“First Days” Hike at Luster Heights Unit of Yellow River State Forest January 1-3


This view is just one of the prizes ... The First Days Hike at the Luster Heights Unit of Yellow River State Forest in Allamakee County will loop to the North Overlook, pictured in the photo above. As part of their First Days Hike experience, participants are also encouraged to enter a random drawing to win a two-night stay at the cabin at Yellow River State Forest, a hand-carved walking stick and Friends of Yellow River State Forest t-shirts. Submitted photo.

The Friends of Yellow River State Forest group is sponsoring a “First Days” Hike at the facility’s Luster Heights Unit this Friday through Sunday, January 1-3. Maps will be available at the parking area of the Luster Heights Unit, located south of Harpers Ferry.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, instead of the group’s usual First Day Hike event with a gathering of people, anyone is welcome to hike the designated route on their own at the Luster Heights Unit of Yellow River State Forest, located at 481 Luster Heights Road, Harpers Ferry, anytime January 1, 2 or 3. The approximate two-mile trail is mostly level and most people would consider it to be an easy hike.

Participants will find a sign on the route to take their photo with - everyone who takes a photo with the sign and posts it to the Friends of Yellow River State Forest Facebook page, or emails it to friendsofyrsf@gmail.com, by noon January 4 will be entered into a drawing of prizes donated by the Friends group. Prizes include a grand prize of a two-night stay in the cabin at Yellow River State Forest (a $150+ value, restrictions apply), a hand-carved walking stick, and Friends of Yellow River State Forest t-shirts (winners will need to pick up the walking stick and shirts prizes at Yellow River State Forest after being notified).

In addition, anyone can also check-in at one, or more, of 50-plus participating state parks throughout the state of Iowa that are also doing First Days Hikes on the State Parks Passport from Friday, January 1 through the end of Sunday, January 3. Every check-in with the passport program at any Iowa State Park (or in the local case, State Forest) will qualify for a prize drawing from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

So, participants can win prizes from the Friends of Yellow River State Forest by posting a photo to the group’s Facebook page or emailing it by January 4, as well as from the Iowa DNR by checking in with the passport program.

Participants can visit as many parks as they want during the weekend - every check-in counts as a contest entry for the Iowa DNR contest. More information can be found at www.iowadnr.gov/FirstDayHikes.

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