Hundreds of hikers in Missouri and Kansas will be greeting the new year on the trail.
The occasion? The First Day Hikes program, a national event sponsored by America’s State Parks.
At designated state parks across the country, guided walks will help hikers get their year started in the outdoors. Included will be 28 sites in Missouri and 12 in Kansas.
“It’s a fun and relaxing way to spend New Year’s Day, while also getting a head start on a year of adventure in the outdoors,” said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks.
If you want to make last-minute plans and participate in one of the hikes, here are a few sites within a short drive of Kansas City.
▪ Watkins Mill State Park, Lawson: From 10 a.m. to noon. Meet at the east dam parking lot near the campground.
▪ Wallace State Park, Cameron, Mo.: From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Meet at the campground showerhouse parking lot.
▪ Katy Trail State Park, Sedalia, Mo.: At 1 p.m. Meet at the Sedalia MKT Depot.
▪ Clinton State Park, Lawrence: Hike on the North Shores Trail. Meet at 1 p.m. at Clinton State Park office.
▪ Hillsdale State Park, Paola, Kan.: Hike on the Hidden Springs Nature Trail. Meet at 10 a.m. at the state park office.
▪ Perry State Park, between Topeka and Lawrence: Hike on the Mad Mile and Daisy Point trails. Meet at 10 a.m. at the hiking and biking trails on Kimberly Drive off West Lake Road.
Kansas deer hunt to open
Kansas deer hunters who were unsuccessful in 2015 will get a second chance starting Friday.
In the extended firearms whitetail antlerless-only season, all unfilled deer tags will be valid. Units restrictions listed on the permits will still be in effect.
The only catch? Any unfilled either-sex permit will convert to a white-tailed antlerless-only permit in January. Hunters are eligible to purchase up to five additional whitetail antlerless-only permits.
The extended firearms season will run today through Sunday in Units 6, 8, 9, 10, 16 and 17; today through Jan. 10 in Units 1-5, 7, and 11-14; and Jan. 1-17 in Units 10A, 15 and 19.
Last chance for kids
Missouri youngsters will get their last chance to shoot a deer when the Missouri youth firearms season takes place Saturday and Sunday.
Youth must be at least 6 and no older than 15 to participate. If youngsters have not passed their hunter education course, they must hunt in the direct presence of an adult.
The boating life at Lake of the Ozarks will be on display Jan. 7-10 when the Overland Park Boat Show moves into the Overland Park Convention Center.
The show, put on by the Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers Association, will feature more than 40 marine dealers. The event will open Jan. 7, with hours from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will be open noon to 10 p.m. on Jan. 8, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 9, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 10.
Tickets will cost $9 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under will be admitted free.