Hikers walk along the John Day River at Cottonwood Canyon State Park, southeast of The Dalles. The park will host a free guided hike Jan. 1, 2019.
As of Monday, December 24, 2018
The 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.
Hikers can register for specific hikes online at the Oregon State Parks Store: bit.ly/ParkStoreEvents.
Online registration is not required for participation, but 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.
Full details for each hike are online at bit.ly/ParkStoreEvents.
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
— More information about participating parks, including a full list, maps and directions, is on oregonstateparks.org.