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 32 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; 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: bit.ly/ParkStoreEvents. 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 Hilltop Day-use area.
• 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 Mark O. Hatfield Visitors Center West trailhead.
• Latourell Falls (Guy W. Talbot State Park): 10 a.m., meet at Latourell Falls parking lot.
• Starvation Creek State Park: 10 a.m., meet at Starvation Creek Falls trailhead.
• Champoeg State Heritage Area: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., meet at the visitor center.
• Dexter State Recreation Site: 11:00 a.m., meet at the information kiosk for disc golf.
• Elijah Bristow State Park: noon, meet at the equestrian parking area for horse riding (bring your own horse.)
• Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area: 11 a.m., meet at the main parking lot.
• Silver Falls State Park: 10 a.m., meet at South Falls Lodge porch.
• Bullards Beach State Park: 1 p.m., meet at the meeting hall.
• Cape Lookout State Park: noon, meet in the Lookout Trailhead parking lot.
• Fort Stevens State Park: 10 a.m., meet at parking lot A.
• Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park: 10 a.m., meet at Cleawox Lodge.
• Oswald West State Park: 8 a.m., meet at Elk Flats Trail parking lot. Parking is limited; please arrive early, carpool, or use another nearby lot.
• Port Orford Heads State Park: 1 p.m., meet at Port Orford Heads lifeboat.
• South Beach State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the park day-use area.
• Umpqua Lighthouse State Park: 10 a.m., meet at Lake Marie swim area.
• Whale Watch Center at Depoe Bay: 10 a.m., meet at the Whale Watch Center.
• Collier Memorial State Park: 9 a.m., meet at Logging Museum parking lot.
• Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area: 11 a.m., meet at the group camp.
• OC & E Woods State Line Trail: 9 a.m., meet at Switchbacks trailhead.
• TouVelle State Park: 1 p.m., meet at TouVelle area F parking lot.
• Valley of the Rogue State Park: 1 p.m., meet at Valley of the Rogue program area.
• Cottonwood Canyon State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the experience center.
• Emigrant Springs State Heritage Area: 11 a.m., meet at the day-use parking lot (right of park entrance.)
• LaPine State Park: 11 a.m., meet at south loop.
• Smith Rock State Park: 10 a.m., meet at the welcome center.
• Tumalo State Park: 11 a.m., meet at Deschutes River Trail trailhead, near the day-use parking lot.
• Wallowa Lake State Park: 10:30 a.m., meet at the parking area across from the south entrance of Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site.
More information about participating parks, including maps and directions, is on oregonstateparks.org.