Rock Bridge Memorial State Park will welcome 2020 with guided tours on New Year’s Day. The tours are part of the First Day Hikes program, which is promoted by America’s State Parks.

State park officials and volunteer guides will lead participants in hikes on more than 30 trails across Missouri, according to a news release from Missouri State Parks. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park will offer four guided hikes this year, according to the state parks’ website.

The Sinkhole and Devil’s Icebox trails are moderately difficult, and the 1.5-mile guided hikes offered from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. feature information about historic landmarks. This hike is not recommended for children under 4 or dogs.

Deer Run Trail is a strenuous 3.75-mile hike from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. that features a half-mile walk along Little Bonne Femme Creek. Participants will learn about aquatic wildlife and natural habitats. This hike is not recommended for children under 4 or dogs.

Gans Creek Wild Area features a strenuous 2-mile hike through a rocky creek valley from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and a presentation about life in the 1800s at the ruins of the Reyburn homestead. Children under 8 and dogs are not allowed.

Grassland Trail  hike will be led by members of the Columbia Audubon Society through the 2-mile trail from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. while looking for bird activity. Children under 8 and dogs are not allowed.

Next year will mark the ninth year of the annual First Day Hike event. More than 55,000 participated in hikes last year, according to the America’s State Parks website. America’s State Parks is a coordinated effort by the National Association of State Park Directors.

Space is limited, and participants can register through the Missouri State Parks website for any of the state’s First Day Hikes.

Supervising editor is Hannah Hoffmeister.

  • Education reporter, fall 2019 Studying print and digital editing Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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