Texas State Parks break New Year’s Day attendance records

More than 8,700 people participated in New Year’s Day events at Texas State Parks

File photo: Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)

More people stepped into the new year at Texas State Parks this year than ever before, and more people visited state parks in Texas than in any other state.

Texas State Parks is celebrating the start of 2024 with its highest New Year’s Day participation numbers and more events, participants and miles hiked of any state.

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“What a pleasant surprise to hear that Texans came in droves to kick off the new year at a Texas State Park,” said Rodney Franklin, director of Texas State Parks. “We topped the record-setting centennial kickoff numbers of 2023, proving that Texas has made First Day Hikes a family tradition. Thanks to all who joined us, and we look forward to breaking records for a third straight year in 2025!”

Jan. 1, 2024 statistics:

  • 177 events
  • 81 parks
  • 8,729 participants
  • 17,284 miles hiked, biked, swam and paddled

Last year’s record was 8,000 people and 17,190 cumulative miles.

The following state parks in Texas had the highest attendance on Jan. 1:

Pedernales Falls State Park First Day Hike 2024 (Texas State Parks)
Government Canyon First Day Hike 2024-Tails to the Trails 4 (Texas State Parks)

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

About the Author

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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