Capital Clicks

State parks start centennial with record crowd

By: - January 7, 2020 5:00 am

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ First Day Hikes kicked off the state parks’ 2020 centennial celebration with a record 4,358 hikers at 49 parks. Last year’s walks drew 1,400. 

Part of a statewide record-breaking crowd for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ First Day Hikes was at Mines of Spain near Dubuque. The walks kicked off the 2020 centennial celebration for the state parks. (Photo submitted by Iowa Department of Natural Resources.)

The biggest crowd at a single park in this, the event’s ninth year, came at Walnut Woods with 410 hikers. 

DNR rangers attributed mild weather in the Des Moines area for those numbers, but photos showed many bundled up for walks at Clear Lake and West Okoboji Lake and other spots around the state. More events are coming in the year marking the centennial of Backbone State Park near Strawberry Point, the state’s first park.

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