Start Your Year with First Day Hikes
Oregon State Parks and Washington State Parks invite you to get outdoors on New Year’s Day for the annual First Day Hikes. All hikes are free and day-use parking fees will be waived at participating parks.
Parks in Oregon and Washington will be hosting guided tours by a park ranger or volunteer who will share stories about the park’s history, geology, wildlife and plants.
Some of the parks are also hosting snowshoe hikes, disc golf, kayak tours, bike rides and horseback rides. Of course, all of these activities require you to bring your own equipment.
Below are the details for the Oregon and Washington State parks participating in the First Day Hikes.
Participants can register for specific hikes online at the Oregon State Parks Store. Registration is not required, but Oregon parks recommend you do so here.
Portland area parks:
- L.L. Stub Stewart State Park: 10 a.m., meet at Hilltop Day-use 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 Gorge parks:
- 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.
Willamette Valley parks:
- 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.
You can see all the participating Oregon parks here.
The closest locations to Portland include:
Portland’s Best 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.
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 event paved.
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