First-Day Hike 2023 at Wildcat Glades

JOPLIN, Mo. — Around a dozen people got up this morning to kick off the new year with a hike.

It’s something “Wildcat Glades” in Joplin hosts every New Year’s Day.

According to the “American Hiking Society,” first-day hikes are a nationwide event, encouraging communities to get outside.

Last year in the United States, nearly 55,000 people started the year off with a hike.

Today at “Wildcat Glades,” hikers got a chance to learn about what birds stick around for in the winter months.

They also got a sneak peek at where to find the first flowers and greenery that will pop up this spring.

Each hiker was equipped with a mesh bag to pick up any trash they found along the two-mile journey.

“I think if people can come out and realize how special it is, um, and just enjoy the trails that we have. There’s not a lot of places you can go that you have, um, these nice trails, and water and trees and all of these different habitats just right, basically outside of town so, it’s really nice for people to come out and enjoy it and see, um, the hard work that the City of Joplin and that Wildcat Glades and that all of our partners put into this area,” said Maddie Jackson, Naturalist, Wildcat Glades.

“It was great! It was fun, it was refreshing. I like to walk a couple of miles every day anyway, so this is a great start to the New Year,” said Cathy Stwalley, Hiker.

Over the last year, volunteers and staff of “Wildcat Glades” picked up over three tons of trash from the area.

The non-profit group has many upcoming events already on the calendar.

You can find a full list of events on Wildcat Glade’s Facebook page, here.

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