. So it's really exciting for our office, and for state parks, to see people taking advantage of the outdoor recreation opportunities that our state has to offer and available to them,” said Stephens.

Seventeen state parks and historic sites participated from all over the state including Bear River State Park, Hot Springs State Park, and Edness Kimball Wilkins State Park. Stephens hopes the enthusiasm for getting outdoors to hike carries throughout the entire year.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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