SALEM — Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) invites Oregonians outdoors on New Year’s Day for the annual First Day Hikes event. Visitors can choose from 37 hikes in 31 parks across the state. All hikes will be guided by a park ranger or volunteer who will share stories about the park’s history, geology, wildlife and plants.
All hikes are free and day-use parking fees will be waived at all participating parks Jan. 1 only. Hikers can register for specific hikes online at the Oregon State Parks Store. While online registration isn’t required for participation, visitors are encouraged to register. It helps park staff plan the hike and provides them with participant contact information should hike details change.
OPRD advises visitors to plan for inclement weather, dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, bring water and remember to carry binoculars for viewing wildlife.
OPRD has sponsored First Day Hikes annually since 2012, part of a larger national event organized by America’s State Parks.
Participating parks and meeting areas are below. Full details for each hike are also on bit.ly/ParkStoreEvents.
- L.L. Stub Stewart State Park: 10 a.m., meet at Clayhill horse staging area.
- Milo McIver State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the Maple Ridge Trailhead in the Lower Boat Launch parking lot.
- Tryon Creek State Park: 9 a.m., meet at the nature center.
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE
- Deschutes River State Recreation Area: 9 a.m., meet at Oregon Trail kiosk.
- Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail: 1 p.m., meet at the Mark O. Hatfield East trailhead in the Mossier Twin Tunnels parking lot.
- Champoeg State Heritage Area: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., meet at the visitor center.
- Dexter State Recreation Site: 9 a.m., meet at the Dexter Disc Golf course.
- Elijah Bristow State Park: noon, meet at the equestrian parking area for horse riding (bring your own horse.)
- Silver Falls State Park: 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., meet at South Falls Lodge porch.
- Willamette Mission State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the Wheatland Ferry.
- Bullards Beach State Park: 1 p.m., meet at the meeting hall.
- Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint: noon, meet in the Cape Meares parking lot.
- Crissey Field State Recreation Site: 11 a.m., meet at the welcome center.
- Fort Stevens State Park: 10 a.m., meet in the Battery Russell parking lot.
- Humbug Mountain State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the Humbug Mountain trailhead.
- Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park: 10 a.m., meet in the group camp parking lot.
- Oswald West State Park: 8 a.m., meet at the Cape Falcon trailhead.
- Seal Rock State Recreation Site: 9:30 a.m., meet in the Seal Rock parking lot.
- Umpqua Lighthouse State Park: 1 p.m., meet at Lake Marie Day-use area.
- William M. Tugman State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the Eel Lake boat ramp.
- Collier Memorial State Park: 9 a.m., meet at the Logging Museum.
- Golden State Heritage Site: 1 p.m., meet in the Historic Church.
- Illinois River Forks State Park: 9:30 a.m., meet in the West Fork trailhead.
- Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area: 9 a.m., meet at the group camp.
- TouVelle State Park: 11 a.m., meet at the day-use area.
- Valley of the Rogue State Park: 1 p.m., meet at the amphitheater. 1 p.m., meet at Del Rio Vineyards (bring your own bike.) 1 p.m., meet at Rogue River Bridge in the city of Rogue River (bring your own bike.)
- Cottonwood Canyon State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the experience center.
- Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area: 11 a.m., meet at the interpretive kiosk (bring your own snowshoes).
- LaPine State Park: 11 a.m., meet at the meeting hall in the south loop.
- Smith Rock State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the welcome center.
- Wallowa Lake State Park: 10 a.m., meet in the Group Camp A parking lot.
- More information about participating parks, including maps and directions, is on oregonstateparks.org.