Start your year off on the right foot with free state park entrance.
Oregon State Parks and Washington State Parks invite you to get outdoors on New Year’s Day. Day-use parking fees will be waived at participating parks on January 1, 2024.
State parks have a range of activities to partake in, such as hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking and disc golfing. Below you’ll find details about free activities at Oregon and Washington state parks on New Year’s Day.
Free State Park Entrance on New Year’s Day
The parking fee for the 25 parks that normally require a parking permit will be waived for on January 1, 2024. Also, parks across the state are hosting free first day hikes. All hikes will be guided by a park ranger or volunteer who will share stories about the park’s history, geology, wildlife and plants.
Hikes are held at these parks near Portland:
- L.L. Stub Stewart State Park
- Milo McIver State Park
- Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail
- Silver Falls State Park
Also, if you’re looking to give the gift of adventure this year, Oregon State Parks has a special discount on parking passes.
Here is a map of the 25 state parks waiving day-use fees on New Year’s Day. Some of these parks are also part of Whale Watching Week.
Washington State Parks will offer free entrance at more than 40 parks on New Year’s Day. Some Washington parks are hosting free guided hikes, including Battle Ground Lake.
Here are some of the closest Washington State Parks to Portland:
- Reed Island
- Beacon Rock
- Paradise Point
- Battle Ground Lake
- Doug’s Beach
- Columbia Hills
Portland’s Urban Parks
Another option is heading to one of Portland’s best urban parks. Chances are you have one located 10 minutes from your home. A few years ago, I hiked around Tryon Creek Natural Area on the first day of the year. It was such a beautiful way to welcome in the new year.
My personal favorite is Powell Butte Nature Park. It has expansive trails, panoramic views, an interpretive center. Best of all, it is accessible to everyone with well maintained paths, some are even paved.