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Participant numbers higher in annual First Day Hike at Pratt

Kahrie Stegman
The Lankard family enjoys a hike together on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Green Recreation Trail on the "First Day Hike." Many families took advantage of the mild weather to walk part of all of the trail. Family members are dad Kelsey, mom Kaci, Riley and Tayler.

More than 180 Pratt-area community members and four dogs gathered on New Year’s Day to participate on the First Day Hike hosted by Kansas Wildlife and Parks at Green Recreation Trail. The annual event took place at the nature trail off of Country Club Road in Pratt. About 20 hikes were held in areas across the state of Kansas.

“We’ve been doing this for several years now and it’s just been growing and growing,” said Kati Westerhaus from Pratt Wildlife and Parks.

Black, long sleeved T-Shirt with the First Day Hike and State of Kansas logos, and reusable hand warmers were given out on a first come-first serve basis.

The trails were recently damaged from the significant rainfall last year, but have been cleaned up and are now open regularly, typically from sunrise to sundown. The only cleanup remaining trash to be pulled out of the water. One section of the trail was damaged beyond repair, but the rest is open to the public.

“We want to encourage people to get out and to encourage people to use the trails,” said Westerhaus.