Start the new year with a hike at two Routt County state parks |

Start the new year with a hike at two Routt County state parks

Courtesy Stagecoach State Park

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There’s no better way to start the new year than getting outside. Colorado Parks and Wildlife knows this, so state parks around Colorado are hosting a “First Day Hike.” Lucky for people in Routt County, there are two to choose from.

Steamboat Lake and Stagecoach are two of a handful of state parks hosting first day hikes, although they’ll look slightly different in 2021.

“I think it kind of sets a tone for the year,” said Stagecoach Senior Ranger Guthrie Lowe. “And hopefully, it gets people out enjoying the outdoors and making the most of the resources we have.”

Typically, the hikes are led by a state park ranger, and a small group goes off on a guided hike. Stagecoach is keeping that format since the group is never very big and being outdoors easily allows for social distancing.

The Stagecoach State Park guided hike begins at 10 a.m. at the Arrowhead Day Use area. The route will climb up Pinnacle Peak overlooking the park. Masks are required. There will also be a 3.2-mile unguided hike around the park for those who wish to stay out for a while longer.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the Stagecoach State Park Facebook Page.

At the conclusion of the hike, there will be fireside refreshments.

There are a few pairs of snowshoes available for people to borrow if they need it.

Steamboat Lake State Park is opting out of a guided hike this year but is still welcoming those who want to start the year off right.

“People can just show up whenever they’re ready,” said Steamboat Lake Park Manager Julie Arington. “They don’t have to get up early, or sometimes, it’s really cold. If it’s cold in the morning, they can wait until it warms up a little bit in the afternoon if that works better for them.”

The state park visitors center will have maps and a few old pairs of snowshoes to loan out to those who don’t have any. There is a 1.5-mile marked snowshoe trail that people can use, or they can forge their own path. Steamboat Lake has yet to groom the ski trails due to lack of snow, but classic skiing is still possible since some trails have been packed.

When people return from their outing, they can have some hot chocolate at the visitor center and collect some giveaway items that advertise that they embarked on a first day hike.

“New Years is when a lot of people make resolutions and usually one of those resolutions is to try to do something positive and something healthy,” Arington said. “We like to get people thinking about being healthy in the outdoors. Our mission is taking care of those outdoors, and we want people to get out and enjoy them. We think it’s good timing.”

Only the parks that are open and have enough resources and personnel in the winter months host First Day Hikes. A complete list and further details can be found at Click on the calendar at the top of the page for a full list of participating parks.

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