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Winter brings outdoor fun at state parks

| December 30, 2021 1:00 AM

Winter has arrived and there are plenty of upcoming outdoor winter events to celebrate the new year.

Several Idaho State Parks are hosting a First Day Hikes event on Jan. 1 as well as the annual Free Ski/Winter Access Day the following weekend on Jan. 8.

First Day Hikes events (Jan. 1)

Farragut State Park — Athol. Farragut State Park is hosting a guided hike (or snowshoe) at 10 a.m.

Hells Gate State Park — Lewiston. Hells Gate State Park is encouraging participants to explore self-guided hikes of their 12+ miles of trails.

Harriman State Park: Island Park, Idaho. Enjoy a First Day Winter Trek at Harriman State Park with a two-mile guided snowshoe hike. Hot cocoa will be provided!

City of Rocks/Castle Rocks State Park: Almo, Idaho. It’s a New Year’s Day adventure! There will be two guided hikes and a guided Raptors Auto Tour. Pre-registration is requested.

Free Ski/Winter Access Day (Jan. 8)

Note: Free Ski/Winter Access Day is usually held the first Saturday of the year unless it falls on New Year’s Day. For 2022, it will be held on the second Saturday. It should also be noted that this does not apply to any downhill ski areas and is for the Idaho Park N Ski locations and various parks only.

No permits needed at the 17 Park N’ Ski locations across the state.

Ponderosa State Park — McCall. Come enjoy free winter access at Ponderosa State Park! For free cross-country ski lessons and snowshoe tours, pre-registration is required. Check their Facebook page for the latest information.

Farragut State Park — Athol. Come enjoy Free Winter Access Day at Farragut State Park. Explore the trails on snowshoes or xc skis and enjoy the natural beauty of Farragut in the winter! Food Drive: Participants are welcome to bring non-perishable food items. Donations will go to the ABC Food Bank in Athol.

Priest Lake State Park — Coolin. Free cross-country ski lessons as well as a guided snowshoe hike and more (like hot coffee and chair massages!)

Harriman State Park — Island Park. Harriman will be hosting a guided hike on Jan 8, 2022. More info to come. Check their Facebook page for the latest information!

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