Guided hikes offered on New Year’s Day

Huge rock formations are important parts of hiking in and around Cross Timbers and Elk City State Parks.

At least five Kansas state parks are taking part in a national trend to encourage hiking on the first day of the year. The hikes are at Kaw River, Eisenhower (Melvern Reservoir), Tuttle Creek,  Cross Timbers (Toronto Reservoir) and Elk City State Parks. Most are only about a mile or two in length, and could probably be handled by most members of a family.

Usually starting in the early afternoon, interested hikers could make a day of it and at least scout the other trails in and around those state parks.

Personally, I’ve hiked a fair amount around the Elk City and Crossed Timbers State Parks and really love the country. The trails are a mix of giant rimrock boulders, mature forests and grasslands.

Take your binoculars if you go. The chances of seeing bald eagles around these reservoirs is very high this time of the year.