Join fellow Oregonians on First Day Hikes

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 37 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 and 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.

Hiking locations near Polk County are:

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.

There are several other hiking options across the state.

For more information about participating parks, including maps and directions, visit oregonstateparks.org.

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