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First Day Hikes offered on New Year’s Day

For the third year in a row, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is partnering with America’s State Parks to offer free guided First Day Hikes in state parks across Oregon on New Year’s Day.

Eastern Columbia Gorge hikes include one at Cottonwood Canyon State Park in Sherman County and another at the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail in Mosier.

*Cottonwood Canyon

Learn about the cultural and natural history of the park on this inaugural First Day Hike at Cottonwood Canyon.

The hike is from noon to 1 p.m. starting at the Pinnacles trailhead. Terrain is relatively flat, but is 2 miles on an old, rocky road.

Participants should dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water as well as a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing. In case of inclement weather, the park should be contacted directly to find out about cancellation at 541-394-0002

*Columbia River Highway State Trail

Take in views of the Columbia River Gorge and learn about its history and geology. Look for eagles, osprey, hawks and deer. Be prepared for possible icy conditions.

The hike is from 10:30 a.m. to noon starting at the Mark O. Hatfield East Trailhead on Rock Creek Road in Mosier. Terrain is a paved, relatively flat surface with a 500-foot elevation change over two miles.

Participants should dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water as well as a camera or binoculars for wildlife viewing. In case of inclement weather, the park should be contacted directly to find out about cancellation at 541-0374-8811.

A list of helpful cold-weather hiking tips is available from the American Hiking Society online at americanhiking.org/cold-weather-hiking. For the latest on road conditions, consult the Oregon Department of Transportation’s TripCheck website at tripcheck.com. This year, OPRD is asking participants to share photos of their First Day Hike via social media by using the Twitter hashtag #ORfirstdayhikes or tagging “Oregon State Parks” on Facebook. Images can also be emailed to beth.wilson@state.or.us.

Online:

bit.ly/FirstDayHikes

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