Celebrate the new year with a hike at these Texas State Parks or San Antonio trails

Image taken by KSAT Connect user Carrie at Canyon Lake in December 2023. (KSAT Connect)

Start 2024 on the right foot and explore Texas State Parks, city trails or the San Antonio Missions with a hike or walk on New Year’s Day.

It’s the best way (in my opinion) to reset between a stressful holiday season and perhaps some intimidating resolutions for the new year.

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And I’m not the only one who thinks so! The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says multiple state parks are planning ranger- and self-guided tours for New Year’s Day.

The tours include bike rides, paddling trips and even polar plunges, all with the goal of getting people outdoors on Jan. 1. Click here for a full list of events for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at state parks, and click here for the forecast from KSAT meteorologists.

According to TPWD, 8,000 hiked at state parks on Jan. 1, 2023, which surpassed the previous New Year’s Day attendance record.

“Last year, Texas led the nation in First Day Hikes participation and miles walked,” Texas State Parks Director Rodney Franklin said in a news release. “We invite everyone to come back and be part of the fun again this year as we usher in the next century of memories. Whether visiting for the first time, or returning to your favorite park for more fun, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”

Here are 20 state parks within a day’s trip from San Antonio:

Want to stay in SA?

If you don’t feel like straying too far from San Antonio on New Year’s Day, the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails System has more than 100 miles of trails that stretch across the city.

Also, if you don’t know where to start or want to explore a new neighborhood, the City of San Antonio has a list of running and biking routes on its website.

The Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails System also connects the four San Antonio Missions along the San Antonio River on the South Side.

And fun fact: A list from Sustainable Jungle ranked the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park among the best New Year’s Day hikes in the U.S.

Sustainable Jungle surveyed 3,000 families and asked them to rate their favorite Jan. 1 hikes. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park came in at No. 8 because it “offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance,” according to Sustainable Jungle.

“The Mission Reach Trail connects several historic missions and provides an easy, flat path suitable for all ages. It’s a great way to enjoy nature while also learning about Texas history,” the website adds.

The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is home to Missions Concepción, San José, San Juan and Espada. Entry is free year-round, and no passes or reservations are required.

For more information on the Missions, click here.

Show us your pics!

One New Year’s Day and beyond, don’t forget to share your outdoor pictures or videos with us on KSAT Connect.

These can include hiking, biking and running sessions, interesting wildlife, fun events, landmarks or more!

Click here to post your image or video, or you can browse what others are posting in the “Outdoors” channel.

More Outdoors content:

You can also follow our daily coverage by clicking on our Outdoors page on KSAT.com. If you have questions or comments about the newsletter, reach out at rsalinas@ksat.com.

Have a great new year,

Rebecca Salinas

About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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