We love the idea of starting the year off on the right, um, foot care of a “First Day Hike,” better known as those ranger-led romps that’ll be offered by many of our lovely state parks this January 1. In fact, we love it so much we think it should be an all-month thing.

6th Day Hike

BELL SLOUGH NATURE TRAIL

Near Mayflower

You’ve likely driven by this wildlife management area (it’s just off Interstate 40) and not realized that it’s prime bird-watching land—or that there’s a lovely 2.25-mile loop that meanders its way through it all. (agfc.com)

13th Day Hike

RIM TRAIL AT MOUNT NEBO STATE PARK

Near Dardanelle

If it’s a clear a day, you’ll be able to see upwards of 100 miles of rolling River Valley terrain from the birdseye-view afforded by this 3.5-mile loop. (arkansasstateparks.com/mountnebo)

20th Day Hike

DELTA VIEW TRAIL AT CANE CREEK STATE PARK

Near Star City

Venture south for a change of scenery—this 2.4-mile lowland loop is populated by eery, knobby bald cypresses that are an amateur photographer’s dream. (arkansasstateparks.com/canecreek)

27th Day Hike

CADDO BEND TRAIL AT LAKE OUACHITA STATE PARK

Near Hot Springs

Glittering quartz and glimmering lake views are abundant on this 4-mile loop. It’s considered “strenuous,” but you can reward your efforts later with a plate of McClard’s chili-smothered tamales. (arkansasstateparks.com/lakeouachita)