Economic Development & Tourism

First Day Hike
Luster Heights Rd, Harpers Ferry, IA 52146

Friends of YRSF

Friends of Yellow River State Forest is sponsoring a "First Day" Hike at the Luster Heights Unit at 9 am on Saturday, Jan 1. Or, everyone is welcome to hike the designated First Day Hike trail on their own anytime Saturday, Jan. 1 or Sunday, Jan. 2 to win prizes.
The trail chosen this year for the First Day Hike is 1.8 miles long and features beautiful forests and views of the Mississippi River from the bluff tops. The trail is mostly level and most people would consider it to be an easy to moderate hike.
The guided hike at 9 am will be led by Park Ranger Rylan Retallick and several prizes will be awarded at the end of the hike. Those who choose to go on their own will find a map of the First Day Hike trail on the kiosk by the parking lot, take a photo with your phone, or take a phamplet with the full map of Luster Heights. There will be a selfie station marked on the posted map - everyone who takes a photo with the sign and posts it to the Friends of Yellow River Facebook page, or emails a photo to will be entered into additional prize drawings.
Prizes for the hike at YRSF are provided by Friends of Yellow River State Forest and will include a grand prize of a two-night way in the cabin at YRSF (a $150+ value, restrictions apply), a hand-carved walking stick, and 12 Friends of Yellow River State Forest t-shirts (can be picked up locally or mailed). Anyone who participates in the in-person event or hikes on their own on Jan 1 or Jan 2 is eligible to with the grand prize cabin stay. To be entered into the contest if hiking on your own, you must share your hike photo to the Friends of Yellow River State Forest Facebook page or email it no later than 6 pm Sunday, Jan. 2.
In addition, you can check-in at one (or more!) of 50+ participating Iowa state parks on the State Park Passport program from Friday, Dec. 31 through the end of Sunday, Jan. 2.
Every check-in with the passport program at any Iowa State Park (or in our case, State Forest) will qualify for a prize drawing from the Iowa DNR.
Visit as many parks as you want during the weekend -- every check-in counts as a contest entry for the Iowa DNR contest.
More info:
The parking area is at 481 Luster Heights Rd, Harpers Ferry. Dogs are welcome if on leash. 

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